Eden Slater Shares 81 Day Journey to Complete the Appalachian Trail


The Legacy Institute’s Peace Through Sport program welcomed another amazing athlete to join the virtual exchange with students in Lebanon and the United States. Eden Slater is a life-long runner who competed both in high school and at University of Missouri. She was a member of the track and cross-country teams, and then shifted her interests to trail and marathon running. She has completed three marathons, one of which was the Boston Marathon just a few weeks ago.

In the summer of 2021, Eden decided to test her limits and set out to "run" the Appalachian Trail. The Appalachian Trail starts at Springer Mountain, Georgia, goes through fourteen states, and ends in Katahdin, Maine. A typical hiker takes five to seven months to complete the trail, and only one in four hikers actually accomplish this incredible challenge. Eden took a total of eighty-one days (a little less than three months) to complete 2,198 miles.

Through running, Eden has gained a better understanding of dedication, mental toughness, the power of perseverance, and has learned to embrace who she is as a person. Her message of mental toughness as her super power really impacted the youth on the call. The overall message of her presentation was that you shouldn’t not start something because you are afraid to fail. Anything that you accomplish, no matter how small is more than if you never tried. She attributes her success to the support of her family and friends. As young leaders, the participants were encouraged to lead by example and to try new things. Asking for help when needed is a strength and not a weakness.

Peace Through Sport is an eight-week program generously funded by the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. The goal of this program is to connect youth from Lebanon and the United States as they learn about communication, respect for diversity, and problem-solving through the lens of sport. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to hear Eden’s amazing journey as well as the lessons she learned along the way.