This is Episode 119 of Talk Ultra and we have a 1-hour special interview with Speedgoat Karl Meltzer on his incredible record breaking FKT on the AT. We also have interviews with the male and female winners of the Superior 100, Mallory Richard and Frank Pipp. We have the news and Ian is going solo!
KARL ON THE AT
On Sept. 18 at 3:38 a.m Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer emerged from the Appalachian Trail’s southern terminus at Springer Mountain, Ga., and set a new Appalachian Trail thru-hike speed record with a time of 45 days 22 hours and 38 minutes. Meltzer started his supported run at 5 a.m. on Aug. 3 from Mt. Katahdin, Maine, and averaged approximately 47 miles per day at a pace of 3.2 miles per hour. Meltzer’s time beats the previous record by more than 10 hours, which was set by Scott Jurek in 2015.
The project, in planning for more than two years, was accomplished with a small core crew consisting of Meltzer’s father, Karl Sr., and crew chief Eric Belz. Others joined the crew to support Meltzer for short periods throughout the hike, including Meltzer’s wife and fellow ultrarunners. The crew traveled alongside Meltzer every day, providing him with food, water, medical attention and logistical support. Meals were prepared and taken in a van, which also served as Meltzer and Belz’s sleeping quarters.
00:09:39 INTERVIEW WITH SPEEDGOAT
RUNNING BEYOND BOOK well I have a first copy in my hand and I have to say I am somewhat pleased and happy. It’s taken a couple of years and at times it never felt quite real. The book in my hand confirms it is real and Spanish, German, Italian and UK versions will be available in the coming months. I believe Spain is first (September) Italy is October and the UK November. I don’t have a date on the German edition yet! – HERE
Pipp crossed the line in 20:24:00 a superior, Superior 100 champion. His run for a rookie 100-mile runner was incredible. Uhan had run a clever and smart race, he had saved something for those closing challenging miles and he pulled away from Jenkins and Schwarz-Lowe. His finish 22:46 was a solid 8-minutes ahead of Jenkins who had no doubt had the race of his life… he had managed to pull ahead of Schwarz-Lowe and take the final podium place by just 1-minute. But this only tells half the story. In the closing miles, under darkness, tired, fatigued and lacking focus, Jenkins had run into a head height true branch that cut his head open sending him flat to the ground. Somehow he managed to pick himself up and find the effort and pace to hold off a charging Schwarz-Lowe.
Richard finished next, first lady and 5th overall with a new course record 23:51. Her performance was stunning and almost looked effortless. It was impressive! Tina Johnson finished 2nd and Stephanie Hoff 3rd, 29:50 and 30:52 respectively. Queen of the Superior 100 finished 4th in 31:07 and in doing so, achieved her 16th buckle.
02:20:22 INTERVIEW with MALLORY RICHARD
RUN RABBIT RUN
Alex Nichols runs his first 100 wins in 17:57 and takes home 12,000 dollars. Nice! Mark Hammon 2nd in 19:19 and Kyle Curtin 3rd 19:27. Incredibly Jeff Browning was 4th… he is having some year!
Courtney Dawalter won the ladies race (not a nam I know) ahead of Alissa St Laurent and Nicole Kalogeropoulos. Their times 21:23, 22:38 and 23:10.
Notable drops were Nikki Kimball who has won the race in the past and Sage Canaday dropped in the men’s race.
Darcy Piceu came from behind to win in 23:15 and Trevor Fuchs 21:13
DEVILS RIDGE 70K
Yun Yanqiao run 6:30 to finish 11 minutes in front of Francois D’Haene. In the women’s race, Lucy Bartholomew pipped Sally McRae.
It’s the crux day’s now as Karl comes to the end of this epic journey, physically and mentally tired, he needs to continue to dig deep as he covers over 50-miles a day. The terrain is getting more challenging but Karl is prepared, he knows what needs to be done and if that means pulling an all-nighter, he thinks he has it in him – go Karl!
Many thanks to Eric, Senior, Karl and Red Bull for the continued support.
Day 40 Tennessee
Two ‘AT’ legends, Dave Horton and Scott Jurek, started the day with Karl and crewed him for the first few stops. Dave had to leave the trail early but had some very important and inspiring words… “You can do it, but you should quit now if you don’t plan on beating Scott’s record.”
40 days have passed since Karl left Mt. Katahdin in Maine and Scott is now helping with the journey. Physically, Karl hasn’t changed much; he appears to have lost maybe five pounds. Mentally though, the 40 trail days are showing their toll as one can only imagine. Karl is getting more particular about his diet, and he’s not so quick to laugh and joke with the crew anymore. Senior and Eric are doing an incredible job and yes, Karl is putting one foot in-front of the other but think about the impact on the crew? Karl managed 47.3 miles. It’s all about strategy now but if Karl needs one or two BIG days, I believe he has it in him, both physically and mentally. Karl will head toward Hot Springs tomorrow, an iconic trail town.
Day 41 North Carolina
Speedgoat is maintaining a pace between fast hike and a jog on trail that varies between farmland and forest. He is still holding up well physically. Today was another 50+ day and all is looking good. Throughout the the day, Scott Jurek supported and has commented on how he was confidence that Karl will set a new AT FKT! The terrain over the next few days is challenging but like I keep saying, the barn is smoking and Speedgoat can smell it more and more.
Episode 31 of Talk Ultra. Joe Grant tells us all about his experiences covering 350 miles at the Iditarod Trail Invitational in Alaska. New run sensation, 21 yr old Ruby Muir from New Zealand tells us what it’s like dominating Tarawera Ultra and placing 7th overall. We speak with Daniel Rowlands & Rebecca Pattinson, respective winners of the Atacama Crossing in Chile. Ian Sharman discusses the News, Marc Laithwaite talks hills in Talk Training, Speedgoat has a Meltzer Moment and of course we have A year in the life of, MDS special and the Up & Coming Races.
00:20:10 A Year in the life of… with Amanda Hyatt. Amanda finally seems to be getting the hand of ultra running. After being ‘shocked’ with her first race experience, she now has another race under her belt and feels far more confident.
00:33:30 News with Ian Sharman. Ian has had a niggle with a knee injury but is back in training and has a race coming up in the next couple of weeks. He discusses the news from around the world.
00:41:40 Ruby Muir – 21 year old ultra newbie, Ruby Muir has elevated herself to a whole new level with a stunning performance at the very competetive Tarawera Ultra in New Zealand. Not only did she dominate the ladies race, she placed 7th overall. I caught up with her just this last week… “I am just a runner” this modest star of the future says.
01:00:00 Back to News
01:04:40 Daniel Rowlands from Zimbabwe has just won the Atacama Crossing in Chile. You can hear what he has to say and read his blog HERE
01:14:05 Rebecca Pattinson from the UK won the ladies race at Atacama Crossing and is somewhat surprised! She talks about her training and racing money for Autism. Take a look HERE
01:34:40 Back to News
01:42:15 Blog/ Video – SILENCE – Surrounded by the noise of the city, a noise that can drown out our ability to fully listen to what our bodies are telling us, the video highlights how it can disconnect us from the places that we’re running in and although running becomes an escape – it isn’t always relaxing. Why we Run? Watch it HERE
01:45:00 Talk Training with Marc Laithwaite, this week we discuss Hills. Going up and down them.
02:06:45 Interview. Our final catch up with Arc’teryx/Inov-8 athlete Joe Grant. Joe has just completed the 350 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational in joint 2nd place. It was a little tougher than he expected.
02:49:35 Back to Karl
02:56:30 A Meltzer Moment with Speedgoat Karl
03:03:05 MDS Special – This week we have our final catch up with Stuart Rae. The next time we speak it will be in the Sahara.
03:12:10 Up & Coming Races for the next two weeks.