As far as I know, the one-day record is 6.5 laps—that's 65 miles—by John Northrup in 2012. I presume he started at the top and made seven trips down and six up. The previous year, he made five round trips for 50 miles in 17 hours.
His mileage surpassed Stan Wellslinger, who made six round trips, or 60 miles, on September 28, 2007. Ed Wright, in his book, called Wellslinger "Stan the running man."
David Worth, who has the fastest known time for the Tour de Le Conte (44 miles in 10:03:41) and the Appalachian Trail through the Smokies (72 miles in 14:50:22), tried running the Alum Cave trail on his birthday in 2011 but blew out his candles after 5.5 laps for 55 miles. When his wife Caitlin offered to run another lap with him, he declined:
"I told her I would only go up again if someone paid me a thousand dollars. She said she wasn't going to, and there was no one else around to ask, so we slowly made our way back to the trailhead. I had a great time up until the last hour or so on the trail, then it just wasn't fun anymore. I had already spent an entire day hiking and running my favorite trail with some of my favorite people, there was no motivation to go back."Before Wellslinger, Bill Sharp of Andersonville, Tennessee, held the one-day record of four climbs totaling 41.6 miles on June 1, 1992. (The mileage tells me that he went all the way to High Top instead of stopping at the Lodge). Sharp ranks highly on our honor roll, climbing Le Conte 270 times before he stopped counting hikes in 1994.
Wright himself often climbed Alum Cave two or three times in a day, especially in 1991 when he turned 66 and set the one-year record of 231 climbs. In his lifetime total of 1,310 ascents, there were three days he made three round trips and 125 days he climbed the mountain twice.
|Ed Wright (1,310 lifetime climbs), Paul Dinwiddie (750), and Margaret Stevenson (718).|
Please help me identify the lady on the right.