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.