New AT Record
Scott Jurek held the Appalachian speed record for just over a year.
Karl Meltzer completed the 2189.2 mile trek in 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes, knocking about ten hours off Jurek's mark.
Meltzer was a "SOBO" (south-bounder), having started his "hike" in Maine. Jurek finished his journey in Maine, and still has the NOBO record.
The Red Bull-sponsored Meltzer had failed to break the speed record in two previous attempts.
This time, he capped each night with one or two beers and left from rest stops with rainbow-colored Spree candy, Three Musketeers chocolate bars and bacon in his pockets. To save time and keep his energy up, he typically slept less than seven hours a night and instead had an energy drink every 10 miles, downing about five a day. When on another day his support crew found him napping, they gave him a pint of ice cream for a boost.
Though Meltzer averaged 50 miles in 15 hours of running a day, his pace faltered at times. At one point he slept on the trail instead of making it to his support van — and then he slept the next morning on the dirt again. But in the last two days, he gathered strength, running 83 miles nonstop in the final leg to finish Sunday morning at 3:38.
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