Karl Meltzer Unplugged - Page 2
Aside from his stellar running resume, Meltzer is also recognized for his trademark kit, which includes a Red Bull cap, headphones and biking gloves (more later). Meltzer lives in Sandy, Utah, with his wife, Cheryl, also an ultrarunner.
We recently caught up with Meltzer between recovering from Grindstone and golf games to see how he keeps on winning.
What do you attribute your strong running of late to?
Good question. I run 100s, and in 100s it's not really about speed. It's knowing how to race and how to strategize. I'm 44, so it would be assumed that I would start to get slower, but I only get wiser and smarter with each run. Running a 10-minute mile is not fast, even at altitude and on hilly terrain. That pace just doesn't feel hard to me, and, because I run very conservative early, I tend to get stronger as a race progresses.
Do you know who has the next-most 100-mile wins, and how many?
Ann Trason has 22 wins. Hal Koerner, I think, has the second most, maybe 17ish, for men, or maybe Eric Clifton, but that's all I know. I do know no one had more than Ann when I passed her.
You seem to be mixing it up between Western mountain races and rugged Eastern 100s. Why?
The Western races, being local, sort of, are on courses similar to what I train on all the time. I run on rugged terrain, so I always run races that play to my strength. Most of the stuff out west is somewhat technical, except for northern California—it's all smooth there.
Regarding the East Coast races, I have a love for running in the woods. We can't run in the woods out West. It's very open, so going back east to Virginia and Alabama or Vermont is a bit different. East Coast terrain is far more rugged in most locations, because the mountains are older. It plays to my strength once again too, coming from altitude then running at essentially sea level … not to mention the timing is good as most mountain races out West are over once October hits. On the East Coast, races continue later in the year.
You recently mentioned that you are gunning for the Grand Slam record next year. Will you do any special training for that?
No special training. I'll just deal with the heat at Western and Vermont—I'm not getting in a sauna! And I am not really sure I am running the Grand Slam. If Run Rabbit Run [RRR] happens again, I'll go back and run for money again. The prize purse will likely be bigger. The Grand Slam is only my real intention if RRR doesn't happen.
I really don't care to run Leadville, because it’s a fiasco now, Vermont is kinda boring dirt roads, Wasatch … I've run that one a lot.
I got into Western by default [by winning RRR, a Montrail Ultra Cup event], so everyone expects me to attempt the Grand Slam. I don’t typically do what other folks say I should. I do what I want … so we'll see. The Grand Slam is a good goal, but not entertaining enough for me to really care about it that much. I tend to run races where I feel the course is tough and fun at the same time.