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View Full Version : Injury ends Meltzer's record shot, but his hike is not over yet



Hoop Time
08-19-2008, 18:48
By CHRIS A. COUROGEN

The quest for the record appears to be over, but Karl Meltzer is not ready to pull the plug on his effort to through hike the Appalachian Trail.

A lower leg injury has put Meltzer's record attempt on ice -- literally, but the Speedgoat says if rest, ice and anti-inflamatory medication prescribed by his doctor do the trick within a few days, he plans to get back on the trail to complete his trek to Georgia.

"We'll give it a week," said Meltzer in a telephone interview Tuesday evening. "If it is still pretty bad in three or four days, then there is obviously some damage."

Meltzer's self diagnosis of the problem centers on the tibialis anterior, a large muscle that runs down the outside of the shin. But Meltzer is not certain of that diagnosis. His only consultation with a physician came over the phone with his doctor back in Utah.

"I have never had shin splints, or any injuries like this, so I can't really diagnose myself," he said.

Meltzer speculates the problem was caused by the poison ivy he got on his foot. The discomfort of the poison caused him to run more on his heels, favoring his toes. Ironically, the poison has all buy cleared up and is no longer effecting his stride.

"i'm going to let the meds do their work. If I can continue, I will," Meltzer said.

If not?

"The trail will always been there. I'll be back," Meltzer said.

He concedes the time off the trail likely means he won't be able to break Andrew Thompson's record of 47 days, 13 hours and 31 minutes. But he repeated his pre-start pledge to finish the hike regardless of the record if he is able.

"It's not all about he record. The record is icing on the cake," said Meltzer.

If he can't finish this year, Meltzer said he plans to return next year or the year after. Even if he finishes this year. Meltzer won't rule out another shot at the record in the future, perhaps with a slightly different approach.

"You learn from experience," he said.

Among the things Meltzer might tweak would be the way he has depended on his support RV for overnight accommodations.

"I might have a bivvy set up once in a while so I could go an extra seven miles instead of stopping at the RV when it is still daylight," he said.

A little more research into road crossings might also help, he said, citing a day where he stopped early at a road crossing, only to cross several roads that did not show up on his map early the next day.

Said Meltzer, "There are ways to go faster."

gravityman
08-19-2008, 19:02
Nice article. Too bad you can't put it 'out on the wire' (not that I really know what that means) :)

Sounds like he is pretty humble, and knows he can go back and do a lot better. I bet if he comes back again, he'll seriously break the record.

How much did you feed him when asking questions? Did he freely talk about more research and sleeping out in the woods (i.e. was he reading whiteblaze and listening), or did you prompt him?

Either way, he seems willing to learn from this experience. I look forward to following him on the rest of his hike and hopefully his next attempt!

Hoop Time
08-19-2008, 19:32
I asked if there was anything he would do different, but did not attempt to "lead" him in any direction.

He is a real easy interview. He talks freely and is very open. While I have not met him in person, from my two phone interviews with him, I'd say he is a good dude.

I never got the sense that this was an ego trip or that he was anything but humble about what he was attempting. I am looking forward to lifting a pint with him when he makes it to Pa.

Lone Wolf
08-19-2008, 20:13
Karl, if i ain't helpin' Squeaky next year, i'd be willing to give you support. let's see how it goes. i love this stuff! :)

FritztheCat
08-19-2008, 22:04
I'm glad to hear he's going to continue on the trail, record or no. The experience will do wonders for a future record attempt. I've really enjoyed watching his attempt develop and reading the critiques from many who have experience on the trail.

Just the notion of doing the AT in 47 days is amazing to me.

Tin Man
08-19-2008, 23:23
If Karl is truly humble, he will finish his hike this year and take better counsel next time around.

OregonHiker
08-20-2008, 00:02
If Karl is truly humble, he will finish his hike this year and take better counsel next time around.

Why would that be necessary?

Tin Man
08-20-2008, 07:20
Why would that be necessary?

Experience. His own and that of others who have gone before him. Key missing ingredient here. Anybody can HYOH until the cows come home as far as I am concerned, but when one goes for any record, they need to be a strong and humble student of that record to increase their odds of breaking it.

Go Karl!

Animal Cracker
08-20-2008, 08:15
Hope to see Karl finish up and have another go at it next year. I wonder if he has any feelings of "obligation" to finish the trail specifically related to the sponsorship and hype.

Jason of the Woods
08-20-2008, 08:26
So there is plenty of time for him to start over. Why not do that?

ed bell
08-20-2008, 09:30
So there is plenty of time for him to start over. Why not do that?Exactly my thought.

1camper
08-20-2008, 10:37
Great interview for sure- and you are right, Karl is a real easy going guy, no ego trip going on here...He is one of those guys that lets his actions speak, I have never heard him brag about any of his accomplishments. That is why I chose to sponsor Karl. (I am Jonny from Backcountry.com) This project is not about selling product, or getting our name out there, its just about a really great guy wanting to try something truly amazing. Karl is all for getting feedback from folks, and figuring out how to go about it differently next go around. (and FYI, he still hasn't REALLY thrown in the towell) Anyhow, if you see us out and about, please stop by, Karl and I love beer, and would gladly tip some with you. I just put a new post up about Karl in AM on the WK site. Check it out. Regards- JA

gravityman
08-20-2008, 10:51
Good to hear! The website made it sound a little more like an ego trip to be honest, and so there was a lot of hackles up in the beginning, but Karl has won over a lot of people with his heart and his honesty on this 'blog'.

Good luck, and keep going! The rest of the trail is beautiful!

Gravity

mudhead
08-20-2008, 10:58
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27983616@N03/2770412597/

Good shot-looks natural.

1camper
08-20-2008, 11:26
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27983616@N03/2770412597/

Good shot-looks natural.

Salt of the earth I tell ya, salt of the earth!
JA

Mags
08-20-2008, 11:39
Salt of the earth I tell ya, salt of the earth!
JA


The smile about says it all. If I ever meet him in person, I'd love to grab a beer with him....

humunuku
08-20-2008, 12:38
I also strained my tibialis anterior muscle (but two years ago), it still is a bit touchy going down hills

fiddlehead
08-20-2008, 14:43
I just hope someone sooner or later takes that ridiculous few lines of text on the top of the whereskarl.com website. I doubt Karl thinks that way anymore.

You know, the one that says:
On August 5, 2008, uber ultra-runner Karl Meltzer set off on the biggest race of his life. His challenge: to run the entire length of the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail in less than 47 days. Definitely daunting. Absolutely grueling. Probably insane. But when he does it, he’ll rule the AT as the guy who conquered it, all of it, the fastest on two feet. This is going to be Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Self, Man vs. Clock – and it’s going to be good.

warren doyle
08-20-2008, 17:26
I just hope someone sooner or later takes that ridiculous few lines of text on the top of the whereskarl.com website. I doubt Karl thinks that way anymore.

You know, the one that says:
On August 5, 2008, uber ultra-runner Karl Meltzer set off on the biggest race of his life. His challenge: to run the entire length of the 2,174-mile Appalachian Trail in less than 47 days. Definitely daunting. Absolutely grueling. Probably insane. But when he does it, hell rule the AT as the guy who conquered it, all of it, the fastest on two feet. This is going to be Man vs. Nature, Man vs. Self, Man vs. Clock and its going to be good.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Ronnie Motrose
08-23-2008, 21:17
All I care about is what happens to that sweet truck, is it available on foreclousure? ......... Anyways .... stupid for outdoor companies to endorse such an endeaver.

notorius tic
08-31-2008, 20:50
Just saw a article on CNN. here in Florida they were tracking carl, basic stuff but a good article all the same. Showed his swamp feet,MAN I thought mine were bad last year. They showed some other WBs talking to him at a road crossing slash trail cross in Maine im crappy with so I know I ran into a few last year.

Filadelfia Greenberg
10-10-2008, 15:12
I met him briefly on the trail right before Andover. He seemed nice enough and his sherpa (I'm sorry I mean "pacer") passed along some info about the trail ahead to me. Personally, I don't approve of anyone claiming they have a "record" on the AT, and I found the fact that his RV was named "Appalachian Assault" to be a little tasteless, but good for him for trying again. This was a rough year to try to run the trail.

mtt37849
10-16-2008, 00:11
Not sure if it has been said but you can go to http://whereskarl.com/ and it will give you where he is and a day by day account of what karl is doing. Pretty good website. I think the time of this post he was in the GSMNP. But the site said he started on Aug. 5th 2008 so check it out if u like this article.

Lone Wolf
10-16-2008, 06:06
Not sure if it has been said but you can go to http://whereskarl.com/ and it will give you where he is and a day by day account of what karl is doing. Pretty good website. I think the time of this post he was in the GSMNP. But the site said he started on Aug. 5th 2008 so check it out if u like this article.

he finished over 2 weeks ago