Karl Is Done

It was nice to read that Karl Meltzer finally completed his Appalachian Trail record attempt yesterday. He didn’t break the record as he set out to do, but he demonstrated some serious strength in persevering through injuries and some seriously bad weather, to finish what he started. 

I first wrote about Karl nearly six weeks ago. He was just into his second week of running and was right on the cusp of stopping due to trench foot. We literally “ran into him” in Hanover, New Hampshire as he was crossing into Vermont. He had run through the wettest New England August on record.

He ran through the 100 Mile Wilderness of Maine in seriously wet conditions, crossed the White Mountains in nasty trail conditions, and after a pause in VT to recover from his foot injury, kept on trucking. Unfortunately, things never dried up for him. The entire East Coast has had one of the wettest summers on record and now that we are one week into fall, the rain hasn’t stopped. This was definitely a factor in his failure to break the 47 day barrier set by Andrew Thompson in 2005. It took Karl 54+ days. Pete Palmer and Dave Horton have both run 48+ and 52+ respectively. 

There is no doubt that Karl is going to try this again. Running all the way to Springer Mountain probably taught him a lifetime of lessons about personal suffering, pain management, and of course, the AT.

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