Article: FKTOY Euro - Winners Pt One

By Buzz Burrell on Thu, 01/14/2021 - 08:38pm

There were a remarkable 1,308 FKTs reviewed and verified in Europe in 2020, from England to Russia.  We were fortunate to add three Regional Editors in Europe to process the submissions (thank you Stefan, Michael, and Mike!)

That is like 1,308 people won their own race; they are all winners, but we had to reduce it down to 23 Nominees.  Then experienced people who live in Europe voted on which three FKTs inspired them the most.  Those were very hard and very wonderful choices to make.  Indeed, the voting was ridiculously close, with up to 5 Nominees being separated by a single vote.

Fortunately, democracy works well in Europe.  The voters selected the 3 most inspirational Female and Male FKTs of 2020.  Who are they?  An English woman in Germany and an American in England!  on January 22, we will discover the #2 and #1 FKT of the Year winners in Europe.

As always, click the links below to read runner's reports on the website.  And listen to the podcast and hear the runners tell their own stories. 

#3 Female

Aoife Quigly - Nagelfluhkette (GER/AUT)

Stats: 4 hr 27 min 23 secs; 19.51 miles; 8,038' vertical gain, Unsupported

Aoife:  I lost some time on the steep climbs that were very muddy and also on the last climb (Hochhäderich) where there was a lot of climbing using ropes which I am not that good at, but otherwise I felt good and in control.

A highly competitive ridge run on the border between Germany and Austria. She was incredibly fast.
I appreciated she went alone, and her time is comparable to the men's.


FKTOY Euro Aoife

#3 Male

John Kelly - Big 3 UK Rounds (UK)

Stats:  5 days 10 hr 43 min; 590mi; 101,000' elevation gain, Supported

John: I probably owe (the major storm) a thank you. It ensured that my limits were fully stretched, that I was completely stripped down to my inescapably raw and authentic core, and that I was forced to face the questions, thoughts, and emotions that came along with those situations.

The rounds in themselves are huge, iconic individual challenges, so to string them together and then bike between is an amazing feat.
John's FKT was something most people would not be capable of imagining, let alone planning and executing. 5 days of non-stop effort varying between steep mountain running and fast road cycling. Huge distance and vertical totals.
John's Grand Round is massive - doing the Big 3 in good form, plus style points for commuting to each on a tri-bike wearing a stretch racing suit.


Cover: Michael Corrales; Bottom: Damian Hall