Don’t get trampled

Karl MeltzerIf you’re planning to hike the Appalachian Trail this summer, keep your wits about you.

No, I’m not warning about the dangers of being attacked on the trail, the recent tragic story in Georgia notwithstanding.

If someone comes running up from behind you, it might be an ultra-marathoner trying to beat the AT thru-hike record.

A couple weeks ago I noted that Lonnie Owens of Tucson said he plans to thru-hike, or rather, run, it in 30 days.

Now, “Speedgoat Karl” Meltzer says he’s also planning to break the current thru-hike record of 47 days, though he doesn’t say how long he expects it will take him.


8 Responses to Don’t get trampled

  1. dave says:

    This trail marathon stuff is crazy. I hope this fad will soon cease. These trails were not designed for this sort of activity. Regardless they have every right to do so. Your right this could turn into a real safety issue if more and more people take up this trail running.

  2. samh says:

    More enjoyment of the act of trail running and less celebration of the act of record breaking.

  3. Billy says:

    I did a northbound thru-hike in 2007 and i have formed a deep and respectful relationship with the AT. But, it is nothing like the relationship the current record holder, Andrew “traildog” Thompson has. He is a trail maintainer and a trail angel extrordinair. If you’ve ever been at the Trapper John shelter and a burley dude walked in with a 12 pack of cold brews, that was most lilely Traildog. He has chosen to live about 2 miles from the trail. He is all about the beauty, and the sactity of the trail. He has 3 thru hikes. He is a great ambasador of the AT. As for Karl “speedgoat”Meltzer, he is a coach and a mentor to hundreds of trail runners and long distance hikers. For him, it ‘s all about the adventure and the sense of freedom we all get from being outdoors. Karl is also arguably the most accomplished ultra runner in our country. Also on Karl’s speed attempt in 2008 he and his crew are making a concerted effort to do all the trail clean up they can along the way. The goal is 1 garbage bag of trash per day taken off the trail. I didn’t meet any thru hikers this year with that goal. My hat is off to these two men and i wish only the best of luck for Karl on his attempt to blaze this Icon, the AT.

    ga-me 2007

  4. […] AT Class of 2007 thru-hiker Woodstock came to the defense of those who attempt to set speed records on the […]

  5. samh says:

    > 1 garbage bag of trash per day taken off the trail.

    Now there’s a goal that puts all the other “I’m hiking to stop global warming” hikes to shame.

  6. Safety Issue? What are the chances you might get hit by a car while running on those roads that were built for cars? What’s the beauty of that little white line and then the puff of exhaust from that over-sized american car? Wondering where this safety issue comes into play. The trail will be safer after I get through with it, trailusers will not slip on all the garbage left at the trailheads. It’s disgusting to see all this trash before we go hiking or that “fad” sport called trail running. It ain’t no fad buddy! You can’t stop global warming but we can help “Clean the AT” with a little speedy effort. I’ll likely pick up more trash than everyone combined in a year, I’ll do it in 40-50 days! Keep running man, go find some dirt! LIving in Utah, where clean trails are EVERYWHERE! -Speedgoat Karl

  7. Tracy says:

    If only everyone who hits the trails would be doing it in a nature-minded state. I always carry extra trash bags in my backpack (the big 30 gallon size) and recently was so dispaired at the fact that my hikemates and I managed to fill a bag to maxium capacity in the span of 10 minutes and 20 yards at an AT trailhead. So sad. folks really need to follow the Leave No Trace ethics. As for the speed at which you travel the trails….to each their own. I must say I see the runners and give them utmost respect. If I attempted that speed I would surely trip in the first 5 minutes. Enjoy it, Respect it and Leave no Trace, Tread Lightly

  8. Trail running is great but you have to be careful to not hurt yourself. This is not for the average person just trying to lose weight.

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