Karl Meltzer summited Springer Mountain in Georgia to break the record for the fastest supported thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.
The American trail runner covered 2,190 miles (3,524 kilometres) in 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes arriving at Sprinter Mountain in Georgia. He began the Appalachian Trail on Aug. 3 on Mount Katahdin, Maine and made his way south breaking the old record held by Scott Jurek.
According to Red Bull, Meltzer burned more than 345,000 calories on his lengthy run while taking more than 4,330,000 steps. Jurek, who held the previous record of 46 days, eight hours and seven minutes, ran alongside Meltzer for parts of the journey across 14 states. Jurek was returning the favour as Meltzer helped pace the previous record holder during his run in 2015.
Meltzer, known as the “Speedgoat,” is an accomplished trail and ultrarunner and has five career wins at the Hardrock 100. It’s believed that the 48-year-old has more 100-mile wins than any other runner before him.
The ultrarunner officially reached the end of the Appalachian Trail at 3:38 a.m. local time on Sept. 18. He began the run at 5 a.m. local time on Aug. 3. The lengthy trail is extremely challenging and involves more than 515,000 feet of elevation change, roughly the equivalent of climbing the Empire State Building stairs 443 times.
According to Red Bull, Meltzer covered the final 83-mile (133 kilometres) stretch nonstop running for just under 24 consecutive hours (23 hours and 18 minutes) from Sept. 16 until this morning. The gruelling final stretch put him ahead of anticipated arrival as he was scheduled to arrive either late Sunday or on Monday.
Throughout the 45-day run, Meltzer went through 22 pairs of shoes.
Bertha R. Massie