Although Karl moved to Utah for the skiing, he discovered his real talent and passion - trail running through the Wasatch Mountains. He is undoubtedly one of the best ultra runners in the country and has dominated the scene for more than 10 years. Karl began running in the Wasatch in the summer of 1990 and ran his first ultra, the Wasatch 100, six years later. In 1998, he returned to the Wasatch 100 winning his first ultra and setting a new course record. Winning his first ultra at age 30, he set a goal to win 25 more ultras by the time he turned 40. Now Karl, at 40, has nearly doubled that goal having won 48 ultras in 91 starts. Of these, 23 were of the 100 mile distance including 6 wins at the Wasatch 100 and 4 Hardrock 100 wins (considered by many to be the world's most difficult 100 mile trail race).
This year Karl is gearing up for the longest run of his life. If 100 milers weren't enough, beginning August 5th, 2008 he will attempt to run the 2,174 miles of the Appalachian Trail, from Maine to Georgia, in less than 47 days. Karl must average 46 miles a day in order to beat the current AT speed record. He will be followed by an RV and support team, which will allow him to keep his pack under 5 pounds. Karl will wear a GPS tracking device that will allow his progress (mileage and average speed) to be broadcast directly to his website www.whereskarl.com
Karl typically trains 60-80 miles a week. All miles are done on mountainous terrain and he incorporates tempo running into his trail running. He says that he bases most of his training runs on how he feels rather than following a particular training plan. He just simply likes to run. To get prepped for the Appalachian Trail attempt, Karl has been incorporating more hiking into his training. In order to succeed in his attempt, attention needs to be focused on endurance rather than speed. Averaging 4 mph would beat the current record by nearly a week.
Along with making his living as a professional ultrarunner, Karl provides ultrarunning coaching services (www.karlmeltzer.com
), runs an ultrarunning training camp through the University of Utah, and serves as the race director for the Speedgoat 50K. The Speedgoat 50K is held at Snowbird, UT in July, and the course designed by Meltzer, is considered one of the toughest with over 10,000 feet of gain.
Holds record for most 100-mile wins during a calendar year with 6 in 2006.
2006 Runner of the Year – UltraRunning Magazine
Everest Award 2006
Summer 2008 – Break Appalachian Trail speed record of 47 days, 13 hours, and 31 minutes set by Andrew Thompson in 2005
2009 – Win seven 100-mile trail races in one year
Other Ultramarathon Runner Profiles
| Scott Jurek
| Anton Krupicka
| Tim Twietmeyer
| Darcy Africa
| Nikki Kimball
| Kami Semick
| Krissy Moehl