The Best Thing That Happened This Week: A New Record on the Appalachian Trail

What’s your excuse for not running 40 miles a day?

Schwenksville native Liz Anjos, aka Mercury, who just set a new Appalachian Trail record, at the northern terminus in Maine. Photo courtesy of Liz Anjos.

If you’ve pretty much been sitting at home on your couch for the past six months, you’re not gonna want to hear about Liz Anjos. The native of bucolic Schwenksville, in Montgomery County, just set a new world record for running the Appalachian Trail. You read that right: Not hiking the trail, but running it. In fact, she ran for 69.2 miles on the first day of her historic journey alone.

Anjos kept at it for 51 days, 16 hours and 30 minutes, running from the trailhead at Springer Mountain in Georgia to the summit of Mount Katahdin in Maine — averaging 42 miles per day over the 2,190-mile course. Her final result was the fastest time ever recorded for a woman going northbound, and the second-fastest ever for a woman headed either way. (Fastest was Jennifer Pharr Davis’s southbound 2011 run. Southbound is downhill, right?) A professional musician who now lives in Portland, Oregon, where she plays piano and is co-founder of the Rose City Track Club, Anjos, whose trail name is “Mercury,” also runs marathons and ultramarathons. You can read about her epic run here. Congratulations, Liz! Now the rest of you, go back to that couch.