Long Trail Speed Record Attempt

Scroll down for reports on Maineak's progress

The following is a brief "bio" on Scott Grierson and some explanation as to his plans for challenging the recently set speed record on the Long Trail. The current record is 5 days, 14 hours, and 55 minutes set earlier in August, 1998 by Courtney Campbell.

Maineak - Scott Tanis Grierson

6' 1" 232 lbs.

Born 5/2/67 31 years old

Home - Bass Harbor, Maine

Occupation - Nature Educator 6-8 months a year

Adventurer, Hiker, South American Guide 4-6 months a year


Ultra Running experience includes 14 ultra completions out of fifteen attempts with Horton's 88 mile fun run as the only DNF. Best time for a fifty was 8:04 at Ground Hog.

In 1994 ran thirty-nine hours at Hardrock 100. Normal placement for trail 50s tends to be a bit better than the middle of the pack.

Major hiking accomplishments include three end to end hikes of the Appalachian Trail. In 1991 hiked the entire trail in 55 days, twenty hours, and thirty four minutes while Horty ran it in 52 days.

Long trail experience includes one partial attempt at a speed record in 1997 which ended at Smugglers Notch. Ran support for Chris Hartwell from that point south to the trail terminus. The arrangement in the 1997 attempt was that if one hiker was holding back another he would drop out and help the other. Chris was faster until he became injured.

The support team will be led by Ed Kostak and "Lonewolf." Ed has hiked the AT, PCT, and LT. Lonewolf has never completely hiked the AT or LT but has hiked 1,000 miles or so a year since 1986. As most hikers know, Lonewolf has backpacked more miles by accident than most hikers have done on purpose. Lonewolf was support team chief for the second half of the 1991 Speed Hike and has supported Horty and Andy Thompson in the past. Rina Grierson, Maineak's wife and a hiker friend of Lonewolf's will round out the team. Two vehicles will be used with one primarily following the hiker and the other moving the portable base camp.

Training has mostly involved backpacking (and trout fishing) along the Colorado Trail and other trails in the San Juan Mountains in Southern Colorado. This attempt will be one of a group of backpackers who have crossed over to ultra running. The approach will be similar to other recent attempts, but done from the perspective of hikers. But, hikers that can also run.

At the completion of Maineak's attempt, the crew will head back down to the southern terminus of the Long Trail where roles will be changed and Ed Kostak will take up the flag and try to set an even tougher record. Ed's goal will not only be to break the record but to set a new mark in the four day range.

Anyone wishing to visit or help out during either Maineak's or Ed's hikes are welcome to try and find the team on the trail.

The following data was compiled using the GMC 1997 Long Trail Guide book. The actual current mileage for the Long Trail is likely to be just a bit longer due to recent trail relocations.

Click here for a mileage breakdown of the Long Trail and a proposed schedule.

Report #1 - August 21, 1998

Maineak started at 6:15 AM as planned. At 6:55 PM he left Arlington-West Wardsboro Road. This was 36.9 miles in approximately 12 hours. His goal was to reach Spruce Peak Shelter (51.6 miles) around midnight.  We have not heard any report yet as to whether he achieved that goal.

The temperature at the beginning was in the 40's and climbed to a high of around 75.

We will update as soon as we get additional information.

Report #2 - August 23, 1998

Day 2 (Friday, August 21, 1998) went according to the schedule except it took longer than expected. Maineak finished at 2:13 AM on Saturday morning at Sherburne Pass.  Weather was still good and since this section is also part of the AT there were lots of hikers around. Maineak met a few thru-hikers that were working their way to Maine and also a few that were starting from the north and working toward the south.

Day 3 (Saturday, August 22, 1998) This day was scheduled for 48.8 miles, but ended up being only 30.2 miles. The weather was good and there were no major problems, but after 14 hours of hiking Maineak had done 30.2 miles. The decision was made to stop and put in a very hard day on Day 4. Day 4 from the original timetable was scheduled for 55.1 miles. Maineak was going to start at 4:30 AM on Sunday morning (Day 4) to try and get the neccessary hours in to keep as close to the schedule as possible.

As of 9:30 PM there is no report on how things went today (Sunday, August 23, 1998)

Report #3 - August 24, 1998 (8:00 PM)

We received a call from Maineak earlier this evening and he indicated he was off the trail. Without going into lots of detail it appears there were some logistical/support problems that could not be worked out.

He stopped last night at 10:12 PM after 163.7 miles.

Ed Kostak and Pete Palmer, who were helping crew Maineak, should start an attempt later this week.

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