Scott Jurek had a lot to celebrate, but it came at a cost.
On July 12, the 41-year-old from Boulder, Colorado, set the new speed record on the Appalachian Trail. And to commemorate the occasion, Jurek popped a bottle of champagne and had a victory party of sorts, then got slapped with a fine for public drinking, littering and hiking with a large group.
Jurek's final celebration went over the top, according to the Baxter State Park Authority, which oversees the wilderness area where the AT officially ends and a mountaintop party ensued.
According to the park’s official Facebook page, Jurek was cited for drinking of alcoholic beverages in public places, littering and hiking with an oversized group.
Rules state the maximum hiking group can be no larger than 12 people, which Jurek's party temporarily exceeded when friends and strangers joined him for the final stretch of his solo, month-and-a-half-long journey.
Over 1,000 Facebook comments, including messages from some of those who cheered Jurek's accomplishment onsite, questioned the park's use of social media as a platform for discussing the issue of staged long-distance runs as sponsored, "corporate events."
Ben Murphy, for example, questioned in his post, "BSP, I love you, but… *sigh*. I’ve been on the summit when others have finished and it’s a party then too. In a wonderful, respectful, awe-inspiring way. As it should be. Are you giving citations to all of them too?"
The ultrarunner, who already holds numerous long-distance speed records ranging from 50 kilometers to 153 miles, finished the 2,180-mile, 14-state AT route from Georgia to Maine overcoming sleep deprivation, weather and injury to successfully beat the previous record set by Jennifer Pharr Davis on 2011.
Jurek’s time of 46 days, eight hours and eight minutes was about three hours shorter than Davis’ four years ago.
While the runner declined to comment on this topic, he did post on his Facebook about his friend’s efforts collecting their party’s trash.
A call to Baxter State Park director Jensen Bissell was not immediately returned.
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