You may recall my August 22 post which reported that Karl Meltzer's bid for the fastest completion of the Appalachian Trail was in jeopardy.
Originally, Meltzer intented to set the speed record on the Appalachian Trail by completing the entire length of the 2,174 long trail in just 47 days.
However, problems arose for the ultra marathon runner early on when he was forced to trek through several days of rain in Maine that resulted in a nasty case of trench foot. He also contracted poison ivy on the toes of his left foot, forcing him to over-compensate on the other foot, which ultimately resulted in tendonitis. All of this forced him off the trail for three days in-a-row.
After a few early set-backs, it was clear that Meltzer wasn't going to break the record. However, he decided he was going to complete the trail anyway, citing that he would use the learnings from this trek for a future assault on the record.
Meltzer pressed on by doing 40 and 50 mile days. Yesterday, he knocked-out an inhuman 71 miles!
Then, early this morning, with a celebratory beer in hand, Meltzer finally reached the summit of Springer Mountain, the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.
Officially, it took him 54 days, 21 hours and 12 minutes to complete the entire trail, making it the fourth fastest completion of the Appalachian Trail ever.
White Blaze Fever, by Bill Schuette. "Bill, what a great hike! Followed you from the start and your journal made me feel like I was there with you." Denny, Poughkeepsie, New York
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