23 April 2012

Jennifer Pharr Davis: 'I Wanted The Ultimate Challenge', Hiking The Appalachian Trail

This is Jennifer Pharr Davis' philosophy on adventuring which got her across 14 different States when she hiked the Appalachian trail in North America. She completed the infamous trail that starts at Springer Mountain in Georgia and ends at Mount Katahdin in Maine last summer and set a new speed record time of 46 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes.

The Appalachia Trail route from Maine to Georgia. Jennifer started
in Maine and hiked southbound to break the speed record 
'We were exploring what people thought was possible, for what was possible on the Appalachian Trail,' explains Pharr Davis. For over twenty years, completion of the Trail had been kept to an elite club of Ultra Runners, who typically covered 30 - 50 miles per day in 11-13 hour periods. But Jennifer has been celebrated for tackling the Trail at her own pace.

She started everyday at 4:45am and hiked an average pace of 47 miles each day in 16 hour stretches. Starting in Maine in mid-June 2011, she took 46 days to cover the 2,181 Trail and hiked straight into the record books.

As a hiker, and not an ultra runner, Jennifer attracted a significant amount of criticism, mostly saying she couldn't keep up to the pace set by previous runners. But, like The Wild Geese, she went her own way. And, like The Wild Geese, achieved something remarkable.

But Jennifer shares other similarities with The Wild Geese. When asked about the appeal of the Appalachian Trail:

The Wild Geese never saw adventures in Ireland after 1691, but they always dreamed of returning. The feeling of accomplishing such a feat as Jennifer has in a place she calls home must be incomparable to anything else. Congratulations to Jennifer.

No comments:

Post a Comment