Yesterday, Heather “Anish” Anderson completed her southbound hike of the Appalachian Trail, and set the unsupported speed record. The trail spans 2,189 miles, which Anderson covered in 54 days, 7 hours and 48 minutes, averaging 42 miles per day.
Anderson is currently the PCT unsupported record holder as well, and is the first person to ever hold both records at the same time. Matthew Kirk set the previous unsupported record, completing the hike in less than 59 days.
Another hiker, Scott Jurek, set the “supported” thru-hike record last month. A supported hiker doesn’t carry much gear, and receives assistance along the way. An unsupported, or self-supported, hiker carries their own equipment for the entire length of the trail.