He has done it. Karl Meltzer, the Red Bull sponsored athlete nicknamed the “Speedgoat,” has beaten the Appalachian Trail speed record.
The 48-year-old ultrarunner covered the 2,190 mile AT in 45 days 22 hours and 38 minutes, averaging a mind-blowing 47 miles per day. Though hard to imagine, he went through 18 pairs of shoes, took 4.3 million steps and burned 345,000 calories.
Successfully breaking the record by 10 hours set by Scott Jurek last year, Meltzer’s record caps two previous speed record attempts in 2008 and 2014. There to greet him at the finish line was Jurek with a big hug.
“It’s been a long journey,” Meltzer said in a press release from Red Bull. “I’ve been trying to get this record for eight years, and I waas finally successful. it just took me three times to do it. It’s a very special time right now, definitely a stamp on my career.”
The standard routine for Meltzer over the past 46 days was to start at 5 am and run along the trail at a pace of 3.2 miles per hour until 7 or 9 pm. While Meltzer was tearing across the terrain, a full support crew was catching up with supplies.
He would start the day with a cup coffee with cream and a quick breakfast, maybe a banana and yogurt or bacon and eggs. Then throughout the day he would have several large meals to pack on calories with steak, fried chicken, ice cream, peanut butter pasta, Red Bull (0f course) and an occasional beer at night.
Rather than going south to north as most hiker cover the AT, and the way Jurek did it last year, Meltzer went from north to south, finishing the route in Spring Mountain, Georgia.
For more on Metlzer’s journey click here.
Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool