91-year-old spends 5 days hiking 24 miles across Grand Canyon — and sets world record
Trekking across the Grand Canyon “rim-to-rim is no easy feat.”
Yet, 91-year-old John Jepkema of Colorado makes the 24-mile journey sound effortless in a Guinness World Records news release posted March 21.
“It was something to do with my friends,” Jepkema said in the release. “I scheduled five days. Lots of time to view and socialize.”
Jepkema became the oldest person to cross the Grand Canyon on Nov. 7, 2019, according to Guinness World Records.
Even before setting the record, Jepkema had hiked the canyon “rim to rim in both directions,” Guinness World Records said.
“When I found out it was an open record, I said ‘Let’s go for it’,” he told Guinness World Records.
Leading up to the record-setting trip, he trained for four months, walking 5 to 8 miles five days weekly, according to Guinness World Records.
“I would walk three miles to morning coffee with a 30-pound pack and then walk back home,” Jepkema said.
Guinness World Records said this training prepped Jepkema for his trek starting on the North Kaibab Trail to the southern rim.
As he trekked the canyon, Jepkema told Guinness World Records he had to “think about where I placed my feet.” Each hour, he would also take breaks to “sit on a flat rock.”
The hike, nonetheless, was worthwhile for Jepkema thanks to the sights, like bighorn sheep, and new friends made along the way, according to Guinness World Records.
Jepkema told Guinness World Records he never thought he would “set a record as he approached ‘old age.’”
“It was kind of neat what I was able to do,” he said. “You are as old as you think you are. Stay active and keep moving.”
‘It started as a joke.’ Then man ends up at Disneyland every single day — for 8 years
This Kansas woman goes to 32 NFL games in 73 days — scoring 561,700 TikTok followers
Bisbee the dog’s tongue nabs Guinness World Record — but how long is it? Take a look