The Accidental Hiker has completed his trek. Way to hoof it, Tyler McGill.
McGill, 27, who runs a surf shop with his brother, Ryan, in Rye, N.H., reached New York City on Sunday night (June 6) less than 6 days after leaving Boston on a bet. His payoff: Tickets to three playoffs games of the NBA Finals between McGill's beloved Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. "He'll be in the front row," Ryan McGill, 29, told REI.com via telephone Monday (June 7). "In bright green."
Last Monday Tyler McGill accepted a bet from three friends: Walk from TD Garden, home of the Celtics, to New York City (roughly 215 miles) and they would get him tickets to the games. McGill took off just past midnight last Tuesday. "He had a cell phone, his wallet and 2 pairs of socks," his brother said. "He wasn't too well prepared. He didn't even have a map. I was giving him directions over the phone."
Rain forced McGill to temporarily halt his trek. He resupplied, returned to the spot where he stopped and resumed walking, reaching Sherborn, Mass. (about 25 miles away) on his first night. He exceeded 30 miles each day thereafter. "I can't believe I'm doing this," he told New Hampshire-based news source Seacoastonline.com. "I hate walking."
His brother concurs. "The only walking he ever does around here is walk across the street to get from our shop to the beach so he can surf," Ryan McGill said. Ryan says at one point Tyler thought he had a pebble in one shoe. "It was a toenail," he said. Nevertheless, McGill beat the arrive-by date by more than a day. He had to reach NYC by Tuesday (June 8). The first of three playoff games in Boston was Tuesday night, won by the Lakers.
McGill's stunt recalls a 19th century precursor to racewalking known as pedestrianism. In 1867, newspaper reporter Edward Payson Weston won $10,000 for walking 1,136 miles from Portland, Maine, to Chicago in 30 days. For the next two decades competitive distance walkers attracted big crowds before distance running and the Olympic movement (begun in 1896) supplanted it in popularity.
I've walked crazy distances just to freak out friends who would never think of doing such a thing. Years ago, when ultralight gear had just begun trickling into the hiking mainstream, I zoomed 75 miles in 3 days on the Pacific Crest Trail just to see if I could do it. I felt pretty proud about that until a buddy told me he had covered the same distance, just in 2 days. What's the wackiest walk you have ever tried?