I heard a few rumblings about this a few months ago, but wasn't sure if it was true or not. But now comes confirmation from a press release that Jennifer Pharr Davis will indeed attempt to break the Appalachian Trail’s Overall Speed Record this June. To break the record, she will have to hike the entire 2,180-mile trail in less than 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes.
Davis is the current holder of the Women’s Speed Record for the fastest thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
To break the overall record, Davis will have to hike an average of 47 miles a day! She will have trail support from legendary ultra-runner and former AT and Pacific Crest Trail speed record holder David Horton, as well as veteran AT expert Warren Doyle and Davis’ husband, Brew Davis. Her record-breaking fastpacking career and influence in the industry is remarkable, given that she picked up the sport just six years ago.
“Whenever I’m not on a trail, I am being pulled back to it. Hiking is not only something I enjoy, it’s my passion, my career and my calling,” says Davis. “It’s so fulfilling that I have people I love supporting this next speed challenge. I hope to elevate awareness of the sport and the outdoors, and to get more people involved in sharing a similar passion.”
Davis wrote a memoir, Becoming Odyssa, sharing an intimate look at how thru hiking can help shape a person in many ways. The book, released in the fall of 2010, details how Davis, as an inexperienced hiker fresh out of college, tackled a steep learning curve on the Appalachian Trail, learning about herself and falling in love with the sport along the way. The book has been applauded by seasoned thru hikers, but also inspires adventure, strength and discovery on a broader scale. Davis recently wrote two guide books, Best Hikes Near Charlotte and Best Easy Day Hikes Charlotte. She is the owner of the Blue Ridge Hiking Company, which offers coaching, guiding and public speaking services.
Jennifer has hiked more than 9,000 miles of long-distance trails and has trekked on six continents. In addition to the Women’s speed record on the AT, Jennifer also holds endurance records on the Long Trail and the Bibbulmun Track. She has also completed Ironman Florida and multiple road marathons and 50k and 50 mile trail marathons. Jennifer lives in North Carolina with her husband and hiking partner, Brew Davis.