Paymaster proudly announces its support of Ian & Leslie’s thru-hike of the Appalachian trail in the USA

Paymaster People Solutions is proud to announce that it will be supporting Ian and Leslie Hurst (Ed. a married couple) on their thru-hike attempt of the Appalachian Trail (AT) in the USA. The term ‘thru-hike’ is used to indicate the hiking of a long-distance trail from its absolute beginning to its absolute end (end-to-end) within one hiking season.

Appalachian trail

The Appalachian trail is a 3616 km walking trail that stretches from Springer Mountain in Georgia, through to mount Kathadin in Maine. Interestingly, bears and rattlesnakes are often to be encountered in some of the forests and vegetation along the way. Every year, the world famous AT thru-hike is attempted by more than 5000 hikers. Less than 500 hikers end up finishing the entire (end-to-end) thru-hike. Along their way, Ian and Leslie will be sleeping in a tent in the forests of various mountain ranges. They will be collecting water from streams, whilst only visiting small towns for basic food supplies once every 5 days. Once every 10 days (or thereabouts) Ian and Leslie will also be visiting certain small towns for a decent shower and some forced rest for their feet.

AT Trail Thru-hike - Ian and LesileIan Hurst born with heart defect

Ian was born with a congenital heart defect and at the age of 21 was fitted with a pacemaker. He leads an active life which includes hiking, cycling and running. To date, Ian has completed five Cape Argus cycle tours and many of the iconic hikes around South Africa. Ian has also run a few half marathons in his day. Speaking of his healthy lifestyle, Ian says that “being active is my way of dealing with the stress of life … I have tried to make sure that my pacemaker never slows me down.”

Raising awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation

Ian and Leslie are walking the trail to raise awareness for the Heart and Stroke Foundation. By advocating a regime of regular exercise, Ian and Leslie’s thru-hike of the AT is enthusiastically aimed at encouraging people, who suffer from heart disease or who might even have suffered from a stroke, to live a healthy lifestyle.

Doing business remotely from the Appalachian trail

As a side-line challenge, Ian will endeavour to prove that he can work from anywhere in the world (Ed. provided there is a mobile signal). This he will do from the convenience of a mere handheld mobile device. Ian is certain of his ultimate success in being able to work from anywhere in the world, because all of his company’s essential business processes and HR software is cloud-based (on the Internet). This implies that Ian will keep the lines of important business communication open with his clients. He will also continue with blog-updates and plans to run and process at least one payroll from the Appalachian Trail.

AT Trail Thru-hike - Ian and Lesile

Commencement of their journey — Starting in two weeks time

Ian and Leslie will be spending the next two weeks finalising everything that they need for the adventure and will be leaving South Africa on the 30 March and start walking on the 4 April 2018.

Follow Ian & Leslie’s adventure online

Should you be keen to keep an eye on Ian & Leslie’s progress, or to support their cause with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, why not visit their Appalachian Trail Thru-hike website landing-page at

AT Trail Thru-hike - Ian and Lesile


  1. Marina Maree March 22, 2018 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Good luck Ian and Leslie. I will be following you!

    I will make contact before you leave.


    • Adrian Baillie-Stewart April 25, 2018 at 7:09 am - Reply

      Thank you Marina

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