4,330,207 steps, 345,122 calories, 2,190 miles: How do you measure the Appalachian Trail?
Ultrarunner Karl Meltzer measures it in Tang, 3 Musketeers and beer—and he just broke the trail record, completing the trek in 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes. The record was previously held by famously vegan ultrarunning star Scott Jurek, who’s even published a book about his plant-fueled lifestyle.
While most runners keep their pockets stocked with energy gels, Meltzer stashed bacon into his. He also downed an energy drink every 10 miles—which means he had about 219 during the course of his feat—and would have a beer or two as a nightcap each evening.
The third time’s the charm for Meltzer, who previously had two unsuccessful attempts at beating the record. But he bested Jurek by about 12 hours, perhaps due to sleeping less than seven hours a night. According to the New York Times, his celebration included pepperoni pizza and beer—so not too far off from a normal day of snacks. He also ate a pint of ice cream in two minutes and had friends who brought the “gift of fried chicken and firm motivation.”
Jurek (who prefers to snack on homemade bean burritos) was with him for parts of the trail, showing the good-hearted nature of the sport. He was even there waiting for him at the finish line—and if Meltzer is lucky, maybe he’ll even get a batch of Jurek’s vegan cinnamon rolls.
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