Karel Sabbe Smashes Appalachian Trail Record By 4 Days

The Appalachian Trail (AT) speed record now stands at 41 days, 7 hours, 39 minutes. Karel Sabbe crossed the trailhead at Mt. Katahdin on August 28, 2018, completing the 2,189-mile AT faster than anyone before him.

The previous record of 45 days, 12 hours, 15 minutes, set by Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy in 2017, still stands as the self-supported AT record.

And this isn’t the first time the 28-year-old Sabbe has topped a major thru-hike record. In fact, it’s not the first time he’s bested McConaughy. Sabbe also beat McConaughy’s supported record on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in 2016 — a record that still stands.

And with his performance on the AT, Sabbe is now the only person to hold both AT and PCT FKTs at the same time. Heather “Anish” Anderson holds both records for women on the AT and PCT.

Sabbe began his AT attempt on July 18, heading north from Springer Mountain in Georgia. He claimed his intent on FastestKnownTime.com and used a tracker to mark his progress. He also updated his Strava data as cell service allowed to verify the record.

For the FKT, Sabbe averaged a blistering pace — roughly 53 miles per day for more than 41 days straight.

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