Not too long ago we told you about Suunto user Karl Meltzer’s attempt to run the historic Pony Express route. In a recent interview, Nick Davidson of Outside Magazine talked to Meltzer about the epic run. Below is an excerpt from the interview:
Ultra-marathoner Karl Meltzer can outrun a horse. To prove it, Meltzer recently completed the first-ever run of the full 2,064-mile Pony Express route in 40 days, finishing on October 25. The run commemorated the 150th anniversary of the old delivery route. Horses employed on the historical Pony Express ran no more than ten to 15 miles before a fresh horse took over duties, meaning riders used scores of them for a single delivery. Meltzer, at the pace of roughly two marathons per day—with a 100-miler to wrap it up—tested the limits of human endurance, dubbing his Red Bull-sponsored run from Sacramento, California to St. Joseph, Missouri the "Human Express." I
You were burning more than 5,000 calories a day. What did you eat to compensate for that level of exertion? I ate as much as I could, any time. Calories, you know? Primarily it was a fat and protein breakfast—eggs, French toast, yogurt and granola. We mixed it up so I didn't get sick of the same food. For dinner, it was anything from steak strips to a can full of peaches. Chicken tenders. Ribs. Left over pasta from the night before. A lot of ice cream at night, just to throw some calories in me, and maybe a couple of cold beers before bed—always good after a 50-mile run.
How did a typical day unfold? We'd wake up before daylight. I'd prick my finger and take some blood, then give a urine sample. My crew would have breakfast ready, and I'd grab some coffee. Then I'd get my gear together and be out the door by sunrise. I'd run 50 miles in just under ten hours, power shower, ice my shins, and start eating till I couldn't eat any more. Meanwhile, the crew were shopping, gassing up, dumping the RV and all that kind of thing, which gets nuts. The runner has the easiest job.
Where did you sleep at night? We had a 28-foot RV. I got the master bedroom.
The Pony Express was all about delivering messages. Is there a message you hope to deliver via the Human Express? Just that if you put your mind to it, you can do anything. People are blown away, but they don't really understand what you're doing sometimes. Doing something like this is just a mind game. If you keep moving forward, you'll get there.
So it was a satisfying experience for you. It's like living in a dream world. I'm a professional athlete. I get to go run for 40 days across the country. People called me the modern-day Forrest Gump. That's fine. I'd say I was a little faster than Forrest.
Great job Karl on completing such an amazing feat!
For more on Karl visit his website here.