Working hard we’ll bet, but not as hard as young Joe McConaughy. On Thursday, Joe completed his “ultra-marathon” and summited Maine’s Katahdin, setting a record in TRAVERSING THE ENTIRE Appalachian Trail – 2190 miles – in just 45 1/2 days. Yes, that’s an average of 48 miles a day.
We heard Joe’s breaking story on the local news late last week. Then last night, we heard levelheaded Joe’s interview on the CBC (https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/09/01/grad-breaks-appalachian-trail-record-with-final-push-sleepless-hours/dyTBwcA1pjiaUIRUvfiAQO/story.html), His drive and capabilities are phenomenal. And refreshingly, so is his humility, groundedness and absence of a big ego.
Last Thursday on Katahdin’s Baxter Peak (photo below) it was hailing, and the temperature was +38oF plus a 75 mph wind. Joe completed the last 111 miles in 37 non-stop non-sleep hours.
Two months ago we hiked up the same Abol Trail to Baxter Peak but in much, much more pleasant July conditions.
Here is ‘Boston Globe’ coverage of the driven – and humble – young man’s miraculous accomplishment, Don’t miss all the photos! Jim & Megan
“He finished with 37 straight hours of running and climbing, soaked by rain, whipped by wind and sleet, inside a cloud that lay upon the mountain.
“Former Boston College track and cross-country runner Joe McConaughy, known by the trail name Stringbean, clutched his girlfriend at the rugged summit and silently wept, his mind empty, at the end of what appears to be the fastest known traverse of the Appalachian Trail.
“Then he screamed into the fog, let out an extended ‘Ahhhhh,’ and summed up: ‘That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.’
“Traveling with no outside help along the way, McConaughy completed the 2,190-mile trail from Springer Mountain, Ga., to the top of Maine’s highest peak in 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes. That’s an average of about 48 miles a day.”