Two Hikers Set Speed-Record in the Adirondacks

Hikers Mike Jock and Lucas Wear have set a new speed record for reaching the top of all of the high peaks in the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York. The two men braved long days on the trail, poor weather, and challenging routes to achieve the new mark, which shaved more than 14.5 hours off the old record. And while the Adirondacks aren’t nearly as tall and rugged as say the Rockies, they still gave these two personal trainers from New York all the challenge that they wanted, and then some.

The two men wrapped up their endeavor on July 4, completing their third attempt at the speed record. Their goal was to top the 2009 effort of Jan Wellford and Cory Delavalle, who completed their hike in 7 days, 14 hours, and 15 minutes. When the clock stopped for Jock and Wear, their time came in at 6 days, 23 hours, and 45 minutes. In achieving that mark they hiked more than 212 miles (341 km) and racked up over 70,000 feet (21,336 meters) of vertical gain.

The third member of the team was Mike King, who filmed and recorded much of the journey for a forthcoming adventure film of the speed record. King, Jock, and Wear are partners in a personal training business based in New York City, where the three of them train diligently for their opportunities to head out to the wilderness. All three go hiking and backpacking when ever they can, although that can be a challenge when living in such a massive urban environment. In order to prepare for their outdoor adventures however, they focus their workouts on strength training, as well as mobility and joint work. Those are the same things they stress to their clients, while also encouraging them to get outdoors. The three men also organize wilderness escapes for people as well.

While the speed record was a major goal for Jock and Wear, they also used their expedition to raise funds for Dubin Breast Center at Mountain Sinai Hospital. According to a profile of the two from Backpacker magazine, Jock’s mother was treated for breast cancer at the clinic. They set aside $20,000 of the funds that they raised to assist those who don’t have insurance with the costs of battling that disease.

The Backpacker story linked to above has a day-by-day breakdown of what it was like for them out on the trail. For many of us, the tendency is to believe that a mountain of “just” 4000 feet in height isn’t particularly difficult, but if you string 46 of them together, it starts to add up quick. That’s what these two men were dealing with while on the adventure and keeping that in mind helps to put their achievement in perspective.

Kraig Becker