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[pct-l] re: Congrats to Brian

Normally I wouldn't respond to the following comment, as such fare often 
crops up on Listserves, but this one was so bizarre I feel a reply is 
>... However, the magnitude of his achievement won't be known until other 
>hikers attempt it.

The magnitude of his achievement is without question.  It's huge ... a 
breakthru combining logistical, mental, emotional, and lastly, physical 
excellence into one bold, creative vision.

>I happen to think hiking deserves better than this. I think Brian should 
>have at least paid lip service to the fact that it isn't fun to blast thru 
>the woods at 30-miles/day...

Jim already addressed this quite well, but this statement is so wacky, 
please allow me a quick comment.  Brian did what he thought was 
rewarding.  We all do what we think is gratifying, all for our own 
reasons.  Hopefully, whoever wrote this message also occassionally goes 
out and does what is fun for them.  So why attempt to foist one's own 
value system onto someone else?  The only reason to do so would be the 
classic "sour grapes" syndrom:  one's own life is so devoid of meaning 
and light they are compelled to critisize others who are living their 

>Don't turn the scenic trails into a new stage for the breaking and 
>re-breaking of land speed records.
> Don't invite more ultra-marathoning assholes out there. Okay, a feat like 
>Brian's is bound to do this, but he's pissing away a great opportunity to 
>do good for the trails here, and all these lists are doing is drooling all 
>over him.

>Shame on us.

Wow.  Unfortunately, sentiments such as these are usually descriptive of 
the person writing them rather than of whomever they were intended.  
Negativity and bitterness is not pleasant to have;  I am sorry.  (BTW, I 
am an ultra-marathoner, and am not sorry for that!)

Someone else commented:

>>The only litmus test I apply to users of our long distance trails is their 
>>respectfulness to their fellow travelers on the trail and to the environment 
>>(LNT principles).  Otherwise, all hikers are to be congratulated for being 
>>outdoors and reconnecting with Nature, or whatever their reason for being 
>>there.  If anyone feels that Brian is misusing the spotlight while it is 
>>shining on him, it might be better if they walked the walk and got their own 
>>spotlight for their own message.  The trails await.

Well said!!  While "each to his/her own" is a primary value - 
appreciating our individuality and diversity - there are also two 
"universal" values that are very important:  1. Don't hurt anyone;  2. 
Take care of the planet.

I met Flyin' Brian this summer, and the two days we walked together were 
a highlight.  He is articulate, comtemplative, intelligent, highly 
focussed, successfull, and caring, all at the same time.  I hope he, his 
trip, and the Scenic Trails recieve all the recognition and support they 

Buzz Burrell