Woman Attempts to Set Appalachian Trail Hiking Record!

Hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in 47 days!?! Jennifer Pharr Davis, an athlete, writer, and motivational speaker is setting out to do just that this summer, hiking all 2,180 miles from Maine to Georgia in record time.

She’s thru hiked over 9,000 miles of long distance trails, including the AT (twice already!), the Bibbulmun Track in Western Australia, and many others.

Personally I like to really enjoy the scenery when I hike, take pictures, and take the time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the wilderness…but for Jennifer her goal is hike/run an average of 47 miles a day for 47 straight days!

What do you think about Jennifer attempting to break this thru hiking record? I wonder what Bill Bryson and Dennis Blanchard would think if they encountered a distance runner on their AT hikes?

Best of luck to her this summer!

Check out the press release below:

Contact: Hilary Hutcheson
(503) 828-7074 [email protected]

Jennifer Pharr Davis Sets Sights on the Appalachian Trail’s Overall Speed Record

Jennifer Pharr Davis
Jennifer Pharr Davis is attempting to hike the Appalachian Trail in 47 days!

April 7th, 2011—Asheville, NC—Jennifer Pharr Davis, current holder of the Women’s Speed Record for the fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail, is headed back to the AT, hoping to make history by hiking away with the overall speed record.

In June, Davis will hike from Mount Katahdin, Maine to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Her goal is to hike the entire 2,180-mile faster than the current overall speed record of 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes.

To break the record, Davis will hike an average of 47 miles a day, camping along the trail. 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 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. While Davis attempts the overall speed record this summer, Becoming Odyssa will be published in a paperback edition. 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’ AT speed record challenge is also sponsored by a number of hiking and outdoor brands including, Suunto, Salomon and Lole. Davis is available for interviews leading up to the record attempt in June. To set something up with her, contact Hilary Hutcheson at [email protected].

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.



  1. iLoveMySleep says:

    47 miles a day! This feels more like running than hiking to me ?
    I prefer taking it more slow, but I wish Jennifer good luck and look forward to hearing more about her challenge.

  2. DSD says:

    She certainly has found her passion and is listening to that which is calling her… When we each do this, that is the most wonderful way of living our lives… Good for Jen!

  3. Hiking Lady says:

    Section hiking the AT or even hiking parts like the Smoky Mountains would be amazing! Go for it!

  4. Luv Hiking says:

    Cool story. I wanna hike the AT someday. Maybe not a thru hike though. Just a bit at a time!

  5. Bill Walker says:

    Wow, I don’t know if I’m envious; but sure as heck impressed. I struggled to make it to Mount Katahdin in 171 days, and could never do it again even as fast as that. She must have an exceptional background.

    The only person to compare her to is Scott Williamson, the epic PCT hiker. Williamson broke the supported record of 49 days, while unsupported. He’s done yo-yos to Canada and back–you name it. I described him in my PCT narrative as the greatest long-distance hiker of all time. But if this woman can pull this off–and that’s a big IF–then she belongs in the annals alongside Scott Williamson. And she’s younger, so who knows what she does next.

    Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest trail

  6. Nina says:

    What’s funny is that Jennifer has said that she experienced more scenery and animals when she did her record-breaking hike several years ago than when she did her traditional thru-hike–mainly because she was up earlier and and stopped later, and was hiking alone, i.e., not making a lot of noise talking, and focusing instead on her surroundings rather than conversation with other hikers.

    I think she will have no problem breaking the record. Go, Jen!

  7. Go For It Jen says:

    I think that it is great Jen is going out there and trying to break her record! You go girl!!

  8. Amanda says:

    This is more then a challenge then exploring the landscape probably she will made it , because she has great potential and the rest is only ambition !!!

  9. Hiking Lady says:

    Cool website, Rita! Thanks for sharing. It is amazing how childhood travels can inspire us! I’m grateful to my parents too for instilling a sense of adventure in me! 🙂

  10. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Camper Glamis! Yeah if I had the chance to thru hike the AT multiple times, then setting a new record would be a fun accomplishment! I am going to read her book about when she hiked the AT the first time…I understand she’s a very thoughtful and introspective woman.

  11. I think she’s planning to break a record since she’s been there already why not, right? As for me if it were my first time, I would enjoy the scenery and relax every chance I get, like what you said. The peaceful environment is what we need every now and then. 🙂

  12. rita wechter says:

    47 miles a day! Wow, that’s hiking. Good luck Jennifer.
    If you would like to read about hikes and travels in other parts of the US follow my blog at onedayinamerica.blogspot.com

  13. Donna says:

    Hats off to Jennifer for trying 47 miles a day. I’m with you Hiking Lady, in that I like to stop and enjoy the scenery and take photographs.

  14. Hiking Lady says:

    I hear ya, Gary! She’s an ultra marathoner/Ironman athlete, so hopefully she can do it!

  15. Gary says:

    Wow! I can’t even imagine running 47 miles a day on flat land, much less on the AT. Should be interesting.

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