Karl Meltzer just broke the world record for the being fastest ever finisher of the entire Appalachian Trail, you know the Appalachian train, right? It’s a 2,190 mile hiking trail that runs along the East coast of the US, from Georgia to Maine.
Now, I hike, and I’ve done little bitty bits of it, 4-5 miles here and there, on DAY hikes. I see people on the trail, with their huge packs and gaunt faces, and their lingering clouds of BO trailing behind them…and I give them major respect for undertaking such a long trek. I’d like to do it too, one day. Maybe. Anyway, On average, people take 3 months to complete the AT. You start in the spring in Georgia and head north with the seasons, finishing in Maine on the top of Mt. Katahdin in late summer.
This guy, he went a little faster. He did it in 45 days, 22 hours and 38 minutes. To basically run, almost nonstop, up and down huge mountains from Maine to Georgia. He beat the previous record holder’s time of 46 days, 8 hours and 7 minutes, by about half a day. Ridiculous. And I thought I was pretty fit.
Now, why is this of LGR importance? Well, we here in the Foodiness Fallout shelter like to hike, so this is super impressive. But, what’s really interesting to us really, is what he ate along the way to fuel his win. See, the previous record holder is Scott Jurek, who was made famous by the “Born to Run” book, about indigenous people around the world who are great distance runners, and how he is a champion of barefoot or virtually barefoot running. Scott Jurek, he’s a vegan. He did his record-breaking AT run eating vegan. Very impressive, I must say, because I know for myself, if I don’t eat an egg before a big workout, I feel weak, and he did the whole thing eating plants. Or at least no animal products, there are certainly plenty of energy-providing carby and sugary foods out there that are vegan. God knows there are plenty of overweight vegans and vegetarians. I was at my fattest ever when I was a vegetarian, maybe I should have done the AT.
So Scott Jurek set the record for the AT as a vegan.
But Karl Meltzer, not a vegan. He’s more of a fan of Foodiness™. He fueled his record-breaking trail run on a regimen of candy, Red Bull, and beer. Ok, beer’s not Foodiness™, I like beer. And it provides a lot of carbs for energy. But every night he’d have a beer or two, then as he ran, he’d down a Red Bull or other energy drink every 10 miles. At rest stops (btw, the trail goes through towns and there are stores adjacent to it in many spots that cater to hikers) he’d buy Spree candy, Three Musketeers bars, and cooked bacon. He’d keep those in his pockets and eat as he ran. According to the NYTimes article detailing his win, he’d sleep less than 7 hrs a night, and when his support crew found him napping, they’d feed him a pint of ice cream to get him going. For the record, bacon, candy and ice cream, not Foodiness™. None of those are pretending to be anything else, but Red Bull and other unnamed energy drinks? That’s straight up F-bomb.
But so what? He won, right? I mean, what’s worse, a smug vegan winner, or a Foodiness™ fueled candy-crazed winner? It’s not like you do this kind of thing every day, right? When he finished, he celebrated with a pizza, and a few more beers. Then fell asleep. As far as I know, he’s still asleep. I’d sleep for a week after that. After I finished the NYC Marathon in just over 5 hours I slept for a week. And then didn’t work out for 12 weeks. All I’m saying here, is that the vegan got beat by the Red Bull guy, and I think that’s pretty funny. I have no major point or point of view on this, extreme sports are just that, extreme. You don’t have time to cook your morning quinoa and egg and make your wild salmon salad with baby kale for lunch when you’re running the entire east coast up and down mountains. So, a major shout-out to Karl Meltzer for his record-breaking finish, and to Scott Jurek, you rock too, but maybe try a little bacon next time?