Friday, April 25, 2008

Being Inspired by Karl

Some things inspire action, others inspire awe. For me, the simple video below and what Karl Meltzer is setting out to do does both.

To say that Karl Meltzer is a "freak" (I mean that in the best of senses - the same way Michael Jordan was a freak) may begin to scratch the surface. As a competitive trail runner, perhaps greatest ever to lace up shoes and set out on a mountain trail, he is in a league of his own.

To be in awe of him and what he has accomplished should come as no surprise. The fact that he's doing this at 40 blows my mind.

But to be inspired by it? Watching it makes me want to get out there and run, reminding me of something Karl's running buddy Scott Mason once told me when he and I were out on a trail run. Upon urging me to repeat an 8 mile loop that we had just finished he said:
"You'd be surprised what the human body can endure if you'll only give it the chance. Problem is most people don't get that far with themselves."

I think Scott was spot on. Of this run Karl said:
"Never before have I set a challenge for myself like this one,” said Karl Meltzer. “I always thought 100 miles at a time was enough, but 2,174 miles should raise the bar a bit."

So it goes that on Aug. 5, 2008, the 40-year-old winner of 49 ultra-distance mountain races (including 23 hundred milers) will begin his attempt to break the record for running the entire length of the Appalachian Trail, end-to-end.

That is 2,174 miles in 47 days, and that (for the mathematically challenged among us) is an average of more than 46 miles per day – over some of the gnarliest terrain and during the most sweltering, most bug-filled season on the Eastern Seaboard.

Follow along when the adventure begins at, check it.

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