Hiker Kaiha Bertollini atop Katahdin on August 4. (Facebook/Hikeforourlives Photo)

Hiker Kaiha Bertollini atop Katahdin on August 4. (Facebook/Hikeforourlives Photo)

Ultrarunning legend Karl Meltzer set the Appalachian Trail thru-hike speed record on Sunday. But just a day later, an unknown hiker may have beaten Meltzer’s record – and every other AT speed record there is.

According to an article on GearJunkie.com, hiker Kaiha Bertollini has no GPS tracking and is an unknown in the world of record-breaking thru-hikes. But this weekend, on the heels of Karl Meltzer, she trekked to the top of Springer Mountain at the southern end of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and proclaimed a world record time of 45 days, 6 hours, and 28 minutes. Not only would this be the fastest self-supported through-hike of the Appalachian Trail (beating Heather “Anish” Anderson’s 2015 record of 54 days), but it even tops every supported hike, beating Meltzer’s day-old record of 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes.

While many are questioning the validity of Bertollini’s record, she may have left a trail of evidence, the stops at shelters and hostels along the way, and her meetings with other hikers on the path. She also has photos posted to social media – many marked with geolocations – that record her existence along the trail this summer.

During her hike, Bertollini said she was aware Meltzer was just a day or two in front of her. “I’ve been trying to catch that S.O.B. the whole time,” she told GearJunkie.com. “I had this fantasy that I would catch his crew. He summited a day before me” at the southern end.

Regardless of Bertollini’s thru-hike accomplishment, she has an amazing story. She took up hiking as a way to recover after being sexually assaulted in 2010 while serving in the military. And her AT thru-hike comes immediately after she hiked the trail from south to north earlier this year.

Read about an unknown hiker who may have just broken every speed record on the Appalachian Trail.

Visit her Facebook page – Hike For Our Lives – to learn more about her hike.