Former Charlottesvillian smashes AT speed record
Former Charlottesville resident Jennifer Pharr Davis has just broken the record for thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail by covering the 2,180-mile mountain-top footpath in 46 and a half days. For those doing the math, that's nearly 47 miles a day. Every day.
This whole speed-along-the-AT idea reached critical mass two decades ago thanks to a Liberty University professor named David Horton; and until Pharr's July 31 finish the previous record was held by New Hampshire resident Andrew Thompson, who in 2005 required nearly one extra day for the Maine-to-Georgia journey.
Davis, who now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, undertook charitable and running activities while living in Charlottesville about five years ago. Last year, she penned a book, Becoming Odyssa: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail, about the time she spent 57 days to cover the length of the Trail. No organization actually keeps records of AT speed records, but the run-assisting entourages– this one led by Davis' husband–typically operate on the honor system.