Appalachian Assault: Where’s Karl? At The Finish Line!

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Karl Meltzer has completed his Appalachian Assault, finishing up in the wee hours this morning, and officially reaching the end of the Appalachian Trail at 4:20 AM EDT this morning.

Officially, it took Karl 54 days, 21 hours, and 12 minutes to complete the AT, which was good enough to earn him the fourth fastest time ever. When he set out back on August 5th, Karl’s intention was to set a new record by completing the entire length of the 2,174 long trail in 47 days, which would have been good enough for the fastest time ever. He got off to a good start and was meeting his daily goals, but injuries caught up to him about two weeks in. Severe tendentious and trench foot landed Karl in the hospital, and ultimately slowed down his pace.

While others would have abandoned their pursuit of the record right there, Karl never gave up, and was soon back on the trail and putting in huge mileage. Many days he as doing 50-60+ miles as he continued toward the finish line, even though he knew that claiming the record was now out of reach. Reading the daily updates on showed that he was getting strong as he approached the end.

Karl is one of the best ultrarunners in the world and can do amazing things on a trail over vast distances. But his determination and gutsy performance over the past month and a half has been quite an inspiration. Great work Karl, and congratulations on reaching the end. Amazing!

Kraig Becker

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