Another i have oft wondered about is when does a thru-hiker become a section hiker?

This is the simplest question about AT hiking I know, because there is a solidly accepted answer. When the trek goes beyond one year. The definition of a thru-hiker versus a section hike is that a thru-hiker completes the entire trail in less than one year's time. If the weekender started on March 1 and could finish by February 28 the next year, he's a thru-hiker, no matter the order or direction of travel, pack carried or any thing else.