Karl "Speedgoat" Meltzer is a beast. Despite encountering several withering setbacks on the Appalachian Trail—unseasonably tough weather, fierce tendinitis, and a wicked case of trenchfoot among them—he muscled through and finished what he started. Though he fell short of his initial goal to break the record for fastest time on the AT, he still finished in 54 days 21 hours and 12 minutes—good enough for the fourth fastest time ever.
Appropriately, Meltzer celebrated with a few beers while hiking up the last .9 miles of the trail on Springer Mountain, Ga., and officially ended his trail run at (heh-heh) 4:20 a.m. A member of his ground crew reports:
"Karl's a very happy man," said Billy. "He's so happy to be done. And I think he's really proud of himself for finishing this. He should be, man. To go on when the record was out of reach takes a man with some big balls and a big will. But he did it."
Congrats, Karl. We're damn near terrified to see what you'd do healthy.
— Ted Alvarez