Scott Jurek reflexiona sobre su segundo intento récord de Appalachian Trail
The former record-holder was forced to halt his attempt a week in due to injury.
It wasn’t the run Scott Jurek hoped for.
After months of planning, the former Appalachian Trail record-holder halted his second fastest known time (FKT) attempt after only a week. A minor quad issue in the first days of his journey turned into a full-blown tear after covering 250 of the 2,189 miles on the trail. He hoped the pain would go away, but after consulting a physician and his crew, he made the tough decision to discontinue the run on August 11.
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“The hardest part now is knowing I’m still supposed to be on the trail.,” Jurek told Runner’s World. “Being at home feels good, but I keep thinking of what I should be doing. Everyone experiences it. No matter where you are in your running journey or life, there are disappointments and items you come up short on. Life is made for challenges and adversity. We come back stronger.”
Since then, Jurek has spent time with his family — his wife, Jenny, and their two children, Raven and Evergreen — and some East Coast-based friends in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont before driving back to his Colorado home. He has also been reflecting on what went right and what went wrong. He thought his decision to start on the difficult terrain of the northern section of the trail, which likely wrecked his body early on.
“There’s very little room for error or injury because the terrain is so rugged,” Jurek said. “Lots of roots, drop offs. In the south [portion of the trail], I was able to bounce back as my body got used to the daily distance. Up north, I was starting to get used to it when the injury popped up. I kept going to see if the injury would give me leeway, but it just got worse and ripped it up more. I felt it more.”
The pain of a DNF certainly sits on his shoulders, but Jurek knows it was out of his control. What keeps him cheerful is thinking about what did happen in his week on the trail, such as seeing many thru-hikers on the tail end of their summer-long treks from the south, seeing the trail from a new angle, and remembering moments from 2015.
But most of all, he cherishes the memory of standing on Mount Katahdin, the northern-most point of the trail, with Jenny for the first time in six years.
“It was like the continuation of a dream,” Jurek said. “It was so powerful being up there again. We had someone watching the kids, and it was like being transported in time to July 12, 2015. Just being there, getting there, felt like an achievement to celebrate. We felt the same excitement and emotions of success. It’s like it was pulling us there, like a hard race or distance pulls you back. It was really powerful. That moment alone made the whole trip worth it.”
No, Jurek doesn’t have another running expedition on the calendar already; as he unpacks, he’s focused on rehabbing and spending time with his family. The only running he’s even considering is potentially training with Jenny for fast marathon times this fall.
“Some of my buddies were like, ‘You could retool and reboot for the Colorado Trail if you heal up,’” Jurek said. “Right now, I want to heal this injury. It’s starting to make some strides. It sounds weird, what I might do is some marathon training and go for like a 2:40 with Jenny. Focus on something different and having fun with the family in the mountains.”
As for the Appalachian Trail, it’s calling him back already. His return for such an endeavor is certainly not out of the question, but he’s not making any decisions on it yet.
“There was a bit of me in the days after stopping that was like, would we turn around and go start again if the injury got better and do the 250 miles we just did again. I think that would’ve been hard to stomach,” Jurek said. “Will I go back? It’s certainly an idea. Right now, hopefully the plan will be to retool for next year and figure out something big.”