Meet Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer, a former ski resort bartender, and the winningest 100-mile runner on Earth. Meltzer, 48, currently holds the world record for 100-mile trail wins (38), but it's his latest milestone that has solidified him as one of the greatest ultra runners of all time.
Photo credit: Interpret Studios, via Red Bull Content Pool
At 2,190 miles long, the Appalachian Trail is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. It passes through 14 states, 8 national forests and 6 national parks. According to the National Park Service, it can take an estimated seven months to hike the length of the trail. Meltzer ran it in a month and a half.
But Meltzer wasn't going to let a few bumps in the road get in his way. He told Business Insider, "With failure comes greater success. I knew I could do it if everything fell into place, so I just wanted one more crack at it." As fate would have it, everything fell into place. Meltzer broke the record by running 50 miles a day and 83 miles on the day he broke the record.
Meltzer told Business Insider, "I tried for a combination of sugar and protein. Sometimes I'd have sugar, so I'd have a Danish or a pastry or something like that. And then I'd have some chicken or something."
He told Outside Magazine, "I ate a whole bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken one night."
In addition to thousands and thousands of calories, Meltzer also burned through 20 pairs of running shoes along his 2,190-mile record setting trek. Honestly, we're surprised he didn't eat them when he was done with them.