Karl has covered approximately 1414 miles and he has 775 miles to go. It’s incredible to follow daily the highs and lows Speedgoat is going through… today we provide the daily updates from day 22 to 28.
Day 22 Pennsylvania
Karl’s shin continued to swell today but his spirits are still high while hiking. It was a slower and shorter day but the pace is still solid. He only travelled around 16.4 miles for 7 hours… Terrain is relatively consistent with lots of lush green forests with brown gravel and grey rocks. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are being consumed in huge quantities and his ‘go-to’ sugar boost is coming from canned mandarin oranges. An early trail day means more rest.
Day 23 Pennsylvania
Last night Karl had plenty of ice on his shin and that payed off today with Karl having a much better day. Despite the struggles, Karl is really optimistic and he even found some time for a laugh and joke. He is pushing himself hard, very hard and this way so few people can achieve a goal like this, it takes a special kinda person – some would even say a mad person! As the day came to a conclusion, Karl instead he pushed on for more miles.
Day 24 Pennsylvania
A day of highs and lows which started at dawn. Karl’s shin continues to give him problems and when you keep pounding it day after day it has no opportunity to recover despite icing. Wearing compression socks today seemed to help – maybe it’s placebo? As you can imagine, mood changes from stopping point to stopping point (I personally don’t know how he’s doing it?). Ultimately its frustration – Karl wants to run but his body is fighting him. Sometimes though the body and the mind can only take so much… Karl stopped the day at 35.5 miles. Poles have been helping to alleviate pressure and reduce body weight. Food, rest and ice, ice, ice was the plan before bed.
Day 25 Pennsylvania
Karl is through halfway today. A huge achievement and a great boost for a tired mind and body. He is on pace for the record with some 1,000 miles to go. Karl is 48 and the AT record has eluded him on two previous attempts, this will be the last attempt – successful or not!
Day 26 Maryland
Speedgoat is in full force again and it was a great day on the AT. Karl’s shin condition is about the same but he is pushing through. Favorable trail conditions helped today too with a great deal of flatter sections. There are still many rocks and tree roots which can make a missed step into a big mistake but there are no mountains to get over here. Mike, one of Karl’s crew left today but he will be back in North Carolina but this was compensated with the arrival of Karl senior. The arrival of Karl’s dad gives a great boost. At stop points Karl looked good physically but he has blinkers on, he has just one focus, one objective – the record. Despite recent tough days and shorter distances, Karl today knocked off a stunning 60.1 miles.
Day 27 Virginia
Karl’s shin pain and swelling has subsided and he appears to be doing excellent, mainly down to a new way of taping the shin area. The crew are also surviving and settling in well. Speed walking has now turned into a jog or a near run at a consistent pace. Eric and the crew are particularly happy as it’s obvious more miles and better feelings for Karl are all positives to the AT record. The current daily food extravaganza for Speedgoat is canned Ravioli, mandarin oranges and it may come as no surprise but cans of Red Bull. Terrain is varied, mostly hilly. One thru hiker called it the ‘roller coaster’ and that seems apt. After covering 60+ miles yesterday, today Karl covered a whopping 55.8 – he is getting it done!
Day 28 Virginia
Karl entered the beautiful Shenandoah National Park, a trail section with more elevation changes and mountains than he has seen since the White Mountains. Karl is still keeping a consistent jogging pace and when he arrives and departs from his crew stops, he maintains a good 3.5 – 4mph. Karl had another great day and logged his miles while making it half way through SNP in one day. His demeanor is very measured. At crew stops he doesn’t say much. Instead he is eating as much food as possible and then getting back onto the trail as fast as possible. It’s all about routine and auto-pilot.
The above photo was taken from the trail and brings many similarities to the ‘controversial’ image that Scott Jurek posted mid his AT FKT in 2015… remember the comments about how being vegan doesn’t work on the AT? Well, Karl is looking no better..! The AT is brutal and running day-in-day-out will break anyone down. Here is a reminder of Scott Jurek’s successful AT in 2015 HERE.
Many thanks to Red Bull for the continued help and support on sharing Karl’s Appalachian Trail Journey.
All content http://atrun.redbull.com/karl-meltzer-mobile/p/1