Speedgoat Karl Meltzer #AT Appalachian Trail FKT – Day 22-28 Update

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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.

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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.

Catch up days 1 to 7 HERE, days 8-14 HERE, days, 15-21 HERE

All content http://atrun.redbull.com/karl-meltzer-mobile/p/1

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William Sichel 2nd at Monaco 6-Day

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Orkney-based ultra marathon runner, William Sichel came second overall (first over 60) with 533.57 miles over the 8 Days run around the harbour in Monaco.

William will claim eight Scottish and one British age-group records achieved during the race.

Over 9100 runners took part in the whole event which raised almost 300,000 Euros for children’s charities.

The race was halted on the Monday night when Cyclone Cleopatra hit the port area of Monaco wrecking part of the course. When a tower collapsed, crushing a row of toilet cubicles and a car, the authorities moved in to halt the race as it was unsafe to continue.

“It was a bizarre situation as when the race was stopped we had no idea when it would resume.  We went back to our hotel and awaited news of a re-start which came the next morning.”

William lost 12 hours of the event which completely altered the race and ruled out chances for any World Age-Group Records.

“I had to re-assess my goals for the event so that I knew what I was doing.”

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The race was subsequently hit by torrential rain which rendered part of the course almost impassable, due to flooding, for some hours.  There were also major issues with the computer system at the race which meant that very few distance updates were available to runners during the race.

“All in all a very difficult and unusual race!  Finishing 2nd to Didier Sessegolo, for the the third time, is no disgrace, as he is a worthy World No 1 for this year.  I should hang on to my overall World No 3 ranking which isn’t bad for an over 60 year old!”

William now has a short break before heading across the ‘pond’, just after Christmas, for a very competitive Phoenix 6 Day race in Arizona.

William is just starting Project165.com in which he will attempt to have set 165 ultra running records before his 65th birthday on October 1st 2018. These records will be at World, British and Scottish level, including age groups, in certified races on road, track or indoor courses.  Amongst William’s current records he holds seven world age-group records including the fastest time to run 1000 miles.

Who is William Sichel?

I was told I “might be an ultra runner” in 1994, following some success at ‘ordinary’ marathon running but reporting that I “wasn’t exhausted at the finish”.  I enjoyed instant success, winning the Scottish 100km (62 miles) Championships in July of that year.

I went on to get my first Scottish vest in 1995 and my Great Britain call-up in 1996 and represented GB in all European and World 100km Championships through the 90’s. I also won the British Championships and the World Age-Group Championships at the 100km distance.

During the early part of the 2000’s I focused on 24 hour races, being ranked in the World Top 10 for two years.  I had outright 24 hour wins in Switzerland, the USA and the UK.  I also tackled some classic ultra distance events including the Spartathlon (twice) – 153 miles from Athens to Sparta, setting a Scottish event record and the World’s hottest race, the Badwater Ultra marathon, through Death Valley in California, setting a British event record.

In 2006 I had a winning debut in my first 6 Day race, in Monaco and became the overall World No1 in that event, for that year. Since then, multi-day races, up to 1000 miles in length, have become my specialty.

In the November 2011 Monaco “No Finish Line” 8 Day race (which had over 6,000 participants) I won the event outright, set a new course record and became the first person to cover more than 1000km during the 8-day race.  

For some years I have been engaged in Project 60@60 in which I was attempting to have set 60 ultra distance records, at World, British and Scottish level, including age-groups, before my 60th birthday on October 1st 2013. The two 1000km records, achieved in Monaco in November 2012, marked my 59th and 60th records thus achieving  my target 10 months ahead of schedule. Full details are provided HERE.

Project165.com was announced in September 2013.

I run a very active blog, which has had almost 1 million hits over the last 2 years and receives visitors from 91 countries.  I also actively promote my performances and my sport via social media.

The Scotsman newspaper described me as a ”role model for the middle aged”.