Hiker speeds to record
Man hikes 40 area peaks, of 6,000 feet or higher, in less than 5 days
ROAN MOUNTAIN - In the pre-dawn darkness, the distant light from the headlamp of speed hiker Ted Keizer danced about.
The suspended light moved along the Appalachian Trail on Friday at an increasingly faster rate.
Then Keizer's supporters, who had waited in a chill fog for three hours, realized the Coos Bay, Ore., extreme athlete was sprinting. Running, mind you. Running up a mountain after five days of nearly round-the-clock speed hiking and peak climbing covering 300 miles.
They cheered as Keizer reached the summit of Grassy Ridge, elevation 6,160 feet, and fell into embraces in celebration. He had just established a speed record, from 5:45 a.m. Sunday to 5:13 a.m. Friday, for climbing all 40 peaks in North Carolina and Tennessee with elevations 6,000 feet and higher.