Plenty of people in the Pacific Northwest qualify as hard-core outdoors enthusiasts, but Seattleite Joe McConaughy takes it to a whole new level.
He’s been speed-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. It sounds (somewhat) normal until you learn that he’s attempting to complete the whole thing in less than 59 days. That’s 2,663 miles of walking, running, jogging and, at times, limping, all in just under two months.
What’s the rush? The Seattle Times reports the current record, albeit unofficial, is held by Californian Josh Garrett, who spent a whopping 59 days, 8 hours and 14 minutes on the trail. McConaughy took on the challenge of breaking the record to raise money for families of cancer patients — his own second cousin died of neuroblastoma in January 2012 at age two. His campaign has already raised $13,000 for Cancer Care.
“As tough as it is, I just focus on getting from one point to the next,” he said in an interview with the newspaper. “And I think mentally it does go by quicker.”
McConaughy started his trek on June 18, about 15 feet from the Mexican border in Campo, Calif. He crossed the Columbia River into Washington Friday afternoon. He’s running about 55 miles per day, at which point he meets up with his support team if possible, sets up camp, gets a meal (he’s burning around 8,000 calories each day) and get a good night’s sleep before he’s at it again the next morning.
Check out this video interview from the Bend Bulletin: