I love this talk about John Muir Trail and "record fever". There's such a rancid desperate air about it. But it's Spring, and it's with us again.
Blake Wood did a masterful job. The account is low-key, insightful, accurate and bullshit free. Bruce Hoff did his turn several years ago. Again, low-key, honest, funny and sobering.
Last year Buzzy & Peter treated us to a brass-band fanfare prior to the Great Unsupported JMT Record-Breaking Event. We were directed to the appropriate press flackery, which Was All True, of course.
The air was thick with attitude about it all, Cali trails being wimpy and all, and how Two Colorado Dewds were gonna show ever'body a thing or two about trail running. Unsupported. This was canon law. The Mountain Gods stirred from their torpors.
Pulverized mule turds set the tone, and the howling started there. Four days of no sleep and robotic humping thru what...Gawd's Epic Back Yard. They might as well have run along the side of an interstate.
As to "unsupported", this conveniently went away when a tent appeared midway thru the Event. Somebody who had hiked in a good 17 miles if memory serves. The participants get edgy when this detail is examined.
Nonetheless, a fine weather front rolled south thru the Sierras, and kicked butt every inch of the way. It hailed so hard you couldn't think straight, especially after holding your bladder for miles on end and getting sub-minimal sleep. The Mountain Gods took their due. But it all ended well, there was a Saul to Paul conversion on the Road to Damascus by one of the participants. Group Hugs all around.
Conclusion: The day I do JMT, ladies and gents, I'd like to believe that I have the wit to enjoy where I am, and not on trip that is the land-bound version of running laps on an icebreaker. The idea of using the JMT to set a record is like getting a blow-job from a shark--i.e. memorable, but pointless.
And with that, enjoy!