Tags: karl meltzer | record | appalachian trail | hike

Karl Meltzer Sets Record for Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

Image: Karl Meltzer Sets Record for Appalachian Trail Thru-Hike

Karl Meltzer sets Appalachian Trail thru-hike record. (Screengrab of Twitter post/Runner's World)

By    |   Monday, 19 Sep 2016 01:45 PM

Karl Meltzer set the Appalachian Trail record for the fastest supported thru-hike Sunday, completing the 2,190-mile distance through 14 states in 45 days, eight hours and seven minutes.

Meltzer, 48, an accomplished ultrarunner, beat the old record set by Scott Jurek last year by 10 hours, according to Runner's World magazine. An update on Meltzer's Facebook page stated that he skipped his final night of sleep to finish the last 85 miles to ensure that would break the record.

Meltzer's Facebook page said that the runner began his final hike at 3:05 a.m. on his way to Springer Mountain, Georgia. Meltzer averaged about 3.5 miles per hour and decided at the halfway point, at Tesnatee Gap, to keep going until he completed the rest of the trip. 

"It's been a long journey," Meltzer said on the Red Bull website dedicated to his run. "I've been trying to get this record for eight years, and I was finally successful. It just took me three tries to do it. It’s a very special time right now, definitely a stamp on my career."

Meltzer was accompanied by his father Karl Meltzer Sr. and crew chief Eric Belz along with his wife and other ultrarunners who supported him at various parts along the way, according to the Red Bull website.

"Eric Belz was the best. Karl Senior was amazing," Meltzer told the Red Bull site. "For the crew, enduring 46 days of this was probably harder for them than it was for me. Without them it wouldn’t have happened."

Runner's World said Meltzer averaged 47 miles a day through the often hilly terrain. Meltzer said he prepared for the run by practicing the first six days of the trail, which contained one of the hardest sections to complete.

Meltzer also was on the help crew of Jurek during his record-breaking run last year. Jurek broke the old Appalachian Trail record by three hours in 2015, Runner's World reported.

According to Trail Runner magazine, this was Meltzer's third attempt at the Appalachian Trail record. The veteran of 100-mile races did not break the record in his first attempt in 2008 and could not finish the course in 2014, noted the magazine.

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Karl Meltzer set the Appalachian Trail record for the fastest supported thru-hike Sunday, completing the 2,190-mile distance through 14 states in 45 days, eight hours and seven minutes.
karl meltzer, record, appalachian trail, hike
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2016-45-19
Monday, 19 Sep 2016 01:45 PM
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