Karl Meltzer, a 48-year-old “ultra-runner,” set a new record while completing the Appalachian Trail on Sunday, crossing 14 states and 2,190 miles in just 45 days, 22 hours, 38 minutes.

Considering the fact that average American gets winded after walking from the sofa to the refrigerator and then back again, the question bears asking: How the hell did Meltzer do it? Well, according to the New York Times, the runner gulped an energy drink every 10 miles, crushed a beer or two every night before bed, regularly sipped on tang, and kept his pockets full of goddamn bacon. Meltzer would also stock up on Sprees and Three Musketeers bars at rest stops, and one day when he was feeling low, his support team fed him a pint of ice cream for a much-needed “boost.” Clearly, this man is a living legend.

The previous record—46 days, 8 hours, 7 minutes (not bad)—was set by 42-year-old Scott Jurek, who maintained a strict vegan dieting while running. If you want to run 2,000 miles and eat a bunch of vegetables, by all means, be our guest. But while Jurek toasted his victory last year with a glass of champagne (he actually got slapped with a $500 fine and sparked public outrage for his celebration on Maine’s Mount Katahdi), there’s no denying that Meltzer’s post-run ritual of inhaling a pepperoni pizza in a lawnchair is reason enough to hang his picture in the Hall of Fame.

In summation, let Meltzer’s triumph serve as a lesson to us all. The next time you hit up the gym—or, you know, don’t...—make sure you stop by 7-Eleven, grab yourself a few candy bars, and pour out some Tang for our boy Karl. Nothing is more American than breaking fitness records with the assistance of sugar, pork, and a couple cold brewskis.

[via New York Times]