Heading outdoors is one of the few things that’s brought people joy throughout the pandemic, and Alyssa Godesky took it as an opportunity to set a hiking record while also giving back.
Forty-six peaks in three days, 16 hours, and 16 minutes: Godesky set the new record for the fastest known woman to hike all 46 high peaks in the Adirondack mountains.
“The plan is just slow and steady, and then eat as much as you can,” said Godesky.
It was something she wanted to do for about a decade.
Godesky is a professional triathlete, and although she lives in Virginia, she’s visited Lake Placid to run the Ironman and coach other athletes.
“I think people don’t realize it’s not like I can walk out the door every day and do this stuff. It’s just a lot of years of cumulative training, and things like that and the planning,” said Godesky.
One of the most difficult parts of the hike is figuring out the best route. She said she even had to do some bush whacking to find the fastest way.
“It’s like a puzzle. I was a math major in college and I think I like that logistical challenge of putting together the pieces and measuring all that out,” said Godesky.
Then she coordinated with friends and family to follow her, hike with her, and give her food and supplies when needed.
“Doing all that planning in the weeks before makes the start of the run is the best because it’s like, 'OK, now all that’s done; all I need to do is literally keep hiking through the woods,' ” said Godesky.
Her hike was unique in that it was actually a head-to-head race. Another woman, Sarah Keyes, set out for the same goal on the same day, but going different times and using different routes.
“To be able to have someone else out definitely was like, it felt like a race so that was definitely a big motivating factor,” said Godesky.
Godesky says she wanted to inspire others to, if not hike in the woods, then write in them.
She used her run to raise money for the Paden Institute Retreat for Writers of Color. It brings writers to a cottage on Lake Champlain.
“Hopefully along they are sharing their experience in the Adirondacks with others,” said Godesky.
She started her hike at 4 a.m. on a Monday and finished at 8 p.m. on a Thursday. It took only 88 hours of hiking and 11 hours of sleep to set the record.
“I want to relax and recover and enjoy this moment, because it was really special,” said Godesky.