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AT Speed Record Attempt
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Joshua Gilbert
(joshcgil2) - F

Locale: Seattle
speed and erosion on 08/12/2008 17:34:15 MDT Print View

I'm sure that running does increase impact (what is it force= mass x acceleration or something?) what I was really responding to was the idea that trail running should be banned because of the damage it does to the trail, and the wish for bodily harm on trail runners expressed on another thread.

I don't think you can ban a user group who is following the law (being self propelled), just based on their speed.

Jesse Glover
(hellbillylarry) - F

Locale: southern appalachians
Running and erosion on 08/12/2008 18:22:10 MDT Print View

So the theory is running causes more erosion per step than walking? Don't you take bigger strides when running causing less steps per mile and possibly less or equal the amount of erosion as an average hiker?

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: AT Speed Record Attempt on 08/12/2008 19:21:20 MDT Print View

LOL. How can the AT have a speed record when the "track" changes so often. The distance changes due to trail relocations. How about weather? In real running, not only are distances carefully measured, too much wind voids a record.

Maybe like baseball records, you put an asterisk by the number. That'll work.

Possibly you could compute a 'milesHiked / Days' ratio and compare to others. For that matter, you could hike a Manhattan block in a loop until you do 2,175 miles. If you do it in 46 days, then you have the AT Speed Record with an asterisk that notes that you were not actually on the AT.

I wish Karl good luck. We'll break the news to him about the asterisk after he completes his journey.

Earlier John Muir was mentioned. He is asterisk-less. The pure essence of wilderness adventure was why he went walking.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 08/12/2008 19:37:53 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 01/18/2015 18:56:29 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Hiking styles on 08/13/2008 12:30:20 MDT Print View

Elizabeth Rothman wrote:

“Chad, your responses especially seem to reflect that you have taken this all a bit personally. Relax. I believe you, he and all of us have a right to do what we want as long as it doesn't damage the resource or disturb anyone else. I reserve the right to find some choices personally distasteful, and to discuss the choice and my response in a civil manner with mature fellow hikers (of any age).”

Sorry I wasn’t able to respond to this sooner but I was out backpacking. Elizabeth you are right that I am taking this personally. However I am not questioning yours or Brett’s philosophy on backpacking.

What I am doing is disagreeing with the way you two have stubbornly shown complete intolerance for other people’s opinions and style of hiking. That in it of itself is bigotry and I take bigotry very personally.

I do not care how fast you hike or run on a trail. I don’t care if you’re supported by a team of people or you’re doing the whole trail without even a food drop. As many people in this discussion have stated HYOH and have fun doing it!

I’ve backpacked various distances and various speeds; all of my trips where fun and I enjoyed myself greatly. Take this last trip for example; I hiked 90 miles in four days and had a great time! Some may say that my mileage was fast, some may say that it was average. But for you to say that I did it wrong and need to do it like you in order to do it right and gain enjoyment out of my hike is simply mind boggling and incredibly self centered.

I am sorry if you think that this discussion was not done in a civil manor. I in no way attacked you or Brett personally. I simply voiced my disagreement for your attitude towards different hiking styles.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: Hiking styles on 08/13/2008 13:52:19 MDT Print View

" Take this last trip for example; I hiked 90 miles in four days..." Chad, you are a pokey hiker - Just kidding.

Sometimes I am not satisfied with my own style. Often I will hike the same route, but camp at different places, hike in reverse order, or change the pace. I have hiked areas with a sense of urgency to make my miles that I later go back and slowly savor. Those great camping spots that I passed just after lunch are fit into the next hike.

I have come to think of the fast trips as scouting trips for the real hike later. HYOH, but hike!

derek parsons
(neurotek) - F

Locale: ontario
Re: speed and erosion on 08/20/2008 22:48:49 MDT Print View

quote "I'm sure that running does increase impact (what is it force= mass x acceleration or something?) what I was really responding to was the idea that trail running should be banned because of the damage it does to the trail, and the wish for bodily harm on trail runners expressed on another thread." end quote

i wouldn't even give him that. i posted in the other thread and have the same sentiments as others.

i trail run and backpack. i generally always backpack a trail first before running (to see the site, enjoy the solitude, and menatlly map the trail so when i run it, i have an idea of the layout). when i run, i carry less weigth, my shoes weigh less, my strides are longer, and i leave less of an imprint. when i backpack the weight of the pack, boots, etc shortens my stride and each step is heavier leaving a larger imprint (and scattering more debris, hence, trail erosion).

i've maitained trails as well and do not see any evidence that trail running is more damaging to the trail than backpacking.

trails will erode. to argue trail running impacts the trail more/less than backpacking is almost a moot point. they both do. and the comment that somehow atvs will be allowed in the at in relation to allowing trail running is pure jokes. i'm not even sure how you'd begin to even connect the two.

i didn't know there was such a disconnect between some backpackers and trail runners south of the border. generally on trails on ontario, alberta, and bc; you'll see both and we all seem to get along. sure i've heard the comments from quasi-luddites that when i'm running a trail i'm missing out (i didn't know nature had a speed limit, other than the speed of light), but generally when i tell i've already backpacked it, seen the sites, and wanted to enjoy the trail differently my second time around, they're normally stumped.

Edited by neurotek on 08/20/2008 22:50:17 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
AT Speed Record Attempt - FINISHED on 08/22/2008 08:32:36 MDT Print View

It's all over, folks. A lower leg injury on day 6 has done it. See

Timothy Hortberg
(thortberg) - F

Locale: Midwest
AT Speed Record on 08/22/2008 09:33:28 MDT Print View

Karl actually made it to day 15 before he made the wise decision to pause and evaluate his condition. He has tendonitis caused by compensating for the pain of trench foot.
He is taking it day by day and hopes to get back on the trail soon. He is optimistic and plans on finishing even though he most likely will not get the record. (paraphrased from the Whereskarl website) I think Karl is making wise choices and I wish him the best of luck in finishing this year and with his next attempt.

I have read the posts so far and really find the negative posts disheartening.

I think we should be more supportive of everyone that is chasing their dreams. I know I would like the support.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: AT Speed Record on 08/24/2008 14:02:16 MDT Print View

I say more power to him for following a dream and getting out to do it, success or not. Having simply tried, having pushed as hard as he could, is more than many will ever experience.

So what's everyone's take on Andrew Skurka then? He seems to be somewhat of a hero around here (for the record, I have nothing but the utmost respect for what he does as a backpacker and an athlete, if I could only do half as much...). He hikes pretty fast in my book, does lectures, slide shows, runs a nice website that chronicles his deeds, definitely has a fairly active PR campaign going...Yet I've seen no criticism of him so far.

This idea I've seen come up that if you tell anyone about what you've done then you're somehow spoiling it, that your motives are now less pure, is plain silly. If you want to share, share. If that's not you, no problem- don't. Nobody has to visit websites or pay any attention to what these people are doing...Most people don't.

I'm an artist (I see this as the same)- I create things because it's what I do...Now what's the point if I horde my work, if I never share? I would make art regardless, but what if my creations will inspire others? Make someone happy? Make a child go "Wow!". Does it hurt to try? Am I selfish because I admit that it feels great when someone tells you that they love what you do?
The same goes for all these hikers- if long and slow inspires you, great...

But please don't shoot down those that do it different. They are all a source of inspiration to me and many others, inspiration to run harder, eat better, train more, and ultimately, become a better, stronger person.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 08/25/2008 17:54:42 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 01/18/2015 19:02:14 MST.

Randall Miller
(speyguy) - F

Locale: Cascadia on 08/25/2008 20:42:40 MDT Print View

"nah, i'm sure if john muir was around now he'd have a myspace, facebook, and a web page at you'd log onto his web page to get an online journal of all the cool things john muir has done lately, and how thin of a blanket and how suprisingly few hardtack biscuits he carried on his latest super-hard, super-rewarding, super-extreme hike john muir did to experience his true john-muir-ness............."

Now that right there is funny! I wanna go hiking with Dave.

Dave, if you're ever in Portland, at least let me buy you a beer.

A. B.
Ironic? on 09/04/2008 15:08:41 MDT Print View

Hmmm. Complain about someone commercializing the sport on a website that commercializes the sport.

Brian Turner
(Phreak) - F
Re: AT Speed attempt on 10/08/2008 20:31:53 MDT Print View

I typically find people who lack the ability to do a speed hike are the ones who complain about them the most. Why do you care how someone else is hiking? Focus on your own hike.

Hiking the trail in 47 days is not a big deal, it's a HUGE deal.

Shawn Basil
(Bearpaw) - F

Locale: Southeast
AT Speed Record Attempt on 10/09/2008 17:33:52 MDT Print View

There is a strong chance Karl Meltzer will be back to attempt the record again within the next year or two, this time with firsthand experience on how to maximize mileage.

A start without massive rainfall to swell creeks and swamp the trail wouldn't hurt either. Karl learned some very good lessons and dealt with a fairly significant injury that cost him a full non-hiking day and still finished in 47 days. If he were only out to grandstand for the record, he wouldn't have bothered finishing at all. He has my respect.

Karl Meltzer offerred up his take on his hike here:

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Ironic? on 10/09/2008 18:59:08 MDT Print View

Evan, very interesting point. Thanks for educating us.