Trail Runner’s Gear: Karl Meltzer
Massanutten 100, Bighorn 100, Hardrock 100,… These are the victories Karl Meltzer took home this season that will feed his endlesss lists of 100 milers wins. No doubt any stuff in the world will turn me into a Karl Meltzer, but I was curious to learn about what he used at Massanutten Mountain Trails 100 so I reached him with a few questions. Here are his answers:
TrailrunningSoul – Rain and thunderstorms swept the race course for a few hours. I haven’t seen any pictures of you in a water resistant softshell. Did you use one?
Karl Meltzer – No, I didn’t use one. I had a super lightweight shirt, that’s all I needed. It wasn’t cold, just wet.
Temps were high for a while in the morning right? Anything special about the t-shirt and shorts you wore?
I just have shorts with pockets for all my gels, and a La Sportiva shirt, like a silkweight shirt. I just paid attention to making sure I had the electrolytes needed to not have issues. It was super humid, but everyone else had to deal with it right?
How about the shoes? How did they handle the different weather conditions on the trail?
I use La Sportiva Fireblades. They are perfect for rocky terrain. It was a bit slippery, but again, everyone else had to deal with it too. I tend to levitate when it’s wet, staying very light on my feet.
And, with all that rain, did you have any issues with wet socks?
Yes, they were wet, that’s about it. I had no blisters at the end. I used Drymax Socks, they are the bomb. I don’t let things like this bother me, it’s a waste of time.
Are you the hydration pack type of runner or rather a waist pack/ bottle user?
I use a custom made Nathan fanny pack with two bottles and a few sleeves to hold things like gels and other essentials.It is very light.
What kind of headlight did you use during the dark hours?
Myo RXP from Petzl. Two of them, one on my head, one in my hand. The are very light, very bright, and last 10.5 hours
I’ve seen other pictures of you running and wearing gloves. Do you always take them with you on the trails?
Yes, they save my hands. I have crashed alot out there, and have been using them for years…
Tell us a it about the source of the calories. Is there anything special you prepared for the MMT?
I use First Endurance Gel, EFS drink, and chix boullion. Gel every 25 minutes, no hard food until the finish line. Red Bull at aid stations that I had drop bags.
Any other piece of gear you did use on the race you’d like to point out?
Not really, I go pretty stealth and keep it simple. It’s the real key to success. Using less gear is better than carrying alot of junk you don’t need.
And finally, anything you would have brought that you didn’t? Anything you wouldn’t bring again?
Again, not really, I have it pretty dialed. I only eat gels, chix boullion from aid stations, Red Bull and water.
Congrats and thanks for the insight Karl!
Bonus (for those who got this far into the article :) – if you want to know how his typical training day looks like or which is his favourite trail to run, head to this recently published interview.