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Meet Jennifer: A True Force of Nature from the Southern Appalachians

Meet JPD

Let’s play two truths and a lie. Jennifer Pharr Davis has been growled at by a mountain lion, castrated a pair of goats, and killed a bear. Any guesses??

Ok, she didn’t technically kill a bear, but she did mortally wound one when she crashed into it on the interstate – an accident that resulted in her successfully campaigning for a new wildlife corridor in her hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.

Maybe she can tell you about the other stories later? 🙂

There is a lot that makes Jennifer Pharr Davis interesting. She’s a person who has hiked more than 14,000 miles on six different continents, and mostly by herself. She was the first (and so far only) woman to set the overall record on the Appalachian Trail, completing it in 46 days – a miraculous average of 47 miles a day. She backpacked 700 miles in her second and third trimesters of pregnancy, walked across the state of North Carolina while nursing her son, and hiked in all 50 states with her daughter before said little one turned two.

But the thing that stands out most about Jennifer is that if you talk to her… she seems pretty normal.

 She may have served on the President’s Council for Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, but she has run her own small business for 16 years so she knows what it’s like to deal with dissatisfied clients, or be cursed at by upset employees, to work through risk management again and again and again, and constantly adapt her business to an ever-changing environment.

She may be a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, but her best and by far hardest adventure is being a mom to her two children Charley and Gus. And the wife to Brew, her life and work partner, as well as a professional musician. And if you know anything about showbiz, you know that pursuing music makes hiking look like a remarkably responsible life-choice.

Jennifer cares deeply about conservation and can discuss public policy in depth. But she can also swap stats with you during college football or basketball season and rehash Reality TV over a glass of cabarnet.

 She is one-of-a-kind… and just like all of us. She’s comfortable going solo and being the first to try something big. But she also knows how to guide a group and lead a team at a successful and sustainable pace. She is a trailblazer in every essence of the word. And we can’t wait to see what trail she blazes next.

Jennifer Pharr Davis is an understated hero who matched the speed and endurance of some of the country’s best male ultrarunners—professional athletes with corporate sponsorships and well-financed expeditions—all on her own and with relatively little fanfare.

Dean Karnazes

Ultramarathoner and New York Times bestselling author

Jennifer’s Speaking

Jennifer has hiked across the globe from the west coast of Australia to Peru’s Macchu Picchu; from Iceland, the West Highland Way and the Tour du Mont Blanc, to Kilimanjaro, the High Sierras and Hong Kong. She captivates audiences and brings these trail adventures to life while covering themes like perseverance, adaptability, clear communication, team work, self care in extreme environments, and shattering glass ceilings. Click the link below to find out more about having Jennifer speak at your next gathering!

Jennifer’s Writing

Jennifer is an award winning author of fiction and non fiction. She’s written trail guides for her home state of North Carolina, “how to” for families, children and teens, and articles for leading publications like the New York Times, Outside magazine, and Blue Ridge Outdoors. Check out her books and blogs below to learn more.  

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