Hauling 100-Pound Packs

GoLite founder's 40-day wonder workout

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I just came across a March 13th press release from GoLite detailing how founder Demetri “Coup” Coupounas set out on a 40-day quest to break the “alpine-style” record of hiking 620-miles without resupplying food and equipment. He set out on the Appalachian Trail last Friday, March 21st, with—get this—a pack weighing over 120 pounds.

After reading this and getting past the irony that the founder of GoLite was hauling a Sherpa-sized load, I actually started to get nauseous. My mind was filled with visions of Coupounas trudging along at a snail-like mile-an-hour pace over the first few days, stopping every five minutes to take a 15-minute rest. And what about the fear that once he takes off his pack towards the end of the day, he won’t be able to get it back on? How does he get it on in the first place? And on and on.

Granted, roughly 105 pounds of Coup’s load is food, which means that by now his pack should weigh a “manageable” 75-80 pounds by now. And the human body does a pretty amazing job adapting to phenomenal amounts of stress provided it receives plenty of high-quality food and recovery time. But still…

I wouldn’t bet against Coup, though. Back in 2004, he pulled off a similar feat, hiking the roughly 480 miles of the Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver without picking up food or gear. You’d think that would’ve been enough to satisfy the man, right? Why do it again? The press release mentions that it’s GoLite’s 10th Anniversary and that Coup is doing it in memory of his father. Personally, however, I think it has more to do with something his wife, Kim, told me after Coup finished the Colorado hike.

I asked her if her husband looked different when he got back. “Oh yeah,” she said with a big satisfied grin, “He reminds me of Tom Cruise these days.”

In other words, chicks dig the “alpine-style” male physique. If that’s the case, then good for Coup. I wish him the best. It sure beats a membership to 24-hour Fitness and a crash diet.

Over the last decade Grant Davis has been writing and editing articles about health, fitness, and nutrition. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.