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Beer powers ultra runner to record

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Karl Meltzer

Karl Meltzer poses for a portrait after breaking the record for running the length of the Appalachian Trail on September 18, 2016. Photo by Carl Rosen / Red Bull Content Pool

Karl Meltzer just broke the record for fastest completion of the Appalachian Trail. And how did he celebrate?

The same way he finished every night on the trail.

“When Meltzer finished Sunday,” The New York Times reported, “he walked down the mountain, sat in a chair and sated himself with pepperoni pizza and a beer.”

The 48-year-old former bartender finished the 2,190-mile trail in just under 46 days, which shaved about 10 hours off the previous record set by Scott Jurek last year.

Meltzer averaged 50 miles and 15 hours of running each day, which entitled him to the one or two beers he finished at the end of each leg.

The newspaper noted in their headline that Meltzer was fueled by “candy and beer,” and in fact a can of beer is visible in a photo posted to his Facebook page.

“I drink too much beer, but I think a lot of people may know that,” Meltzer said in a 2013 interview. “I am just like everyone else, just an athlete who enjoys running far.”

But unlike everyone else, he’s entitled to a few more beers after a record-setting 46-day ultra-running journey.


Tim Cigelske is DRAFT's Beer Runner. (Beer Run•ner [noun]: Someone equally devoted to fine beer appreciation and an active, healthy lifestyle. Ex. "John downed four microbrews at the triathlon finish line. He's a total beer runner.”) Follow Tim on Twitter @TheBeerRunner, and email him at beerrunner [at] draftmag.com.


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