There’s Karl

The Karl Meltzer quest is officially over, completed, as of 4:20 AM yesterday. The Spot real-time tracking device was a miserable failure, or at least a frustrating sometimes-hit-and-mostly-miss proposition, I suppose due to the tree cover.  The marketing copy at the top of the web site sounds a bit "manifest destiny", and rankled a few feathers in the AT hiking community:

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.

Official Finish: Monday, September 29, 4:20 a.m.

Official Start: Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 7:08 a.m.

Official Finish: Monday, September 29, 2008, 4:20 a.m.

Though the way it's been recorded on this site is deceiving, that's a total of 54 days 21 hours and 12 minutes.

Unofficially, Karl's is the fourth fastest thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail.

In order, the fastest finishers:

Andrew Thompson: 47 days 13 hours 31 minutes (2005)

Pete Palmer: 48 days 20 hours 11 minutes (1999)

David Horton: 52 days 9 hours (1991)

Karl Meltzer: 54 days 21 hours 12 minutes

Scott Grierson: 55 days 20 hours 34 minutes (1991)

Jennifer Pharr Davis: 57 days 8 hours 35 minutes (2008)

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