If you are looking for a travelogue of hiking the Appalachian Trail this might not be the book for you. If, on the other hand, you would like to know why some people undertake such punishing tasks this is a must read. Hiking thousands of miles as fast as you can--why As the author points out, that question is related to George Mallory's response to why climb Everest: "because it's there". A simple answer that's hard to understand.
Pharr Davis gives us insight into what makes these Fastest Known Time hikers do what they do by way of case studies of some of these top endurance athletes. Her interviews and time on the trails with these different personalities give the reader a chance to look for common goals and things learned from pushing oneself hard day after day. Her self examination of her record setting trek provides a personal look at what she learned about herself and how it has carried over into her non-trail life.
A wonderful quote from this book is currently circulating on social media: "Hiking is not escapism: it's realism. The people who choose to spend time outdoors are not running away from anything; we are returning to where we belong".--Jennifer Pharr Davis