Article: FKTOY 2021 Nominations List

By Buzz Burrell on Thu, 12/23/2021 - 10:07am

The FKTOY Award is back for the 6th year!

And this is for the WORLD.  Your dream routes are below, from Australia to Austria.  Click on the route name to get the scoop and read great stories written by the athletes themselves. 

Below is the Draft Nominations List.  It is not perfect - like every "Best of ..." list, you might have other opinions, and we might have made mistakes. So please offer your Comments below - we'd like to hear your thoughts.

Voters will choose 8 winners for both Female and for Male.  (38 experienced Voters representing Genders, Geography and Age ensure a fair process).

This List becomes Final on December 28, at which time the private voting begins.  The winners will start being announced with the Podcast on January 14, with the next set on the January 21 episode, with the #1 winners on January 28.  Articles here will accompany each podcast.

Stay tuned - going to be fun!

(List below was updated 12/27/2021 and is FINAL)


Brianna Sacks Backbone Trail (CA) 12:58:20 67 mi 12,300 ft The BBT has become one of the more competitive ultra-distance trail routes on the West Coast.
Brooke Thomas Te Araroa (New Zealand) 57:12:16:00 3,000 km Unknown NZ's premier long trail - the length of the country N-S
Amri Williamson 13 Peaks Challenge (South Africa) 19:24:00 112.9 km 6,100 m The 13 Peaks Challenge is one of the premier routes in South Africa.
Lucy Bartholomew Larapinta Trail (NT, Australia) 54:23:19 222 KM 7,225 m This trail in the centre of the continent is a journey to get to the start. Hot, remote, wild, very Aussie in experience.
Addie Bracy, Corey Conner Grand Canyon R2R2R (AZ) 8:06:41 44 mi 10,500 ft Very competitive Premier Route!
Liz "Mercury" Anjos S.C.A.R. (TN, NC) 18:27:07 70 mi 18,000 ft One of the most classic and competitive routes in the SE USA
Leonie Van Den Haak Mt Fuji (Japan) Sea-Summit-Sea 30:59:20 85.5 KM 3,752 m Not a huge distance, but plenty of ascent and descent on a world famous mountain, sea to summit to sea.
Mikaela Osler Long Trail (VT) 06:11:33:00 273 mi 66,000 ft Premier Route; good style on the NE's best long trail
Nika Meyers Colorado Trail (CO) 09:14:19:00 500 mi 90,000 ft Premier Route within 4 hours of Betsy Kalmeyer's supported FKT from 2003. Plus the CT is a longer now.
Alex Borsuk Glacier Peak (WA) 9:51:46 31 mi 10,700 ft This is a challenging, technical peak with glaciers and crevasses; Female did it quickly and solo.
Kelly Halpin Gannett Peak (WY) 14:39:37 38 mi 8,100 ft State highpoint, technical, remote, requires trail running, scrambling, snow travel, route-finding
Joasia Zakrzewski Southern Upland Way (UK) 02:14:20:45 214 mi 27,800 ft Britain’s first official coast to coast long distance footpath
Anna Troup Pennine Way (UK) 03:00:46:37 420 km 11,836 m Anna set a course record on the Summer Spine Race on the same route, and then went 8hr quicker 2 weeks later
Lindsay Webster Presidential Traverse (NH) 4:33:39 18 mi 8,500 ft Super classic, Premier route. This one is very competitive.
Denise Bourassa Katy Trail (MO) 2:22:22:05 237 mi Minimal America's longest rail trail
Erika Lori Bibbulmun Track (WA, Australia) 10:17:57:00 993 km 17,500 m Huge track on SW coast. Got the Overall FKT by running nearly 90 km per day
Sarah Perry Wainwright's Coast - Coast (UK) 02:07:26:04 288 km 6,400 m Fully supported coast-coast
Alyssa Clark Pinhoti Trail (AL, GA) 05:14:43:48 335 mi 50,000 ft 335-mile long National Recreation trail through Alabama and Georgia
Man Ha Chan Maclehose Trail (Hong Kong) 13:34:09 100 km 5,000 m Hong Kong's premier trail! (note the surprisingly big vertical gain)
Anna O'Byrne Milford Track (New Zealand) 6:38:39 57 km 1,555 m One of the best and the most classic of New Zealand's Great Walks. Surprising it doesn't see more FKT activity.
Ragna Debats Ruta 0-4-0, Pico de Teide (Canary Islands, Spain) 7:01:09 52.73 km 4,000 m The highest peak in Spain is on Tenerife, a volcanic island. A classic, competitive route.


Rob Krar, Mike Foote Grand Canyon R2R2R.alt (AZ) 11:32:09 43 mi 10,500 ft   A remote version of the Rim to Rim to Rim with no bridge to cross the Colorado River!
Joe "Stringbean" McConaughy Arizona Trail (AZ) 13:03:21:00 817 mi 113,537 ft   Premier Route. Quit due to very slow progress in shin-deep snow, then changed his mind. Fundraising for two Native American groups.
Dylan Bowman Backbone Trail (CA) 9:09:14 67 mi 12,300 ft   The BBT has become one of the more competitive ultra-distance trail routes on the West Coast, with multiple attempts each year.
Teun Geurts-Schoenmakers Pieterpad (Netherlands) 03:11:56:46 492.9 km 1,632 m   A rare running Self-supported FKT at this distance. Inspirational description of how to solve food, water and sleep on your own.
John Kelly Pennine Way (UK) 02:10:04:53 420 km 11,836 m   First to go sub 60 hours on iconic route, after big back/forth with Damian Hall
Alexander Falconer Boundary Waters Traverse (MN) 01:14:15:03 110 mi 18,000 ft   First to complete this logical and excellent traverse; fundraiser/publicity for "Save the Boundary Waters" organization
Alex King Mt Rainier (WA) 4:14:13 14.5 mi 9,000 ft   Rainier is a big glaciated mountain and solo is never simple, even on the Disappointment Cleaver route. 9k' vert in just over 4 hrs.
Ben Feinson Long Trail (VT) 04:11:44:00 273 mi 66,000 ft   Premier Route with tons of history (the first long trail in the US)
Luis Alberto Hernando Alzaga Aneto (Spain) 3:38:15 37.4 km 2,700 m   Super classic Spanish mountain run; 3rd highest summit in Spain
Andrew Hamilton Highest Hundred Peaks (CO) 22:16:54:00 685 mi 293,000 ft   The highest 100 summits in Colorado, non-stop, driving in-between the hiking
Timothy Olson Pacific Crest Trail (CA, OR, WA) 51:16:55:00 2,592.6 mi 400,000 ft   Premier Route, with Fire Closures ably navigated by crew in a very consistent effort
Andrew Cotterell Great Divide Trail (AB & BC, CAN) 20:06:55:34 1,200 km 45,000 m   A huge wilderness route, sometimes no trail, crossing the beautiful Canadian Rockies.
Jonas Buud Kungsleden (Sweden) 04:07:12:00 482.6 km 3,000 m   Sweden's longest and most famous trail ("Kings Trail") run by one of the country's best ultrarunners
Jason Hardrath Washington Bulgers (WA) 50:23:43:00 870 mi 400,000 ft   Washington States Highest Hundred summits. Huge logistical challenges with wildfires, border closure, and efficiently linking together routes.
Karel Sabbe Via Alpina, Red Trail (Slovenia etc) 30:08:40:00 2,496 km 160,000 m   Huge adventure though 8 countries traversing the Alps; and insight into mindful running. Movie:
Manuel Merillas Mont Blanc (France) from Courmayeur 6:35:32 49.4 km 3,551 m   World-famous mountain, and was helped by the previous record holder, Marco de Gasperi, demonstrating competition with mutual support.
Petter Restorp Chamonix-Zermatt (France, Switzerland) 20:26:32 107 km 7,500 m   The classic "Haut Route", crossing numerous glaciers in a high, direct line between famous alpine centers
Mance Zorn, Armin Zorn 7 Summits Stubai Loop (Austria) 1:13:35:46 113.38 km 11,026 m   Massive vertical gain, done quickly, on the Tyrolean Seven Summits, Open Course
Ryan Atkins Adirondack Great Range Traverse (NY) 4:42:44 35 km 3,000 m   The premier link-up in the Adirondaks, with stout times by the great mountain runners and the most intense downhills you'll find anywhere
Pawel Szafruga Colorado Fourteeners (CO) 43:06:49:34 1200 mi 300,000 ft   Walking between all the peaks and completely Self-supported (buying food in towns, no help from anyone); Massive distance and vert.
Kyle Richardson Flatirons Linkups (Boulder, CO) 1:42:08 5 mi 4,400 ft   The Flatirons Quinfecta entails about 50 pitches of climbing plus running very steep talus and trails
Jack Kuenzle White Mountains Hut Traverse (NH) 9:58:03 45.25 mi 16,175 ft   A hard, decades-old competitive route. Jack set FKTs on the 5 best Routes in the NE: Pemi Loop; Devils Path; Great Range Traverse; Presi Traverse; and this Hut Traverse.
Brian Gardner, Jock Green Magaliesberg Traverse (South Africa) 11:53:24 78 km

Open Course

  A tough challenge requiring self sufficiency and navigation skill.
Sean O'Rourke Wyoming Thirteeners (WY) 08:22:55:00 217 mi 82,000 ft   Very few people had completed the WY 13ers in a lifetime. Requires climbing skill, route finding, and self sufficiency in very remote areas.
Daniel Jung Lechtaler Höhenweg (Austria) 13:35:22 78.3 km 6,400 m   "A ridge, a path through the Lechtal Alps, where golden eagles rule the skies"; techincal
Mike Coppock Haute Route Pyrennees (Spain, Andora, France) 12:04:41:58 748.98 km 40,059 m   Sea to Sea across the Pyrennees, Self-supported; route variations exist
James Gibson Wainwrights 214 (UK) Winter 08:06:44:00 525 km 33,200 m   214 fells in the Lakes District, in winter and storm conditions
Tyler Andrews Cotopaxi (Ecuador) 1:36:35 35 km 2,172 m   19,347' volcano, with very competitive times trading back and forth

ARCHIVES (very cool stories - have a look!)

2017 FKTOY

2018 FKTOY 

2019 FKTOY pt 1

2019 FKTOY pt 2

2020 FKTOY NA pt 1

2020 FKTOY NA pt 2

2020 FKTOY Euro pt 1

2020 FKTOY Euro pt 2


So honored and excited to be on this list with so many amazing runners!! Congrats to all for your achievements this year!

The only unsupported effort longer than 24 hours on this list is Mikaela Osler's Long Trail FKT. In previous years, we've seen multiple nominees for multi-day unsupported efforts. Last year alone had nominations for multi-day unsupported FKTs on the Tahoe Rim Trail, Colorado Trail, Wind River High Route, Sierra High Route, NH 4000 footers, and Nolan's 14 (and I might have missed some more). As a fan of the multi-day unsupported style, I'm a bit disappointed... What's up? Are unsupported FKTs going out of style, is this a reflection of the bias of the nominators this year, or is this just coincidence?

Good observation Matt - I like it!  I have no good answer; being a crowd-sourced website, what you see is simply what people have submitted.

I do note there were some massive Self-supported efforts that could not go Unsupported:  Pawel hiking between and then up all the CO 14ers; Sean on the WY 13ers, and Mike Coppock going sea-sea on the Haute Route Pyrennees.  Petter Restrop was Unsupported on the original Haut Route (Chamonix-Zermatt) which was less than a day, but that's guided as an 8 day trip.  Nika Meyers on the CO Trail was Self-supported, but 9+ days Unsupported has only been done twice I think, and is not a logical style on on the CO Trail where one is hiking right through towns with food 10' away.  (spoiler alert: Hillary and I discuss this particular aspect on an upcoming podcast).

Keep these Comments coming!

Great point. Fully supported or self-supported, there are certainly lots of massive efforts on the list.

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Nika's CT time is amazing. 

Yes, good suggestion; that was an excellent effort.  It actually was on the Preliminary List, but with 4 other New England FKTs, and a very large overall list to manage, it fell off the Final list (along with 10 others).  Sorry.

Why not Sabrina Verjee’s wainwrights FKT? She beat the overall record by a decent margin 

Because she never submitted so her Wainwright is not on the website - please suggest she do so :-)

I always thought unsupported was the purest and coolest way to set a FKT. Ben Feinson (and the Richmond Trail Running Club) convinced me otherwise with their Supported FKT of the Long Trail and the associated short film about the feat. This project offered a way out of the typical ego-centric, self-driven formula (of which I personally fall prey to often) and instead focused on the collective power that can be possible when we join together and build community around a shared effort and environment. I mean, that’s really what it’s all about, right?