Article: FKTOY NA 2020 Final Winners

By Buzz Burrell on Sat, 01/02/2021 - 09:12pm
FKTOY NA Locations Map

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These are the top 4 FKTs of the year in North America!  The stories are great - click through and read the runners own words! 

Kristina Randrup created the amazing maps shown below  - thank you!

 

#2 Female

Sabrina Stanley - Nolan's 14

Stats: 2 days 0 hr 49 min; 100 miles; 44,259' vertical gain; Supported

Context: A route with an overall success rate of just 15% sees 5 Female FKTs in 87 days, with the fastest by Sabrina just 54 days after her first.  Continuous, massive vertical gain and loss at altitude, on some social paths with limited trails.

Sabrina: I never said I wanted to do Nolan’s purely to do Nolan’s. It is never about the route for me; I can explore and appreciate the route in training. I wanted the FKT.

Voters: 

  • Sabrina going back for a 2nd Nolans 14 FKT in such a fast time is just mind blowing!
  • Nolans has become a world-class challenge. She knocked it out of the park! Just completing Nolans twice in one summer is nuts.
  • Sabrina's epic fight for Nolan's definitely got me as well. Her dedication and tenacity just completely blew me away.

Sabrina Nolan's 14 FKTOY 2020

#2 Male

Joe McConaughy - #2 Male - Long Trail

Stats: 4 days 23 hr 54 min; 273 miles; 65,370' vertical gain

Context: The oldest and one of the toughest long trails in NA; Unsupported but took water from hiker so became Self-supported; 1 days faster than the Unsupported time.

Joe: I am beyond words. Anyone who’s hiked or run the 273 mile Long Trail knows it is a unique beast. Its endless rocks, roots, exposed peaks and steep climbs make it unlike anything I’ve ever run/power hiked/frolicked thru (except for my 2015 attempt where I blew up 😂)

Voters:  

  • Stringbean - basically unsupported, almost as fast as the supported record, and a great story!
  • Joe gets it done again, in good style, with a good story.

Stringbean Long Trail FKTOY

#1 Female

Kelly Halpin - #1 Female - Wind River High Route

Stats: 2 days 11 hr 37 min; 97 miles; 30,000' vertical gain

Context: 1 day faster than Female Supported; until last year would have been the fastest Overall time. 2/3 off-trail, much 3rd class and some 4th class terrain, including glacier crossings.

Kelly: The most beautiful route ever!  The majority stays between 10,000 and 12,000 feet, over loose mountain passes, glaciers, snowfields, and alpine tundra. I did not pack sleeping gear or shelter or a stove.  

Voters:

  • Kelly's efforts over notoriously demanding terrain gets my top pick, and my deep respect.
  • This is a bold outing, especially for an solo female. Pushing the boundaries and inspiring others gets a lot of points.
  • Kelly's effort on the WRHR was truly amazing, not just because of her time, but for her style. Going into anything that big with only an emergency bivy doesn't give you a lot of options.

Kelly Halpin WRHR FKTOY

#1 Male

Joey Campanelli - Nolan's 14

Stats: 1 day 17 hr 0 min 33 secs; 100 miles; 44,000' vertical gain

Context: Unsupported effort bests the fastest Supported time by over 5 hours.  Instead of a desperate finish to squeak under a record, his 3rd try is a cruise.

Joey: 41 hours of pure bliss while I traversed from Blank Cabin to the Fish Hatchery. Truly, a place in my heart.  If you study the route and terrain, work on your skills, and hone your mountain sense, you can move harmoniously with and thru the mountains. Pure "flow" is how I would describe my run.  Huge thanks to Teresa for letting me borrow her car.

Voters: 

  • This is unhinged. So much so that people doubted it. Joey even surprised himself.
  • For Joey to completely smash the supported record in an unsupported style on such a classic and competitive route is truly incredible.
  • Joey's incredible Unsupported effort on this classic Nolan's route to beat every standing time ever, supported or not, takes the cake. It's commiting out there so Joey went all in on his preparation and rehearsal to produce this distinguished effort.

Joey Camps Nolan's 14 FKTOY

 

What do Sabrina, Stringbean, Kelly, and Joey have to say?  Listen to their own words - PODCAST HERE!

 

Voter Overall Comments

How can I even compare these efforts? There's so much dedication and passion represented in this list - and off the list too!

Tough voting this year. Many amazing accomplishments. How do you weigh a super fast time on a classic long trail like the Wonderland, against the adventure, navigation and just pure gumption factor of a big off-trail wilderness route like the WRHR, or a the pure athletic skill required to go fast on Longs Peak?

I'm sure we're all thinking the same thing - holy heck there were some amazing FKTs done this year! It truly shows the grit and determination within our community, not just from the women and men on these lists, but from everyone who still made a point to get out there. The FKT community grew substantially this year, and it was phenomenal to witness. I'm proud of everyone who attempted an FKT, not just those who made it on the website. We're a different breed for sure ;-)

 

Honorable Mentions

There literally are 3,000 FKTs that qualify (4,409 worldwide in 2020!), and in keeping with our tradition, here are a few:

Jason Hardrath - 60 FKTs in 2020

Stats: 1,275.29 miles, about 368,000' of elevation gain (and over 250 hours of car time). Includes 3 "Infinity Loops", 2 "Picnic" triathlons, in 5 states, from Sea Level to 14,411' elevation, and creating 28 new Routes.

Context: 93 total FKTs for Jason. He did 60 this year starting on January 11, finishing with #59 on December 30 and #60 on New Years Eve.

Michael Koppy - Superior Hiking Trail (MN)

Stats: 5 days 3 hr 44 min; about 310 miles

Context:  At age 69, Michael broke the Overall FKT time by a massive 29 hours!  Would have been a FKTOY Nominee except for Cody Lind and Brittany Peterson's faster time 18 days later. (A likely winner if we had Age Categories :-)

 

 

Cold Alpine Lake