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During the quarantine, while the rest of us were binging Tiger King on Netflix and learning to make sour dough bread, Mark Larson thru-hiked the entire 2,193-mile Appalachian Trail. Mark is an old friend and when he first told me he was doing the Appalachian Trail back in May, I wasn’t really surprised because he’s one of the craziest people I know. He has competed in four different 100-mile races in his career as an extreme endurance athlete and trail runner.

Mark Larson on the Appalachian Trail
Mark Larson on the Appalachian Trail

When Mark was on my podcast last time he was living in Lyon and studying French. He told me about his idea to do a 1,500 mile trek across Europe, but then COVID ruined his plans. So he pulled the ripcord and came back to the United States. But instead of being the end of the story, that was just the beginning. He set his sights on the mythical Appalachian Trail.

Mark is such an extreme athlete and so mentally tough that he finished in 3.5 months (107 days) what takes most people 6 months. He even ran and jogged certain sections!

The Appalachian Trail has been a lifelong dream of mine so I grilled Mark like an FBI interrogator until he answered every one of my questions about the preparation, logistics, equipment, lodging, bear encounters, and physical strain.

I was so happy to speak with my old friend about his incredible story. And of course I am proud (and a little jealous) that he was able to accomplish so much while the rest of us were stuck at home.

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