An 83-year-old from Alabama has become the oldest person to complete America's iconic 3,500km Appalachian Trail.
M.J. "Sunny" Eberhart, known by the trail name “Nimblewill Nomad”, acknowledged that despite having tens of thousands of kays under his belt, the trail was tough going at his age, leading to quite a few spills on slippery rocks.
"I've a got a couple of skid marks on me, but I'm OK," he said. "You've got to have an incredible resolve to do this."
Eberhart hiked the trail out of order, in sections, to take advantage of optimal weather, and had already completed northern sections including Maine's Mount Katahdin.
He completed his final section in western Massachusetts, in the town of Dalton, in the same year in which a 5-year-old became among the youngest to complete the feat.
Joining Eberhart for the finish was the former record holder, Dale "Greybeard" Sanders, who lives outside Memphis, Tenn. He completed the hike at age 82 in 2017. He's not sad to see the record fall.
"My dear friend Nimblewill is taking my record away from me, and I'm happy for him. Records are made to be broken," Sanders said.
The 3,500km Appalachian National Scenic Trail, generally known as the Appalachian Trail, or simply the A.T., extends between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy describes the Appalachian Trail as the longest hiking-only trail in the world and more than two million people are said to take a hike on part of the trail at least once each year.