Carl Laniak reported:
it's approx 75 miles from the wooden sign at the NC/GA border near Bly Gap to springer mountain. there is about 19,000' of elevation gain according to an altimeter watch i wore on one of the trips.
after deciding to attempt the GA section in one push back in 2003, i made several failed attempts starting from the north end and quitting at unicoi (mi25), hogpen (mi40), and then woody gap (mi 55), i finally completed the section in a continuous push in 2007 in 22:56. matt kirk was along and crewed me from my van. he met me at all the paved road crossings, as well as a couple of the FS 42 crossings as i neared springer. i started the run at 5pm, and finished the following afternoon. i knew that doing alot of night running, and starting tired were not ideal, and i paid for that by dying 1000 deaths over the last 20 miles, but i was ecstatic to finally complete the route.
ncultra account: www.ncultra.org/article.php?story=2007101803455797&query=lAniak
splits from this run can be found here: www.ncultra.org/article.php?story=20071015084538347&query=lAniak
in spring 2010 i did a slightly modified (but equally long) route entirely self-supported with a foot of snow and ice on much of the route in 24:30.
blog post: carlspacificride.blogspot.com/2010/03/76-to-76.html and carlspacificride.blogspot.com/2010/03/expansion.html
then in october 2010 i returned to attempt to set a faster time, and was on pace to run under 19 hours until things fell apart significantly in the last 15 miles. i still ran my fastest time, 21:30.
scott brockmeier and liz bauer were instrumental in crewing this strong (for me) attempt.
in march 2011 i took another shot, but the midnight start and very cold weather, coupled with some poor gear choices foiled my attempt at a faster time...i completed the section in just over 24 hours, again with a couple friends (james rudd and jim sinclair) crewing me (and actually running with me for the last 30+ miles)
blog post: carlspacificride.blogspot.com/2011_03_01_archive.html - (scroll down below idaho trip commentary)
it would not surprise me if there's some (or more than one) person who's done this section significantly faster than my 21:30, but i'm unaware of them. i too have heard of a number of failed attempts by atlanta ultrarunners.
there is a hiker (trail name "Phreak") who claims on whiteblaze.net to have done it in 22:11 with a 24 pound pack, quite an impressive trek, IMO. also, matt karzen, who i have never met (but is also from athens, ga), completed the trail in one push back in 2009, although i have been unable to find his exact time... his report is at blog.rockcreek.com/archives/rockcreek_race_team_member_finishes_ga_at_charity_run.html
Patrick Chamberlain and Jonathan Sutton did the GA AT in 27h48m in June 2017. Laniak still has the FKT at 21h30m.
Based on data that Karl Meltzer posted, it looks like he covered the GA section of the AT in around 22ish hours (maybe more, maybe less) at the tail end of his record breaking AT run. It would be cool to find out exactly what his time was (if possible). Crazy that he was so close to the record at the end of his entire trek of the AT!