FKT: Joey Campanelli - Appalachian Trail - 2017-09-22
Joey Campanelli thru-hiked the AT northbound in 57d4h41m, May 15 - July 11, 2014. This is more than a day faster than Matt Kirk's FKT, but Campanelli did not adhere to pure self-supported style. Near the end of his trip, Campanelli got hit with horrible conditions due to Hurricane Arthur, which caused massive rainfall and flooding in New England around the July 4th holiday. Discouraged by the rain, mud and difficult river crossings, freaked out by a developing case of trench foot, and delayed by a foot injury from a fall in the White Mountains (he took a zero day to get an X-ray, which showed that the foot was not broken) Campanelli accepted a ride into town and support from his father. Campanelli wrote in his blog “I am pretty fed up with the condition of the trail. Not only does it make passage difficult and slow, I am worried about getting injured and my feet falling off.” After briefly considering quitting, Campanelli returned and finished the trail, but did not claim a record due to the support (long trail thru-hiker style has generally included accepting no rides for any reason). He did say, "I know I will come back to the AT."
As promised, Joey Campanelli did return to the AT in 2017, setting a new self supported SoBo FKT of 48d23h48m, Aug. 7 - Sep 22, 2017. Though this is is more than 3 days slower than McConaughy's NoBo FKT set the same summer, it is the fastest SoBo time. Campanelli posted updates on his instagram during the hike, and his trip was followed on a thread on whiteblaze.net. He used a SPOT Trace tracker, which isn't really a good device for this since you can't easily send a message at will, but anyway his SPOT data are archived on trackleaders.com and at maplist.com, which also shows track points from Matt Kirk & Heather Anderson for comparison. Campanelli is working on a detailed trip report on his blog.