Ultra runner Karl Meltzer set a new Appalachian Trail record this weekend. His secret? Beer, junk food and refusing to give up.
Ultra runners are known for running distances further than your typical 26.2-mile marathon. Even before setting this new record, Meltzer had already won 38 100-mile trail races. This time, he decided to go for something bigger.
The Appalachian Trail is 2,190 miles long. It took Meltzer almost 46 days to finish, averaging about 47 miles per day. Along the way, he consumed plenty of fried and fatty foods, along with some veggies, pasta and, of course, Red Bull and beer.
His first two attempts at completing the Appalachian Trail, in 2008 and 2014, were unsuccessful. It took him eight years to finally snag the record. It only goes to show what perseverance and a little indulgence can do for any determined distance runner.
MP’s Take: Running over 2,000 miles in less than two months is stressful. We have to cut this guy some slack. One or two beers nightly isn’t actually all that bad anyway. A maximum of two drinks per day for men is still considered moderate consumption. We also don’t know for sure what Meltzer’s diet is like during training. Fried chicken, ice cream and beer could be a unique form of motivational eating to get him through all that running on the trail every day … maybe. Plus, ultra runners probably need the calories. When you’re running almost 50 miles daily, energy is energy, no matter where it comes from.