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Chair-man
10-23-2013, 04:33
Actually, I'm a slow hiker and not even a trail runner but with the popularity of trail running I think there should be an Appalachian Trail race.

They could run it in stages like the Tour de France with some zero days thrown in. If the major networks are willing to cover the Ironman competition I'd think they'd cover an AT race too.

Hill Ape
10-23-2013, 05:03
oh oh, could there be a TV show too? with challenges and such? and some fear factor eating gross stuff. and who would host? any volunteers?

seriously though, i think this is a horrible idea, and hope nothing like it ever sees the light of day. can you imagine being out on a hike and told "we're filming, you can't hike this section today"

Old Hillwalker
10-23-2013, 05:57
Good luck getting permission.

Lone Wolf
10-23-2013, 06:21
Actually, I'm a slow hiker and not even a trail runner but with the popularity of trail running I think there should be an Appalachian Trail race.

They could run it in stages like the Tour de France with some zero days thrown in. If the major networks are willing to cover the Ironman competition I'd think they'd cover an AT race too.

it's already a "race" every year with most through hikers. hurry up to katahdin! it's about the destination

hikerboy57
10-23-2013, 06:38
every year theres a race.with numbers and everything.

fredmugs
10-23-2013, 08:46
That would be worse than watching soccer but possibly more interesting than watching guys catch fish. You need an event where somebody go possibly die. Something like this:

http://www.badwater.com/

Another Kevin
10-23-2013, 09:06
If you are in such a dadburned hurry, why are you walking?

HikerMom58
10-23-2013, 09:15
Actually, I'm a slow hiker and not even a trail runner but with the popularity of trail running I think there should be an Appalachian Trail race.

They could run it in stages like the Tour de France with some zero days thrown in. If the major networks are willing to cover the Ironman competition I'd think they'd cover an AT race too.

I think that's an excellent idea!!! :)

WingedMonkey
10-23-2013, 09:19
I'd Like To See An AT Race

And just how would you see such an event?

On TV?

Would that require TV crews and and sound trucks at all the road crossings along the way?

Cameras at all the good view/rest points along the trail?

Blocking off parts of the trail to accommodate all that?

Helicopters and Blimps flying overhead for the good shots?

Grandstands for packsnifers to sit in and cheer?


Be careful what you wish for.

atmilkman
10-23-2013, 09:25
Maybe something along the lines of survivor with teams and challenges. Earning immunity. "Speedy Joe, the bubble has spoken, Gather your water bottle and leave the trail immediately."

evyck da fleet
10-23-2013, 12:22
With enough corporate money we could widen and pave the trail for the camera trucks to follow the race. Afterwards anyone could drive from GA to ME in a few days/weeks and wouldn't have to put up with all those smelly hikers:)

RED-DOG
10-23-2013, 12:27
I think it's a bad idea, with all the film crews and everything else they would bring along it would turn the AT in to a Circus.

slbirdnerd
10-23-2013, 12:30
If you are in such a dadburned hurry, why are you walking? Yeah, what he said!

Chair-man
10-23-2013, 14:43
And just how would you see such an event?

On TV? Of Course

Would that require TV crews and and sound trucks at all the road crossings along the way? Yes

Cameras at all the good view/rest points along the trail? Yes

Blocking off parts of the trail to accommodate all that? No

Helicopters and Blimps flying overhead for the good shots? It's a green tunnel not many good shots. A blimp would be cool though.

Grandstands for packsnifers to sit in and cheer?


Be careful what you wish for.

Some of the profits would have to go the AT trail clubs and the ATC.

I guess there are some folks who don't think TV should cover the Iditarod dog sled race every year in Alaska either.

hikerboy57
10-23-2013, 14:55
Too boring for TV. No audience

Lone Wolf
10-23-2013, 15:15
I think it's a bad idea, with all the film crews and everything else they would bring along it would turn the AT in to a Circus.

it's already a circus every spring in georgia with the hundreds of hikers and so-called "trail angels" every few miles for 100 miles

daddytwosticks
10-23-2013, 15:59
it's already a circus every spring in georgia with the hundreds of hikers and so-called "trail angels" every few miles for 100 miles I love the circus. Couldn't get enough as a kid. That's why I always try to section hike in April in north Ga. More fun than a barrel of monkeys watching the newby's get started. :)

Lauriep
10-23-2013, 16:36
While some of these posts may simply be armchair musings, for the record, the Appalachian Trail Comprehensive Plan states,

Management actions will discourage activities that would degrade the Trail’s natural and
cultural resources or social values, such as use by groups or organizations involved in
promotion, sponsorship, or participation in spectator events or competitive activities, or
by groups which by their size or commercial interest generate use which is inconsistent
with the concept of a simple footpath.

Laurie P.
ATC

Hill Ape
10-23-2013, 17:02
While some of these posts may simply be armchair musings, for the record, the Appalachian Trail Comprehensive Plan states,

Management actions will discourage activities that would degrade the Trail’s natural and
cultural resources or social values, such as use by groups or organizations involved in
promotion, sponsorship, or participation in spectator events or competitive activities, or
by groups which by their size or commercial interest generate use which is inconsistent
with the concept of a simple footpath.

Laurie P.
ATC

+infinity... thank you for giving us a ray of hope on this laurie. have yall ever fielded requests along these lines? would professional film crews fall under this same category? i'm thinking specifically about the walk in the woods movie

rickb
10-23-2013, 18:32
it's already a "race" every year with most through hikers. hurry up to katahdin! it's about the destination

Seems like they go slower every year. Six months plus? Geesh.

Lauriep
10-23-2013, 19:37
+infinity... thank you for giving us a ray of hope on this laurie. have yall ever fielded requests along these lines? would professional film crews fall under this same category? i'm thinking specifically about the walk in the woods movie

There have been many requests to hold competitive events on the A.T. over the years but usually they are denied. The JFK 50-mile run that traverses a portion of the A.T. in Maryland was grandfathered in because it was started in the '60s before the A.T. became a national scenic trail.

Commercial filming is not prohibited, but permits are required. Permits would be challenging to acquire for a major film project using heavy equipment and professional actors, as ATC and the affected land-managing agencies would want to ensure that no damage was done to the physical resource and social impacts to hikers were minimal. There's nothing to stop someone shooting an A.T.-themed film outside of the A.T. corridor.

HikerMom58
10-23-2013, 19:48
I just got into trail running, myself. It's really fun!! I never thought I would like running through the woods but I do. I just ran my first 4 mile trail night race. My time was 50:35 & I didn't fall or stumble once. That's really good for me. I had my headlamp on...

No races will be held on the AT but there are plenty of other places to run in the woods.. y'all should try it....

Chair-man
10-23-2013, 21:47
While some of these posts may simply be armchair musings, for the record, the Appalachian Trail Comprehensive Plan states,

Management actions will discourage activities that would degrade the Trailís natural and
cultural resources or social values, such as use by groups or organizations involved in
promotion, sponsorship, or participation in spectator events or competitive activities, or
by groups which by their size or commercial interest generate use which is inconsistent
with the concept of a simple footpath.

Laurie P.
ATC

Oh well, a race would probably be the wrong way to bring attention to the AT anyway but I don't think a race would be as boring as bowling or golf.

Train Wreck
10-23-2013, 21:50
Maybe something along the lines of survivor with teams and challenges. Earning immunity. "Speedy Joe, the bubble has spoken, Gather your water bottle and leave the trail immediately."

And you could have all the Whiteblaze community judge online who gets to stay and who gets to go each week :rolleyes:

Jack Tarlin
10-26-2013, 11:06
In that several people have posted thinking this is a swell idea, I guess it's only fair for someone to be allowed to say they think it's a really horrible one.

lemon b
03-19-2014, 07:03
Couldn't agree more Jack. Turning something totally fun into a contest. Not my thing.

fiddlehead
03-19-2014, 07:11
I like it.

JohnnySnook
09-14-2014, 06:15
What are the odds of contestants even being close to each other? Slim.

Watching the tour de France keeps the viewer watching. 90% of the people that watch don't want to watch them climb a hill. They want to break aways. High speed downhills. Massive multi-rider crashes! Thats why most watch biking. Some great wrecks to had. Guys just grabbing a bike from a teammate to try and get back in the race.

Broken bikes and bleeding riders keep us all watching!

I think that having a race on the AT wouldn't be accepted by the masses. Hikers would be pissed.
Trail Magic could mean a trap set on the trail to trip a runner which could trip a hiker.
How could you make it safe? You'd have to close hundreds of miles of trails.
It will never happen.

Now in central america I've been driving to surf spots and have car races on the same roads thru the mountains as you're driving. Many drivers crash or hit people just driving down the road. No one to get sued so not a big issue like it would be in the US.

Wil
09-14-2014, 06:23
... TV crews and and sound trucks at all the road crossings along the way? Cameras at all the good view/rest points along the trail? Blocking off parts of the trail to accommodate all that? Helicopters and Blimps flying overhead for the good shots? Grandstands for packsnifers to sit in and cheer?...This is really starting to sound good. You'd have to widen the trail and remove some of that pesky tree cover to give TV cameras access. Maybe some paving, but leave some rough stretches for drama. Maybe even construct some hazards. I see a part of the event like the TV show where they knock people off their feet into muddy water? Whatsit called?

I have never been so excited about a prospect. This could bring AT hiking into the Big Time!

Pedaling Fool
09-14-2014, 06:26
Now in central america I've been driving to surf spots and have car races on the same roads thru the mountains as you're driving. Many drivers crash or hit people just driving down the road. No one to get sued so not a big issue like it would be in the US.Yes, not a big issue to kill/maim people while playing around with a very heavy, fast-moving vehicle:-?

JumpMaster Blaster
09-14-2014, 10:29
Um, no. I'm totally against it.

rocketsocks
09-14-2014, 11:03
Trail running for an individual and for a personal best time and a AT fastest known time I support. But an event liken to what the OP is suggesting I do not, that kind of event would be better displayed for the masses elsewhere.

CrumbSnatcher
09-14-2014, 12:10
Trail running for an individual and for a personal best time and a AT fastest known time I support. But an event liken to what the OP is suggesting I do not, that kind of event would be better displayed for the masses elsewhere.
hike into town on a sunday, get a motel room & watch some NASCAR! :-)
i agree with the individual thing but not the hordes. for every racer there'd be many more out to watch

Traveler
09-15-2014, 10:12
I think any publicized race on the AT would go the way of Eco-Adventure racing. A few years of interesting locales and characters/teams in the hunt for the finish line, then will die off presuming it even reaches television interest. Though I suspect sometime in the near future we will see a full on filming of each step and shelter on the AT using head camera gear so those who drive to the top of Mt Washington can also experience the AT.

I prefer we avoid the Great Race (unless Terry Thomas can come back and play in it) and avoid the virtual journey via headcams and leave the trail for those who want the quiet adventure of doing something very difficult.

runt13
09-15-2014, 10:20
very very bad idea!

rafe
09-15-2014, 11:39
Thumbs down on this one. For me (and for the dude who dreamed up the AT in the first place) the trail is a refuge from competition. There are enough venues for competition on this planet. Let's leave the AT out of it.

CrumbSnatcher
09-15-2014, 15:56
Thumbs down on this one. For me (and for the dude who dreamed up the AT in the first place) the trail is a refuge from competition. There are enough venues for competition on this planet. Let's leave the AT out of it.
theres more competition out there than you think among thruhikers, racing to shelters to have a spot in the shelter, even worse trying to hold a spot for a friend.can get real ugly in the whites, only so many spots for work for stays in the huts, and some hikers ask the hut crews to radio ahead and reserve them the spot at the next hut, instead of humping it and getting there first. this crap don't bother me, just saying :-) i like the tent pads in the whites, along with long days. preferred tents over shelters.

BuckeyeBill
09-15-2014, 16:27
Rafe took the words right out of my mouth. There is no rhyme or reason for something like this. When I go hiking I want to get away from it all. I bury my phone in the bottom of my pack and don't care if I can get a signal. The only exception is in the event of an emergency.

fredmugs
09-16-2014, 09:07
Commercial filming is not prohibited, but permits are required. Permits would be challenging to acquire for a major film project using heavy equipment and professional actors, as ATC and the affected land-managing agencies would want to ensure that no damage was done to the physical resource and social impacts to hikers were minimal. There's nothing to stop someone shooting an A.T.-themed film outside of the A.T. corridor.

Was any part of A Walk in the Woods filmed on the AT?

SpottedCow
09-16-2014, 12:48
Not quite a race, but this could be something you'd be interested in:

http://findingtractionfilm.com/

Chair-man
09-16-2014, 19:24
Rafe took the words right out of my mouth. There is no rhyme or reason for something like this. When I go hiking I want to get away from it all. I bury my phone in the bottom of my pack and don't care if I can get a signal. The only exception is in the event of an emergency.

Hey, OP (original poster) here. Personally, I think if someone wants to walk and talk on their cell phone all day it wouldn't bother me. If someone wants to run on the trail instead of just walking on the trail that's OK too. Hike your own hike.

The trail belongs to everyone and the trail shouldn't be what one group thinks it should be. I do understand there needs to be limits to maintain some level of decorum like no bicycles. It's just a matter of where you think the line should be drawn.

I still think you could have a race without being too intrusive. Just limit the field to 25.

rafe
09-16-2014, 20:43
The trail belongs to everyone and the trail shouldn't be what one group thinks it should be. I do understand there needs to be limits to maintain some level of decorum like no bicycles. It's just a matter of where you think the line should be drawn.

No, sorry. The trail is a public entity, with legal standing at federal, state and local levels. It is maintained by those same legal entities and by the efforts of thousands of dedicated volunteers. You don't get to use it for whatever purpose crosses your mind.

bamboo bob
09-16-2014, 21:14
I wish the AT could just be left alone for hikers. Day, section, thru. I wish trail runners and record breakers would find someplace else to go.

Just Bill
09-17-2014, 00:06
I wish the AT could just be left alone for hikers. Day, section, thru. I wish trail runners and record breakers would find someplace else to go.

How often do you run into record breakers out and about on the trails? Would you say a JPD, Matt Kirk, or Scott Williamson takes something away from the trail?
I have rarely seen a trail runner on the AT, though I have seen a few. On the rare occasion a hiker sees a record breaker out there, more often than not they are logging in to WB to report the encounter with pride and glowing praise.

On the rare occasion I run into a jerk on the trail, it's rarely a hiker. It's occasionally a thru hiker with entitlement issues, more often some local yokel out for a beer at a shelter because it's cheaper than the paid sites at the state park. On the rare occasion I see a speedy person, they are generally pleasant and enthusiastic. Courteous and caring of the trail.

I'm not much for a publicized race either. Nor am I too afraid such a thing might actually take place. Few enough hikers are interested in the sport, even fewer people likely to watch it amongst the general public.

More likely, I think most record breakers would be just as abhorred by the idea as the slow pokes. I think you will find few hikers more respectful of the trail than those who pursue harmony and connection with the it on that level.

Matt Kirk's successful record attempt was "televised" with daily video updates. His finish video has racked up an astounding 1,031 views. Of course I watched it at least 10 times myself so I would caution a TV exec to take those numbers with a grain of salt. https://www.youtube.com/user/ATsub60

Karl's recent attempt, despite a "publicity" interview with a relatively unknown website is another fine example of a fella who wanted to be left alone in the effort as much as possible. And he's considered one of the more public record breakers.

So have no fear, no upcoming race is coming to the AT or any trail. The hordes of runners are not at some phantom starting gate waiting to pounce.
If nothing else- when you run into a fast hiker you just can't stand to be around- take comfort in the fact they will pass you and clear the next bend momentarily. They won't likely sleep at a shelter. They will be up and quietly tiptoeing by your tent in the morning, and are unlikely to disturb you when you crawl into your sleeping bag at 7:00pm. If for some reason they do, they will likely apologize for it.

You'll be left "alone" with all the other hikers, the speedy folks are too solitary to spend much time with you.

They'll be too busy hiking to bother you really. In fact, it's like they aren't even there.

JohnnySnook
09-17-2014, 06:07
There really are very few place where no filming is a really a concern. I think a few years a priceless statue was damaged in a park in Andes and that small area of a park is now off limits.

Yes, you have to pull permits etc. but rarely is any area off limits. Even a small film can pump 1 to 3 million directly into a small area over a month of filming. If you plan it around the slower seasons you fill empty hotels, crews eat at restaurants, shop at stores, use your day or two off go exploring, and hire many locals for logistics. We shoot in the Everglades and state parks all the time. Never a worry if done right.

If an small area is really off limits to a decent size crew you can normally get the shots you need with a small crew. The power of hollywood will prevail. If we need to build a small trail close by and then after shooting make it like no one has ever stepped foot in that areas we can. On some of the bigger movies production have paid for exits to built on a major highway so they can close it down for a few nights of filming.

Just saying….

I really don't see a market for a AT race for the masses. If you have an idea that would make people watch please let me know. Deliverance has already been made so.

rafe
09-17-2014, 09:03
How often do you run into record breakers out and about on the trails? Would you say a JPD, Matt Kirk, or Scott Williamson takes something away from the trail?

I have seen one such, JB. The year was 1990 and unfortunately I ran into him twice that year. And apparently some among the class of '89 knew him well and were not fans, either.

I've encountered speed hikers elsewhere; in the HMW in 2010, and just this summer on the northern LT. I can't say it enhances my experience any. Being an older, slower hiker, thinking about speed hikers just makes me feel even older and slower. In the case of the HMW, I didn't actually meet the two hikers involved, but I kept passing their "support crew" who appeared to be the mother of one of the two lads involved.

Frankly, the whole world speed hikes, compared to me. It took a long time for me to learn to just let 'em go and not worry about being slow.

Traveler
09-17-2014, 09:48
I have seen one such, JB. The year was 1990 and unfortunately I ran into him twice that year. And apparently some among the class of '89 knew him well and were not fans, either.

I've encountered speed hikers elsewhere; in the HMW in 2010, and just this summer on the northern LT. I can't say it enhances my experience any. Being an older, slower hiker, thinking about speed hikers just makes me feel even older and slower. In the case of the HMW, I didn't actually meet the two hikers involved, but I kept passing their "support crew" who appeared to be the mother of one of the two lads involved.

Frankly, the whole world speed hikes, compared to me. It took a long time for me to learn to just let 'em go and not worry about being slow.

We did a fairly long day hike last week, about 17 miles or so, 4,400 vertical feet. Moving at our usual late 50s to 60 year old pace. We were passed by several younger folks along the way who were moving really fast. Interestingly, we kept catching up to them and passing when they stopped to rest, but we did not change our pace. We arrived at their announced destination about 20 minutes before the first of the group. Apparently the tortoise still beats the hare. Or perhaps better stated, age and experience will slap the snot out of youth and enthusiasm routinely. :)

<kicking leaves up behind me with my shoe>

Seatbelt
09-17-2014, 13:03
So have no fear, no upcoming race is coming to the AT or any trail. The hordes of runners are not at some phantom starting gate waiting to pounce.
.
This statement is debatable. The HHC (Hoosier Hiker Council) here in central Indiana has 3 trail running events each year and they have to limit the entries to 700 for the 26.2 marathon. They limit the others to even smaller amounts--300-500 per event. It's amazing how quickly the registration is filled up.

Another Kevin
09-17-2014, 13:26
I see trail runners all the time in the Catskills, running up and down stuff that I climb up and down. I don't mind as long as they let me get out of the way. I don't enjoy being elbowed aside on a boulder scramble, but I can think of only once that happened, and the downhill runner was, shall we say, not in control physically (to say nothing of emotionally). I think he'd almost certainly have fallen if he tried to stop.

rocketsocks
09-17-2014, 15:54
Hey, OP (original poster) here. Personally, I think if someone wants to walk and talk on their cell phone all day it wouldn't bother me. If someone wants to run on the trail instead of just walking on the trail that's OK too. Hike your own hike.

The trail belongs to everyone and the trail shouldn't be what one group thinks it should be. I do understand there needs to be limits to maintain some level of decorum like no bicycles. It's just a matter of where you think the line should be drawn.

I still think you could have a race without being too intrusive. Just limit the field to 25.
It's the organized commercialization I object to. 25 runners bunch a support crew, camera crew, production crews, the sons, daughters, and friends of theirs whos daddy shelled out tons of money to back it and thought it would be a great camping trip. logistically speaking, I think this is one of those times when we should be careful what you fish for.

Just Bill
09-20-2014, 00:29
I have seen one such, JB. The year was 1990 and unfortunately I ran into him twice that year. And apparently some among the class of '89 knew him well and were not fans, either.

I've encountered speed hikers elsewhere; in the HMW in 2010, and just this summer on the northern LT. I can't say it enhances my experience any. Being an older, slower hiker, thinking about speed hikers just makes me feel even older and slower. In the case of the HMW, I didn't actually meet the two hikers involved, but I kept passing their "support crew" who appeared to be the mother of one of the two lads involved.

Frankly, the whole world speed hikes, compared to me. It took a long time for me to learn to just let 'em go and not worry about being slow.
Well I wouldn't call the fella you mentioned a fair example:) But yes, I suppose there's always one... Mainly retired I hear, although a fella named Chip is occasionally out and about but proving to keep a seriously low profile.
But yar, let em go...Pat yourself on the back while you're at it too, you're hiking the same trail after all.


We did a fairly long day hike last week, about 17 miles or so, 4,400 vertical feet. Moving at our usual late 50s to 60 year old pace. We were passed by several younger folks along the way who were moving really fast. Interestingly, we kept catching up to them and passing when they stopped to rest, but we did not change our pace. We arrived at their announced destination about 20 minutes before the first of the group. Apparently the tortoise still beats the hare. Or perhaps better stated, age and experience will slap the snot out of youth and enthusiasm routinely. :)

<kicking leaves up behind me with my shoe>
I like to call those hikers "kamikaze" They are always dive bombing out their little missions, but making little progress overall, lol. The tortoise beats the hare is a bit of speed hiking philosophy IMO. Pacing yourself to go all day is a lesson every hiker needs to learn.


This statement is debatable. The HHC (Hoosier Hiker Council) here in central Indiana has 3 trail running events each year and they have to limit the entries to 700 for the 26.2 marathon. They limit the others to even smaller amounts--300-500 per event. It's amazing how quickly the registration is filled up.

That statement was not only debatable, but a bit foolish indeed.:o No organized races on the AT, but you are entirely correct; there are many trail races around the country growing in popularity all the time.

Like it or not, the runners are coming, and their sport is growing. Likely faster than our own...
I for one am happy to have them, if for no other reason than they are a large group of generally paying customers so to speak. While it rarely costs us hikers a dime to take a stroll or overnight trip, most of these races must pay a user fee to the parks. The revenue is needed desperately and little trouble really overall. It's not like they are out every day having a race. Besides, unlike the equestrians in my neck of the woods, they don't trash the trail (much) and are highly unlikely to shat all over the place.

As Mag's article mentioned, FKT's, speed hikes, and runners will only be growing in number. Might as well get used to it. Hopefully people like Kirk, Williamson, and JPD continue to set the standards as the sport develops. Overall the FKT crowd follows a higher standard of conduct than many hikers out there, but still remains a very small subset of folks, despite the recent publicity. For such a small group though, they do draw attention to the trails, inspire runners to get out, and as mentioned; in some form or another bring more revenue to the parks they visit. The AT may not need a ton of help in this regard, but nearly every other trail can use some publicity and money coming in. If that means you'll run into a few folks a year, so be it.

My opinion is likely a bit skewed in all fairness.
Around me, on the popular trails I rarely see a fellow hiker. Housewives with designer dogs, fitness folks in their decked out matching outfits, horses, bikes, and runners outnumber the hikers 50-1. Even on one of the hottest trails around, if you go beyond the 3 mile center loop, you'll only see one or two folks in the eight mile hike despite literally hundreds of cars in the four separate lots that service this area.

Go off the beaten path a bit, and I may pass a lone day hiker, biker, or runner in a full day of hiking.

Go on an overnight trail, I've met more homeless people than backpackers truth be told. I can probably count on one hand the backpackers I've met on local trails in the last few years.

Long trails are a rarity in my area, users of them are almost non-existent. Chicago (Cook County) has one of the largest forest preserve districts in the country, but few overnight users or people looking for more than a five mile walk. I would imagine outside the AT or the few hotspots that this is the case. Use it or lose it is my view. If the runners are the only ones who crave longer trails, bring em on please. The parks are already cash strapped, understaffed, and neglected. The runners are a pretty large, vocal community to have on board.

New England, Denver, Asheville, and parts of the west coast are exceptions to the rule. For the most part, most land is rarely used by hikers. So I get the resistance on the AT and a few popular areas, but overall- it's pretty empty out there... Even on the times I'm lucky enough to hike the AT, it's rare to meet a dozen folks a day, and not that rare to spend a whole day alone. During peak season on the LT last year, I ran into perhaps two dozen hikers, four of them at the Inn @LT. Get past the bubble at the parking lot and even the hotspots aren't so hot really.

And honestly, if you don't want to see people, why not make like Kevin and leave the trail behind. If solitude is what you seek, don't complain you haven't found it walking on the most famous backpacking trail in the world. Trust me, step foot on a Midwestern trail or other relatively unknown trail, and you'll be happy to see a runner too. Step off the trail, and you won't see a soul.

Overall, there's a lot of miles to share, and very few people interested in protecting them. I don't care why you're there, I'm just glad you are.

squeezebox
09-20-2014, 04:21
I don't want to compare this idea to the Tour de France, dozens of team busses, motorcycles, video trucks shutting down roads for 250 km. etc.
It would be more like the Iditeroid particapants required to wear a helmet cam except for sleeping. but still many,many rv's etc at every road crossing. 2-3 per runner. Support people hiking in to set up camp for runners, taking over the whole shelter and area around. closing off sections to runners only.
There are 100 mile runs that don't get video coverage, is the AT any different. Very bad idea.
MHO!

rafe
09-20-2014, 10:26
FB: It's not that speed hikers mess up my "solitude" more than any other kind of hiker. It's the implicit competitiveness that turns me off. But apparently that's just me and Benton's ghost. Lots of folks seem OK with it.

squeezebox
09-20-2014, 11:02
Rafe-- There are plenty of other things that mess up ones solitude. Anything people do will turn competitive. I raced bicycles, don't anymore, but I still enjoy watching. Baseball and football are as interesting as bowling or ping pong to me. So anyway to each their own.
But again the logistics for an AT race are impossible. Shutting down the AT for days at a time. Permits? RV's and trucks ?
Look at the circus Mt. Everest has turned into.

Just Bill
09-23-2014, 21:03
FB: It's not that speed hikers mess up my "solitude" more than any other kind of hiker. It's the implicit competitiveness that turns me off. But apparently that's just me and Benton's ghost. Lots of folks seem OK with it.
The solitude crack wasn't directed at you, or anyone really, just an old argument that slipped in there.

Thru-hiking a trail is an inherently competitive endeavor. Why care about some arbitrary line in the dirt? What makes Springer or Big K the magical stop and start amongst the thousands of mountains in the Appalachian Chain? The 2185 miles itself is a big part of the appeal, and choosing to "take it on" is a competitive statement made by nearly every hiker, and regardless of your motivation or how strong that challenge calls you- if you finish you are proud of yourself despite the fact that it's just some line some guy drew on a map.

We all compete, with ourselves, and even occasionally with the trail if we're honest. Crossing a state line, making a hundred miles- even getting in a weeklong trip regardless of miles is a benchmark we set for ourselves to surpass. Even Tipi Walter's trips are a bit of a competitive challenge to see how long and how completely he can immerse himself in the experience.

Don't get me wrong, competitive jerks exist in everything from hiking to standing in line at McDonalds. That's what humans do. I think what makes it unique, regardless of why you are there or what your goal is- it's you and the trail- against whatever goal you choose to pursue. Solitude, time away, or miles covered it's all the same really. We give ourselves a personal challenge, even if the challenge is as simple and noble as walking peacefully.

What is unique, and one of the secrets in my opinion, is that a truly successful speed hike has nothing to do with competition, with anything, or anyone. When it goes really well, there is no effort at all. Some of us can stroll town away, some of us have to move fast to leave it behind. But if all goes right, we both end up in the same place.

I can't speak for everyone, but I know I didn't follow Anish or Matt's hike and say I want to beat them. I never admired Williamson for his speed.
I follow along and think- I want that completeness of connection for myself. The record is just the map for many of us, no less so than the white blazes point the way for many of you. For now at least, I believe, very few who square up against either man made line in the sand are in competition with anyone. For any who follow the path, the connection to the land is the goal, and many trails lead the way.

When the hiker transcends the body, stills the mind, connects completely with the land, and flows down the trail; I like to think Benton's Ghost smiles.

Worst case Avery's Ghost gives you a nod for putting in a good day's work.

Sacchoromyces
05-07-2015, 20:13
Buncha spoil-sports. Most of the folks complaining about the idea wouldn't likely run for fun anyhow.

Trail running as sport is a blast. That said, the best events have grown organically from very grass roots starts. I also think it's a good idea.

RockDoc
05-15-2015, 18:50
I've run the JFK50 twice and with 1200 runners on the AT between Crampton Gap and Weaverton. It's a pretty dicey proposition, and there have been many dangerous falls, often while runners are trying to pass others on slippery slabby rocks. There's just not room for so many people at one time. You end up just holding position in a long conga line, for hours until you get to the C&O canal section where then there's plenty of room and a safer surface as well. One year I did the JFK on Saturday, then hiked PA to HF in three easy days starting on the following Monday. It was strange being alone on the trail that over a thousand had run a few days before...

Linesman
05-16-2015, 10:13
not that kind of race, rocdoc

Francis Sawyer
05-16-2015, 10:39
Great idea. Then the whole trail could be paved and food concessions could be put up every couple of miles. All of timber could be sold. Don't forget hotels, lots of them. Casinos! Yes ! A bunch of those. Then we'd need some shopping centers....... A race. Dumb idea. Everybody on here is dumber for having seen it. May god have mercy on your soul.

Tipi Walter
05-16-2015, 13:39
oh oh, could there be a TV show too? with challenges and such? and some fear factor eating gross stuff. and who would host? any volunteers?

seriously though, i think this is a horrible idea, and hope nothing like it ever sees the light of day. can you imagine being out on a hike and told "we're filming, you can't hike this section today"


If you are in such a dadburned hurry, why are you walking?


I think it's a bad idea, with all the film crews and everything else they would bring along it would turn the AT in to a Circus.


While some of these posts may simply be armchair musings, for the record, the Appalachian Trail Comprehensive Plan states,

Management actions will discourage activities that would degrade the Trailís natural and
cultural resources or social values, such as use by groups or organizations involved in
promotion, sponsorship, or participation in spectator events or competitive activities, or
by groups which by their size or commercial interest generate use which is inconsistent
with the concept of a simple footpath.

Laurie P.
ATC


In that several people have posted thinking this is a swell idea, I guess it's only fair for someone to be allowed to say they think it's a really horrible one.


Um, no. I'm totally against it.


very very bad idea!


Thumbs down on this one. For me (and for the dude who dreamed up the AT in the first place) the trail is a refuge from competition. There are enough venues for competition on this planet. Let's leave the AT out of it.


Rafe took the words right out of my mouth. There is no rhyme or reason for something like this. When I go hiking I want to get away from it all. I bury my phone in the bottom of my pack and don't care if I can get a signal. The only exception is in the event of an emergency.


Hey, OP (original poster) here. Personally, I think if someone wants to walk and talk on their cell phone all day it wouldn't bother me. If someone wants to run on the trail instead of just walking on the trail that's OK too. Hike your own hike.

The trail belongs to everyone and the trail shouldn't be what one group thinks it should be. I do understand there needs to be limits to maintain some level of decorum like no bicycles. It's just a matter of where you think the line should be drawn.

I still think you could have a race without being too intrusive. Just limit the field to 25.

What's amazing to me is that Whiteblaze actually has a sub-forum dedicated to Trail Running and Speed Hiking. Next we'll have a Drone Powered GoPro Trail Picture sub-forum and then the Southern Appalachian Horsemen will need their Trail Riding subforum etc. But don't worry Jack Tarlin, the many quotes above are against speed running the App Trail.

And to Chair-man's point---HYOH is often used to allow all sorts of behavior as in your words---"If someone wants to run on the trail . . . that's ok too. Hike your own hike."

Where does it end? What if one group wants to carry tubas the whole way? How about rolling wheel barrows full of ice and beer to Maine? How about a strong horse lobby wanting it opened to horses? ATV enthusiasts would love to get in on the action. The speed hiking lobby now wants to use the AT for a competition run?

Sometimes the HYOH mantra has to get thrown out and discarded. In my opinion the only group that matters here is the Foot Trail Only crowd, as per LaurieP's suggestion. Read it again---


Management actions will discourage activities that would degrade the Trailís natural and
cultural resources or social values, such as use by groups or organizations involved in
promotion, sponsorship, or participation in spectator events or competitive activities, or
by groups which by their size or commercial interest generate use which is inconsistent
with the concept of a simple footpath.

Laurie P.

Amen, pass the GU energy gels and the pistachio nuts.

Sarcasm the elf
05-16-2015, 13:54
Great idea. Then the whole trail could be paved and food concessions could be put up every couple of miles. All of timber could be sold. Don't forget hotels, lots of them. Casinos! Yes ! A bunch of those. Then we'd need some shopping centers....... A race. Dumb idea. Everybody on here is dumber for having seen it. May god have mercy on your soul.
Francis, as an aside regarding your Adam Sandler/Billy Madison reference. My sister is getting her masters in education, when she graduates I am getting her one of these stamps to help speed up grading papers.:D:banana
http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/705380/82732539.jpeg

Just Bill
05-16-2015, 14:52
Can you get that in an emoticon?

4eyedbuzzard
05-16-2015, 16:14
Francis, as an aside regarding your Adam Sandler/Billy Madison reference. My sister is getting her masters in education, when she graduates I am getting her one of these stamps to help speed up grading papers.:D:banana
http://cdn.ebaumsworld.com/mediaFiles/picture/705380/82732539.jpegYou might want to ask the stamp maker to spell "response" correctly before having it made. Otherwise, it likely wouldn't reflect well on someone with a Masters in Education if it were ever used.

MuddyWaters
05-16-2015, 18:07
I just would like to see another solo legitimate record attempt we could follow for a while. Thats better than a race.

Just Bill
05-16-2015, 19:49
I just would like to see another solo legitimate record attempt we could follow for a while. Thats better than a race.

Regarding your wish- the magic 8 ball says "signs point to yes"

MuddyWaters
05-16-2015, 20:23
The non-legitimate attempts are pretty interesting too btw.
While they last.

Sarcasm the elf
05-16-2015, 20:47
You might want to ask the stamp maker to spell "response" correctly before having it made. Otherwise, it likely wouldn't reflect well on someone with a Masters in Education if it were ever used.

The photo is just an example I snagged from the internet. If I ordered one it would be spelled correctly.

Sarcasm the elf
05-16-2015, 20:51
The non-legitimate attempts are pretty interesting too btw.
While they last.

Jester's illegitimate attempt is still my favorite:

http://omails.blogspot.com/2011/10/shane-odonnell-future-cdt-speed-record.html

The best part was that a lot of folks read it and didn't realize it was satire.