Ultramarathoner Karl Meltzer, who set the fastest known time speed-hiking the Appalachian Trail last September, is celebrated in a new movie on Netflix, “Made to Be Broken.”  CONTRIBUTED: RED BULL

Appalachian speed-hiker celebrated in movie

Ultramarathoner Karl Meltzer, who speed-hiked the Appalachian Trail with the help of beer and bacon, is celebrated in a new movie, “Karl Meltzer: Made to be Broken.”

Available for free, and streaming on Netflix, the movie follows the ups and downs of Melter’s ridiculously fast jaunt from Maine to Georgia, which he completed in 45 days 22 hours and 38 minutes.

It was, at the time, the fastest known through-hike of the trail.

He made the 2,190-mile trail-run in August and September of 2016, reaching the finish line on Springer Mountain in North Georgia in the middle of the night, then celebrating later the next day with a meal at a Little Five Points tavern.

The AJC met with Meltzer, nicknamed “Speedgoat,” as he came off the mountain, and he looked grizzled, tired and hungry, but surprisingly rested. We wrote about it here.

Karl Meltzer, right, and his friend, Eric Belz, dined in Atlanta after Meltzer finished a speed-hike of the Appalachian Trail back in 2016. Belz was part of the support team that helped Meltzer break the trail's speed-hiking record by completing the trail in 45 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes. PHOTO: BO EMERSON

He dined at The Porter with members of his support team, who shadowed his run, bringing food, dry socks, new shoes and an Econoline van, where Meltzer would sleep each night.

He’d start each morning with pockets full of bacon, run all day, and finish each evening with a couple of beers.

Since the movie was completed, another competitor, Joe ‘Stringbean’ McConaughy, broke Meltzer’s record by 10 hours.

Nonetheless, the 42-minute documentary is still a good look at the niche sport of speed-hiking. It was shot by Red Bull, the energy drink company, which also underwrote some of the cost of Meltzer’s journey.

This writer took a very different hike on the trail in 1995, and again in 2015.

Meltzer, of Sandy, Utah, has won many ultramarathons -- some of them races of 100 miles or more -- but this was like running 20 ultramarathons in a row.

Here’s a trailer for the film.

He’s still at it, and will host the Speedgoat 50k July 21 in Snowbird, Utah.

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