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[pct-l] 20 mile days

Heck, as a former serious runner, I might as well chime in, too. While a lot of 
the top (and not so top) runners average 5-10% body fat, they have an advantage 
thru-hikers don't: easy access to unlimited food. Not that a 240 lb person "with 
another 30 to lose" is in serious danger of getting that slim, but others, who 
might be able to do so should realize that a little extra on a thru-hiker isn't 
necessarily a bad thing (though I emphasize the "little" in "a little extra").

Kinda reminds me of the story a sailplane pilot related: he figured the birds 
knew the most about the air currents so one day he followed (in his engineless 
plane) a seagull which eventually wandered way out to sea. The pilot dutifully 
followed. However, once the sun went down, the thermals vanished, the seagull 
turned around and flapped its wings back to land. The pilot made it, too, but 
just barely and not without a lot of sweat. Moral: think before you follow...the 
other guy may be able to do things you can't.

Ron Smith wrote:
> I agree with what you say about running. This would be equally true for
> hiking, except I think another factor comes into play for hiking, which
> is pack weight. If a 160 lb hiker and 200 lb hiker both carry a 40 lb
> pack, the pack weight is 25% of the 160 lb hiker's body weight but only
> 20% of the 200 lb hiker's body weight. This translates to a smaller %
> extra burden for the heavier hiker's muscles. The reason I bring this up
> is that I have observed on the trail that many of the fastest hikers
> tend to be bigger (but not real big) people carrying light packs.
> However, put those same people in a 10K road race and they probably
> wouldn't fare as well, since their body weight would work against them
> there.
> Ron