Belgian Man Claims PCT Record

Karel Sabbe, a 26-year-old dentist from Belgium, claims to have set a new record on the Pacific Crest Trail. His GPS track looks legitimate, and, if verified, his time of 52 days, 8 hours, and 25 minutes is the fastest known thru-hike of the 2,660-mile trail that crosses the United States from the Mexican border to Canada.

The old record was 53 days, 6 hours, and 37 minutes set by Joe McConaughy in 2014.

Sabbe announced his record in a press release. According to his GPS track, he finished the trail on Saturday, August 13, 2016.

“The plan to run the PCT came into my mind about a year and a half ago while hiking in New Zealand with my good friend Joren Biebuyck,” Sabbe said in the release. “The trail had always been on my bucket list, after a few visits of America’s West coast. Due to working obligations I would not have the time to hike the trail, but because I started running ultra distances the idea came to me to run the trail.”

Biebuyck followed along by motorcycle, providing support along the way.

McConaughy’s old record was also supported and verified by GPS tracking. There is no official record of PCT speed records, and the validity of attempts rests largely on the honor of those making the claims.

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