Appalachian Assault: Western States Warm-up!

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The latest updates at indicate that Karl Meltzer continues to train for the Appalachian Assault, still scheduled to begin in early August, but his sights are firmly set on the Western States Ultra, which is now just nine days away.

The Western States is one of the toughest ultramarathons around, with runners covering 100 miles along the Western States Trail running from Squaw Valley to Auburn California, gaining more than 2550 feet in just the first few miles. From there, runners will gain nearly 23,000 feet, and drop 15,500 over the length of the rest of the course. It’s considered one of the crown jewels for ultra-runners in North America, if not the entire world, and winners commemorate the event with an oh so stylish belt buckle. You can see a 3D fly over of the course by clicking here. (Google Earth required)

As part of his training routine, Karl did 50 miles of running last week, including a jaunt up to 9500 feet in altitude where he was greeted with 3′-5′ of snow still on the ground near Salt Lake City. As if running at altitude wasn’t already hard enough. This report sounds a lot like the ones I’ve been hearing from the PQ course in Montana. I guess spring has been slow in coming in the west this year, and we’re just a few days from summer now.

The Appalachian Assault will be Karl’s speed attempt on the Appalachian Trail, where he’ll attempt to complete the entire 2,174 mile length in just 47 days. An average of 46 miles per day if you’re keeping track at home.

For now, the training runs and ultra-events are his tune-up, but as August looms nearer, the AT will call. Karl’s team is preparing to support him on the trail and online with frequent updates on his progress and news from the course. Should be really interesting to follow! The RV is certainly ready!

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Kraig Becker

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