A lot has changed in trail and ultra running over the past 20 years.

For starters, trail running is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States, and ultra running is not far behind. We have more races, better equipment, access to training plans and coaches, and hype from media coverage.

We have countless blogs dedicated the sport, and fan pages along with them.

So it’s easy to forget that not that long ago, most of us never considered running off the pavement, or had even heard of a foot race longer than 26.2 miles.

An Interview with Speedgoat Karl

But even with all the growth over the past 20 years, some things have stayed the same. For the most part races are still intimate and low key, the community is supportive and welcoming, and Karl “Speedgoat” Meltzer is still lighting up the trails.

I’m absolutely thrilled today to share a recent interview with elite runner Speedgoat Karl. The guy has completed over 100 ultramarathons, and has more 100-mile wins than any other runner out there. He’s a HOKA ONE ONE athlete, former Ultrarunner of the year, coach, and the race director of the uber tough Speedgoat 50k.

Over two decades after his first ultra, Karl is still competing at the top of the field, and doing so as a perfect example of what the sport is all about.

Today I was lucky enough to chat with Karl and pick his brain on a number of trail and ultra running topics.

Here are a few topics we discussed:

  • How Karl’s race day strategy has changed with improved nutrition and gear
  • Newbie mistakes — Nutrition and pacing
  • Strategy changes between flat and mountainous races
  • The appeal of a tough ultramarathon
  • What every Race Director wants you to know
  • The appeal of a max cushioned shoe … and why Karl loved HOKA ONE ONEs when they were just a prototype

Interview with Karl Meltzer

Click here to download the audio version.

HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat Giveaway

speedgoat-400If you just listened to the interview, you know how passionate Karl is about the new HOKA ONE ONE Speedgoat trail shoes. While I haven’t tried them yet myself (a pair is in the mail as we speak!), this is the shoe I’ve been most excited to check out all year.

They’re built to be tough, comfortable, and the perfect shoe for long trail miles.

Weighing in a just 9.7 oz, and with a 5mm heal to toe drop, the Speedgoats have a light-weight ride with all the generous cushioning I’ve come to love with HOKAs.

Click here for more information: Men’s | Women’s

And in honor of today’s interview with the Speedgoat himself, the good folks over at HOKA ONE ONE have offered to give away a free pair of Speedgoats to one lucky runner.

Enter to win a free pair here:


4 Chances to Win

Entering couldn’t be easier, just complete this form first. After that, you’ll have 3 additional ways to gain bonus entries:

  1. Leave a comment on this post about what you’ll do with a free pair of HOKAs
  2. Tweet the giveaway and tag Rock Creek Runner and HOKA ONE ONE
  3. Share on Facebook and tag Rock Creek Runner and HOKE ONE ONE

Simple as that. What are you waiting for? Enter to win a free pair of Speedgoat trail shoes here.

For international readers, I’m sorry to say that these can only be shipped within the United States.

Disclaimer: I am a HOKE ONE ONE Social Ambassador, and HOKA ONE ONE is donating the shoes for this giveaway.

Author Doug Hay is the founder of Rock Creek Runner, host of the Trail Talk podcast, and fanatical about everything trail running -- beards, plaid shirts, bruised toenails, and all. He and his wife live and run in beautiful Black Mountain, NC.

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39 thoughts on “Mountain Running, Nutrition, and Gear with Speedgoat Karl Meltzer (Plus a Shoe Giveaway)

  1. I’d love a new pair of shoes – I’d go exploring a nearby very hilly area that I haven’t gotten to yet!

  2. I would have super comfy feet as I finish my first 100 miler this fall.- well as comfy as feet can be for that distance.

  3. (listening to the interview now) And I’d love to try this new pair of Hokas! I’m exploring new trail shoes, and I’ve got the Golden Ultra coming up in a MONTH! I need to find the right shoe for that 3-day event.

  4. I am doing my first 6 hour race in November and these shoes would be awesome for it. As a beginner it was nice to hear some good tips!

  5. I’d hit the trails hard and long with these bad boys. They look fast!

    Excellent interview with some great insight. Thanks Doug!

  6. I’d love to give Hoka a try. Currently training for a marathon and would like to incorporate these to decrease my risk of injury! I posted a tweet with the handle @FireRunner2379.

  7. I’d be able to run the local “technical” trails (mountain bike trails in the coastal forests of eastern NC) a lot more comfortably in these Speedgoats than my road shoes!

  8. I’m excited to try out these shoes as well. I will use them for the Big Cedar Ultra in October, my first Ultra.

  9. I have heard many good things about these shoes and would love to try them. I would train with them and use them in my first trail race in October.

  10. I would give the shoes a thorough work out over a few weeks and if that was good, a few months. Tried Hokas once and was not impressed. Always willing to take a second look.

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