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Hiker sets (unofficial) trail record

Jennifer Pharr Davis set off down the Appalachian Trail in Maine on June 16. Jennifer Pharr Davis set off down the Appalachian Trail in Maine on June 16. (Barbara Pharr via Associated Press)
Associated Press / August 3, 2011

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NEW YORK - Jennifer Pharr Davis set the unofficial record for the fastest hike of the entire Appalachian Trail, yet she said she never ignored the beauty of the 2,180-mile trek from Maine to Georgia.

She saw bears, moose, and porcupines, and just about every sunrise and sunset during her journey, which lasted 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes. She left Mount Katahdin in Maine on June 16.

“Fastest is so relative,’’ Davis said yesterday after estimating she had slept about 30 of the past 48 hours. “My average was 3 miles per hour. So what are you not going to see at 3 miles per hour?’’

She emerged from the woods Sunday with her husband by her side and walked to the granite slab on Springer Mountain in Georgia at the trail’s southern end. There, cheering, were her parents and dozens of other friends and family members.

She had gone through five pairs of hybrid hiking and running shoes while averaging about 47 miles a day.

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