The Denver Post took a closer look at Scott Jurek in the wake of his remarkable speed record set on the Appalachian Trail. Jurek finished the 2,190-mile journey Sunday in a time of 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes, taking about three hours off the previous record held by Jennifer Pharr Davis. After starting strong, Jurek had doubts late in the journey about whether he could eclipse Davis’ time.
“It was a struggle to stay upright,” Jurek told the Denver Post. “Sometimes I’d feel like I had some neurological disease. Some nights I was sleepwalking and running. It really was a combination of running, power walking and hiking. You’re just somebody who’s upright and moving forward.”
Jurek had said that the Appalachian Trail attempt was his “masterpiece” in a legendary ultrarunning career that included seven Western States 100 wins, two Badwater 135 wins and numerous other records and accomplishments.
The Denver Post asked him what’s next.
“I’m at that point in my career where I’m not motivated so much by racing, competing against other runners,” Jurek told the Denver Post. “I’ve been doing this for 21 years now. I’d love to get my American record back in the 24-hour (run), see if I could set a world record. That would be one of the last things I’d love to do.
“There are other adventure runs I’d like to do, and that’s something that really piques my interest. I’ll never stop running. It just becomes harder to have that motivation to push the body to the edge like I have. I’m in a good place. I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved. It’s hard when you still physically have the capability to do a few more things. It’s like, ‘When do you call it good?’ I’m at peace, and I don’t feel like I have to do more.”
Not everyone thought Jurek’s trail record was a good thing. He was also cited by rangers for having a lack of permits, littering and illegally conducting a commercial event on the Appalachian Trail.
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