The Pacific Crest Trail was on fire this year, and not in the usual way. Records fell left and right on this iconic 2,592.6-mile long trail. And etching her name on the illustrious FKT holder list is Jessica Pekari, who set the women’s south-bound supported record in 63 days, seven hours, and 31 minutes.
This record was a long-time coming for the veteran mother of three with Blackfeet and Mexican heritage. After completing the Triple Crown of 200-mile ultras in 2018, the former U.S. military medic turned her eyes to the west coast’s most iconic trail. She set out on an FKT attempt in 2020, but Mother Nature thwarted her plans.
Finally, on September 19, 2023, she touched the sign at the U.S.-Mexico border and her dream became a reality. Jessica joins fellow self-supported PCT FKT record holder and FKT Podcast host Heather Anderson on the podcast today to delve into her experience. The two provide unprecedented detail into what it takes to move light and fast on this long trail, and also what it’s like to write about their experiences. Jessica discloses how she problem solved on the fly, and how she copes with PTSD on the trail.
Check out Jessica’s FKT on fastestknowntime.com. Read all about her 2020 FKT attempt in her book, Bombs to Trails: Interweaving Heritage, Life, and PTSD on the Pacific Crest Trail, and follow her adventures on Instagram.