Liz “Mercury” Anjos Sets Northbound Appalachian Trail Fastest Known Time

While she’s been captivated by the Appalachian Trail since she was young, Elizabeth Anjos, who ran cross country at Greeneville College, mostly sticks to road racing.

But in 2015 when Scott Jurek broke the AT record, she started thinking more seriously about going for the record for the 2,190 miles stretching from Georgia to Maine, most recently set by Belgian dentist Karel Sabbe, who did it in 41 days, 7 hours, and 39 minutes. She had ideas between that mark and Jennifer Pharr Davis’ 2011 record, which still stands as the women’s record, of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes.

“Before 2015, my only experience with multi-day hikes was when I was a kid,” Anjos said. “It took years of planning, and it wasn’t until summer of 2019 that I started to get out for more multi-day efforts like days on sections of the Appalachian Trail or a six-day hike in November.”

Anjos, who gave herself the nickname “Mercury” after the wing-footed greek god and a classical piece by Gustav Holtz, decided to pick a year (2020) and give the record a shot. She was coached and mentored by Warren Doyle, who has hiked the trail 18 times and set the first official speed record in 1973. He also would crew her the entire way from Georgia to Maine.

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