Just 3 hours. Ultimately, a measly three hours is what separated Scott Jurek from a record setting triumph and a 46-day failure. Luckily, triumph was on Jurek’s side on Sunday as the decorated ultrarunner summited Mount Katahdin in Maine at 2:05PM on July 12. Jurek beat the previous record set by Jennifer Pharr Davis in 2011 by 3 hours and 13 minutes.
Once at the top, Jurek stopped, took in a view of the valley below, and in true winner’s circle fashion—popped a bottle of Korbel champagne. Smiling and celebrating Jurek simply tweeted “Cheers!!!”
However, the road from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin, Maine was no champagne lap for the veteran ultrarunner.
Complete with a stomach bug, a banged up knee, and strained quad muscle, Jurek’s road was as rocky as they come. Early on in the race, Jurek severely tweaked his knee while crossing the Smoky Mountains, which left him limping along and ultimately forced him to adapt his running style for the remainder of the trek. Even members of Jurek’s crew had their doubts as to whether or not he’d beat the record in his condition. However, during the final 72 hours, Jurek completed three all night treks in a row to keep himself in the running for the record.
And now, the record is his. 46 days, 3 hours, and 13 minutes. Congratulations Scott!