A hardy diet of beer, Red Bull, and candy helped fuel ultra-marathoner Karl Meltzer to a world record for the fastest transverse ever of the 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail.
The 48-year-old former self-described “ski-bum” journeyed his last 85 miles without sleep to eclipse the former record set by Scott Jurek last summer by ten hours. Meltzer completed the course—which starts at the top of Mount Katahdin in Maine and finishes at the summit of Springer Mountain in Georgia—in 45 days, 22 hours, and 38 minutes.
To save you the math Meltzer covered about 50 miles per day, with a normal 15 hours of running. The rest of his day was spent eating and sleeping.
Runners World reported that the now running coach drank one or two beers at night and supplied himself with copious amounts of rainbow-colored Spree candy, Three Musketeers chocolate bars, and bacon. This runs contrary to many enthusiasts of long distance running who diet on lean proteins and more complex carbohydrates. Nevertheless, ingesting carbohydrate-dense beer, chocolate, sugar, and caffeinated drinks, is not illogical or necessarily poor strategy for someone who is burning roughly 10,000 calories per day as Meltzer easily did.
Apparently, the ultrarunner’s strategy is paying off. According to the New York Times, Meltzer boasts a world record 38 100-mile race wins, including five victories at the Hardrock 100.
What does the winningest 100-mile runner on earth do on his off time? Meltzer loves to play golf and owns several course records. Not too surprisingly, he holds the world record for playing 230 golf holes in 12 hours, breaking down to a little less than 18 holes per hour.