The Pursuit of Endurance


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About the Author

Jennifer Pharr Davis is an American long-distance hiker, an author, a speaker, a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and an ambassador for the American Hiking Society. She has hiked more than fourteen thousand miles on six different continents. In 2011, Pharr Davis set the unofficial record for the fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail with a time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes, an average of 47 miles a day, a record she held for four years. Pharr Davis lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, Brew, and their daughter and son, Charley and Gus.


Praise for The Pursuit of Endurance

“Nothing short of inspiring . . . A must-read for anyone wanting to start working at the big dreams they have up their sleeves.” 
—The Trek

“Jennifer Pharr Davis is an understated hero who matched the speed and endurance of some of the country’s best male ultrarunners—professional athletes with corporate sponsorships and well-financed expeditions—all on her own and with relatively little fanfare. A fascinating read, and a testament to the fortitude of an extraordinary woman.”
—Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author
“There’s no better guide through the scientific and psychological tangles of extreme hiking than Jennifer Pharr Davis. She knows because she lived it.”
—Ben Montgomery, author of Grandma Gatewood’s Walk
“Jennifer Pharr Davis eloquently reminds us that the feats of endurance we accomplish on the trail build the character to muscle through all of life’s ups and downs.”
—Kathryn Van Waes, executive director, American Hiking Society
“A fascinating look at how the world’s most famous long-distance hiking trail has challenged and transformed a cast of unique and diverse individuals, shining a light on the inherent gender equality of men and women pursuing the elusive Fastest Known Time.”
—Ron Tipton, former executive director of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy
“Jennifer Pharr Davis shows us that a love for nature is not predicated on a specific speed or distance but through authentic outdoor experiences. Those of us who go outdoors are united by more commonalities than the activities that divide us, and she reminds us that all of life—and conservation—is an effort of endurance.”
—Chuck McGrady, president of the Sierra Club 1998–2000
“At times reminiscent of the writings of such travel memoirists as Cheryl Strayed and Bill Bryson, this inspiring work could become a regular companion for distance hikers or, indeed, for anyone embarking on a personal challenge.”
—Publishers Weekly
“[Jennifer Pharr Davis’s] natural storytelling ability and a charming cast of characters in the form of spirited hiking mentors make the pages fly in this accessible handbook, which reads less like a step-by-step instruction manual and more like an empowering blueprint to building one's own endurance. A captivating narrative guidebook that will inspire readers to test their own limits, on the trail and off.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Whatever stamina may look like to readers, The Pursuit of Endurance will prove an inspirational and educational read.”
—Shelf Awareness

“A provocative exploration into what motivates people to endure . . . Davis’s unique perspective, and the lessons she shares are applicable to personal experiences as well as athletic endeavors.”

“For readers interested in hiking, endurance sports, or anyone with a strong drive to do something different. A truly inspiring read.”
—Library Journal

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