July 25, 2011—Asheville, NC—Jennifer Pharr Davis, current holder of the Women’s Speed Record for the fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, is in the homestretch toward making history by hiking away with the overall speed record.
In June, Davis began her campaign from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Her goal is to hike the entire 2,181-mile trail faster than the current overall speed record of 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes. She is on track to reach this goal on Sunday, July 31st, 2011.
To break the record, Davis has been hiking an average of 47 miles a day, camping along the trail and sometimes leaving the trail briefly for showers and hotel beds. She has had consistent 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 Jennifer Pharr 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. Becoming Odyssa was published in a paperback edition this summer during Davis’ latest record attempt. 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 HikesNear Charlotte and Best Easy Day Hikes Charlotte. She is the owner of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, offering coaching, guiding and public speaking services.
Davis is also sponsored by a number of outdoor brands including Salomon and Diamond Brand Outdoors. Davis will be attending the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market trade show in Salt Lake City August 4-7 where she will have a book signing sponsored by Salomon. And, she is available for interviews at any time. Contact Hilary Hutcheson at email@example.com.
Jennifer Pharr Davis is an athlete, writer, motivational speaker and the current Women’s Record Holder for the fastest Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. She is attempting the overall AT speed record this summer. 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 Long Trail and 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. www.blueridgehikingco.com
Photo credit: Christoffer Sjostrom