Article: Note From Peter: This New Website!

Submitted by pbakwin on Tue, 03/27/2018 - 08:50am
Peter Bakwin

FKT website background

I started an FKT website in the mid-2000s as a simple extension of my personal website. It quickly became apparent that I needed to add functionality and, particularly, the ability of people to interact with each other. So, in 2009 I moved the content to a free bulletin board host called Proboards. The Proboards site was very successful and grew rapidly. I think it’s fair to say that this site helped catalyze the worldwide surge of interest in FKTs that continues to accelerate.

With this upswing of interest, the content on the Proboards site grew so much that it began to be difficult to manage and to easily find the information. Functionality was limited. I received more and more calls from journalists reporting on the expanding phenomenon of FKT and adventure running. But, I couldn’t satisfyingly answer simple questions, such as “How many routes are on your site?”, or “Who has the most FKTs?” In short, the site seemed to be tottering towards collapse under the weight of its own success!

So, late last year (2017), I teamed up with two partners to start a great new website to better serve the needs of this community. My dear friend Buzz Burrell has been interested in this project for years, and has been a constant source of inspiration and motivation for me with the website, and in our adventures together.  He brings deep knowledge of the outdoor community and industry that is necessary to sustain our efforts, as well as a wonderful, evocative communication style to clearly articulate what’s going on in our diverse and rapidly changing sport. Jeff Schuler jumped on board as our much-needed web developer and IT expert. Basically, everything you see and click on is Jeff’s doing, and I’m confident you’ll agree he’s done an incredible job! Jeff’s also an excellent runner, with a 2:36 marathon among his many accomplishments.

Note that the old Proboards site is not going away, but new posts and comments are no longer accepted; it will remain as an excellent archive.

New functionality

Instead of the old bulletin board, the new site is in a database format. This allows a ton of new functionality, only a fraction of which has been implemented at present. Routes and Athletes are now easily searchable, and you can locate Routes on the map on our home page.

Some key terms to keep in mind

  • “Routes": The route itself on which the FKT may be set. Trails. Mountains.
  • “Variations": Routes can have variations, such as “one-way” or “out & back”, e.g., the Rim-to-Rim or the Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim. Where it makes sense, “Winter” could be a variation (e.g., the Colorado 14ers). Mountains can have “ascent” and “car-to-car” variations. Etc.
  • “Style": Generally broken down into “Supported”, “Self supported”, and “Unsupported”. While we focus on FKTs set on foot, there are some multi-sport trips recorded here as well.
  • “Gender": We track separate FKTs for Males, Females and Mixed-gender teams.
  • “FKT": The business - the Fastest Known Time on a Route for each Style and Gender!

One cool new feature is that each Athlete who holds an FKT now has a page of their own. Athletes will soon be invited to add content to their Athlete pages.

Currently to add a Route of FKT you must submit a form to us by clicking the link at the top of the page. We will quickly vet your information and post it. In the future you will be able to post directly.

So, to the journalists I can now answer:

  • At launch there are 650 Routes on this site (not including Variations).
  • Ben Nephew has (or has had) by far the most FKTs! (44!)

Welcome!

And please tell us what you think about our new site! What features would YOU like to see? Please post your comments below (must Sign In to Comment or Post).

 

Comments

Hey Peter, Buzz, and Jeff. I just wanted to give a big thank you for all your work on this and the old site. It's something that's enriched my life for the last few years and the new site looks great. Thanks, guys.

Would like to see tracking/notifications of attempts and completions. Previously, we could subscribe to threads we had posted in.

Would like to be able to get notifications or updates on routes being attempted or completed.

Sorry if I've submitted more than one comment. They aren't showing up!

Congrats on the great new site! It must have been a lot of work to hand-migrate all that data.

I can already tell I am going to use hours I should be on the trail going down the rabbit hole on your new site. Love what I see so far! Thank you for all your efforts!

Thank you everyone for the positive comments!  A lot of work did go into it, particularly from Peter and Jeff.  And yes, browsing is easy and fun.  More to come ...