New Orleans veteran becomes first African American male to earn hiking’s Triple Crown

The Triple Crown is a fabled summit in sports, a seemingly impossible trio of wins in horse racing and an even more impressive collection of batting stats in baseball, but when it comes to hiking, few people have ever achieved that summit, known as the Triple Crown.

“There are less than 450 Triple Crown hikers. More people have gone into space, more people have climbed Everest,” Will “Akuna” Robinson, a New Orleans native, said.

Robinson is one of the few, achieving the Triple Crown in hiking earlier this year, becoming the first recorded African American male to complete the feat of finishing the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail.

“It’s pretty overwhelming when you think about it. It’s humbling to know that you’re in a group of so few people,” Robinson said.

It took Robinson more than 8,000 miles to get his crown but taking the first step wasn’t easy.

After a five-year stint in the Army including fighting overseas in Iraq, Robinson found himself battling demons. “I didn’t sleep much I had nightmares I had flashbacks,” Robinson said.

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