PCT speed record is shattered twice

In remarkable feats of endurance hiking, Josh Garrett and Heather “Anish” Anderson are reported to have broken the overall Pacific Crest Trail speed record this week. They hiked separately, with Heather finishing first with a time of 60 days and 17 hours and 12 minutes. Josh finished the next day with a time of 59 days and 8 hours and 14 minutes*. We’re in awe of their achievements and applaud them both.

The previous speed record of 64 days, 11 hours and 19 minutes was set by famed thru-hiker Scott Williamson in 2011.

Heather left the southern border June 8 at 6:30 a.m. and reached Canada Wednesday at 11:42 p.m. She averaged nearly 44 miles per day. She previously hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2005.

Josh left the southern terminus June 10 at noon and reached the northern terminus on Thursday at 8:14 p.m. He averaged nearly 45 miles per day. He previously hiked the PCT in 2009.

Josh hiked in support of vegan lifestyle choices, an animal cruelty-free world and the charity Mercy for Animals. “I’m vegan because I love animals, and they suffer so needlessly on factory farms and slaughterhouses, when a vegan diet provides everything we need for good health, strength, and endurance,” he said. “As much as I would have enjoyed taking my time on this hike, I wanted to be a good example and make a point.”

Heather describes her younger years as marked by insecurity: “I hated my body and myself.” She graduated high school weighing 200 pounds, only to lose the weight and find purpose when she discovered hiking. “I met something that would forever change my life: a trail. I was enthralled. Trails took me on the adventures I craved and to beautiful, wondrous, wild places. I lost my heart and soul…and eventually 70 lbs…to the trails.”

PCTA does not officially validate, nor verify, records. They’re fraught with arguable points and are difficult to authenticate. However, we know an amazing feat when we see one. On behalf of the entire trail community, we applaud Josh and Heather and all the others who have and will continue to push themselves to new heights on our very special trail.

* Friday afternoon, Josh provided us with a corrected time of 59 days and 8 hours and 14 minutes (he reached northern monument at 8:14 p.m.) instead of what was previously reported.

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Specialist, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.