Where’s Karl?by Marit Fischer
Karl Meltzer has cajones. The veteran ultra-runner is incredibly talented, freakishly enduro-endowed, ridiculously committed, and downright crazy.
On August 5, 2008, Backcountry Pro Team athlete Karl Meltzer begins his attempt to break the record for running the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, end-to-end, Maine to Georgia. That’s 2,174 miles in 47 days, and that (for the mathematically challenged among us) is an average of more than 46 miles per day—over some of the gnarliest terrain and during the most sweltering, buggiest season on the Eastern Seaboard.
Sound daunting? Karl has the cred and the experience to make a go. Of the 92 ultra-distance mountain races he’s started, he’s won 49 of ’em– including 23 hundred milers. He currently holds the world record for the most 100-mile wins during a calendar year: six in 2006. On top of that, he won four in 2005, and five in 2007.
This guy’s an animal.
WheresKarl.com—the official tracking site for Karl’s Appalachian Assault, complete with a real-time, interactive GPS tracking map, constantly updated vitals, a blog and an image and video gallery – is scheduled to go live the first week of July. Until then, Karl’s Backcountry cronies are updating the current blog on whereskarl.com with weekly training reports and snapshot videos of his training runs. Check it out.
Though Karl will be on his own for the running part of this insanity, Backcountry.com and a cadre of other sponsors—including Marmot, First Endurance, La Sportiva, Moeben, Nathan packs, NUUN, Petzl, Powerbar, Ryders Eyewear, and V.I.O—are determined to see that Karl’s quest is a successful one.