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AT Ultrarunner Hits A Speedbump

Vows to continue despite stress tendonitis, trenchfoot

Karl "Speedgoat" Meltzer, the ultrarunner featured in BACKPACKER’s June issue, hopes to complete the Appalachian Trail in a scant 47 days. If he pulls off this feat, he’ll be the record holder for the fastest person down the 2,174-mile trail.

Today is day 16, and ol’ Speedgoat has hit a snag. After suffering through a stress injury in his left anterior tibialis for the entire race, This is after somehow contracting poison ivy on his toes.

So Meltzer’s been sidelined for the last two days, under doctor’s care while resting, eating, and icing and elevating his foot. According to the ticker on his site, hes now 207 miles behind schedule.

But even though the record might slip away from his grasp, he’s not giving up:

"The diagnosis is positive," Karl said. "It will take a few days for the inflammation to come down, but it could have been worse, and I am looking forward to getting back out there."

Say what you will, but that man has brass cojones. Good luck Karl — hope you get out on the trail soon.

— Ted Alvarez

You can track Meltzer’s progress with satellite updates, blog entries, and more at Where’s Karl?

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