Q&A with Joe “Stringbean” McConaughey: Smashing the Arizona Trail FKT
Written By Brandon Chase
Joe “Stringbean” McConaughy once again set the Fastest Known Time (FKT) speed record on a long-distance path last week, this time taking on the 800-mile Arizona Trail and finishing in 13 days, 3 hours, 21 minutes and lowering the previous supported record by nearly three days.
Joe is well-known in the endurance and thru-hiking community for having set speed records on the Pacific Crest Trail (2014), Appalachian Trail (2017), and most recently the Long Trail in 2020. Though he set the AT and LT records in a self-supported fashion (meaning he had no outside assistance but was able to resupply as needed), Stringbean opted for a supported effort on the Arizona Trail.
Read next – FKTs Explained: Differentiating Between Supported, Self-Supported, and Unsupported Fastest Known Times.
As a result, his friend and filmographer, Michael Dillon, proprietor of film company Pilot Field, was able to capture a stunning record of the attempt, which was released in a riveting fifteen-part series on YouTube.
In addition to setting the speed record, Joe also raised more than $23,000 for two Native American charities: the Native American Rights Fund and Chizh for Cheii.
I caught up with Joe a few days after finishing the trail and he was nice enough to answer a few questions for The Trek. Continue reading the complete article here.
May 7, 2022
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As a veteran of the Iraq War, I found myself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder from which greatly impacted my mental health. In 2016, I came across the film “Wild,” an adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s memoir about healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).
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