FKT: Josh Perry - Pacific Crest Trail (CA, OR, WA) - 2022-08-07

Route variation
South to North
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
55d 16h 54m 0s

It's too soon to have really put my thoughts together on all this, but there's also so much i want to say about it. 3 days ago I finished the PCT in 55 days, 16 hours, and 54 minutes. That was also the end of my triple crown. 

But really this has been a goal years in the making, and a dream of mine since I first heard of thru hiking after reading about Heather Andersons record setting hike in 2013. 

Whilst I was sleeping at the border monument, one of the first hikers to finish after me told a story about a young kid he met on the Appalachian Trail 6 years ago, named Firecracker. Who was so stoked to be out there, hiking 30s and giving it all that. Talking about how one day he wanted to try for the AT or PCT speed record. This was as an example of how not everyone gets to the point of being able to do this and to emphasise the accomplishment. I hadn't cried, as i expected i would have, upon finishing.  But I was definitely holding back tears when I told him "nobody has called me Firecracker in 6 years". 

It definitely wasn't smooth sailing, especially not during the second half. I cried a lot, had over a dozen panic attacks, delt with multiple bouts of tendinitis and overuse injuries, puked, pooped, and pissed all over myself several times, pee'd blood, had resupply boxes and shoes not turn up, ran out of food and had my stomach shut down,  got stung by wasps and more. 

I also had to do a fairly horrific detour around the Lionshead fire closure in Oregon, giving up on my goal of besting the supported time (or stringbeaning it, as i frequeny refer to it), after a disagreement with the folks here at FKT.  I made the decision to do this detour for two reasons. 1) most other fkt athletes believed I should, and 2) because I want my voice to be heard going forward and to have a chance to change some of the other self support guidelines that I disagree with. I am hopeful there is more on this to come. 

Whilst I might feel some disappointment, or think the time doesn't accurately represent what I believe I'm capable of. There was a lot of positives to come out of it, and a lot of learning I did during it. As the distance increases, the chance of a perfect FKT attempt diminishes and that's just how it goes. At the end of the day, i am still very happy with the experience I had and how it turned out.