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Appalachian Trail Completed in Record Time… but Wait Till You Hear What He Ate

appalachian trail
Credit Interpret Studios, via Red Bull Content Pool

His Appalachian Trail record is impressive, but what he ate while doing it… well, that makes it even better!

The New York Times reported Sunday that Karl Meltzer has set the new record time for running the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, from Mount Katahdin in Maine all the way South to Springer Mountain Georgia. During his epic run, Meltzer covered 2,190 miles over 14 states in just 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes.

The previous Appalachian Trail record was set just last year by endurance running guru Scott Jurek. Jurek completed the trail in 46 days 8 hours 7 minutes on a completely vegan diet.

While 48-year-old Meltzer was up for the challenges of the trail, unlike Jurek, he wasn’t up for going vegan.

Instead, Meltzer chose an unusual diet, especially compared with those of most endurance runners.

For example, he decided he’d better cap each night off with a few beers. He also regularly woke up eating Spree candy with a Three Musketeers chocolate bar, and he’d stuff some bacon into his pockets for good measure.

appalachian trail
Karl Meltzer, right, met by Scott Jurek, after breaking Juke’s record. Carl Rosen/Red Bull Content Pool

At night, he typically slept fewer than seven hours and saw fit to drink up to five  energy drinks each day, averaging about one every ten miles or so.

Believe it or not, one day, his support crew found him napping and gave him an entire pint of ice cream to eat! I am not sure how he was able too run after downing a bunch of ice cream, but I’ll leave that secret with Meltzer.

Although the trail provided a long series of ups and downs, Meltzer was able to push out a strong finish and complete the last 83 miles of the trail in one shot. He completed the trail Sunday morning at 3:38.

This was Meltzer’s third try at setting the record. His first attempt was in 2008, when he finished a week behind the record. He gave it another shot in 2014, but unfortunately had to drop out with 600 miles left to go. This time, it seems the beer, bacon, ice cream, candy and energy drinks were able to provide enough of the good stuff to get him across the finish line for the win.

Congrats on your outstanding accomplishment, Meltzer! It is well deserved!


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Appalachian Trail Completed in Record Time… but Wait Till You Hear What He Ate