We’ve seen a number of people attempt a new speed record on the 2200-mile long Appalachian Trail over the years with some putting in impressive performance while lowering the mark, while others came up a bit short. The latest to make that attempt is none other than Harvey Lewis, a high school history teacher who is doing anything but resting on his laurels during his summer break.
On May 30, Harvey set out to break the speed record for the fastest end-to-end hike of the AT. That record is currently held by Joe McConaughy and stands at AT 45 days, 12 hours, and 15 minutes. The difference between them however is that McConaughy, who goes by the trail name “Stringbean,” was actually self-supported the entire way. Lewis has a support crew with him, which is being led by his 78-year old father. The elder Lewis has mainly been assisting with food preparation and navigation. There is also a documentary film crew following along as well, recording Harvey’s efforts on the trail.
So far, Lewis has been doing quite well. According to the interactive page set up to follow his record-setting attempt, he is currently about 73% done with the hike having completed 1626 miles (2616 km) as of this writing. That means he’s averaging roughly 46.5 miles per day, which is a pretty impressive feat considering he’s been out on the trail for more than a month at this point.
Based on his speed and current condition, Lewis’ current finishing date is expected to be somewhere around July 14. If that number is accurate that means he’ll be cutting it very close to McConaughy’s record and it will likely come down to just a few hours when its all said and done.
You can find out more about Harvey, his speed record attempt, and even the gear he is using on the interactive webpage sponsored by the folks at RoadID. You can also get updates on his progress and see how he is doing over the next ten days or so as he approaches the finish line. At this point, I’d say it’s going to be very, very close. Stay tuned for more updates.