Info provided by Wouter Huitzing (prior to his 2019 FKT run):
The Pieterpad is the most famous and longest* hiking trail in The Netherlands, spanning an official distance of 498 km. It starts in the north in Pieterburen, and goes to the south (St. Pietersberg), where a continuation on the European trail GR5 is possible. Of course the reversed direction is possible too. The trail is mostly hiked by older people, walking one or two days during the weekend, but a few fast attempts have been made.
The fastest time I could find is set by Lucja Leonard and Marina Ranger, starting 27th July and finishing in 5 days (exact time unknown). Their progress was documention on the Facebook-page Simply Runderful and both wrote detailed blog posts afterwards (Marina, Lucja). This was fully supported. [Faster times are listed below.]
The official Pieterpad website has a news item (Dutch) stating Edwin van Nieff completed the trail in six days (16th - 21st May 2004). This probably makes him the fastest male, but I have no idea if this is supported or not, not much details can be found about this performance.
The trail also had a number of stage race attempts, called the PieterROGPad (Dutch), having the finishers in 7 days. Fastest net time was set by Karl Graff in 2000: 55 hours and 3 minutes. Fastest female was Ria Buiten in 2001: 60 hours and 23 minutes. Of course the net time is not really a reliable metric for things like this, it would be faster to just run 1 km a day for two years.
Not many other attempts are documented. There is not much of a FKT or thru-hike spirit in The Netherlands, so I don't think many attempts have been made.
* The Kustpad (Coastal Path) is longer, with a total of 721 km, but this one has been split into 5 parts, I can't find any official documentation if this is 1 trail or as 5 trails.
Addition to the story above:
The blog of the support driver of Marina and Lucja mentions a start time of 6:00 on day 1 and a finish on day 5 where he drove up the st.Pietersberg at lunchtime and the ladies arrived half an hour after he parked the car. That would mean they did the course in about 4 days and 7 or 8 hours.
Somehow I really want to get to the bottom of this. Let's try to recreate the events of the last day. We have the following information:
- The day started near Swalmen, this post mentions another 85 km remaining, this post mentions Swalmen.
- The location of this picture is bit above Roermond, the long sleeves imply it's early morning, and it's light outside. Sunrise was around 05:52 that day. It is likely that they started around 06:00 every day (since it was not really meant as a FKT, more as a stage race). Ultraned also mentions the 06:00 start (we'll get back to that page)
- The next relevant post mentions breakfast in Echt. which is around 22 km on that stage (meaning 63 km remaining). "Breakfast" is the only reference to time here, and that's not exactly concrete.
- There is a mention of Windraak in the support driver's blog. From there, it's another 30 km to go. The blog does mention lunch in Windraak, but once again without a specific time. A short addition: the timeline described in this blog is lunch in Windraak, then driving to St. Pieterberg, which is at least a 35 minute drive (probably slower due to the caravan).
- They had to do a detour in Maastricht due to the Triathlon being held that day. There is a picture of them crossing the run, but once again no concrete timestamps here.
- The finish photo shows a route marker that is almost North/South directed. The shadow indicates that the sun is close to the West, but not yet.
So we have very little concrete information here. The "7 or 8 hours" sounds too fast to me, 8 hours is just too fast for a day of 85 km, based on the running speed shown in the few videos of the last day. The 18:00 finish that Ultraned guesses should mean a 12 hour day, but that doesn't match the shadow on the finish foto, it would be in the southeast quadrant, not the northeast. So I'm just going to meet in the middle and guess 4 days 10 hours.
Please see my comment below. Thanks Lucja
Correct. Gerben did an amazing job and many of the ultra community in NL followed his run.
I will make an attempt on the Pieterpad on Tuesday 11th of May, starting from Pieterburen at 10 am local time (CET). I will go self-supported style. I will make use of restaurants, café and supermarkets along the way and I'm planning a couple of naps in hay barns on the route. I will not be the only one running that week. Irene van Kinnegem will start Monday 10th of May at 8 am, self-supported style from Pieterburen in the North, while Addie van der Vleuten will start Friday 14th of May at 2 pm, also from Pieterburen. All three are attempting to break the overall record time bij Gerben Oevermand. It will be awesome to follow how this will unfold.
Legends Tracking has done a great job building the tracking sites where Gerben's record gps-track will run with us virtually, so one can see where we are relative to Gerben during his attempt. Legends tracking. In the event Irene or myself will break the record, Legends Tracking will do the same with our gps-track on my and/or Addies tracking site.
Below are the links to the tracking sites and a link to my facebook page where I will occasionally post a live video.
There will be three detours due to maintenance works on bridges and roads.
1. Between Winsum and Groningen, which is taken in account by the track on tracking site. This is a detour of + 900 m.
2. Between Hardenberg and Ommen. This is a detour of - 600 m.
3. Between Holten and Laren. This is a detour of 0 m.
I’m Lucja, my friend Marina & I are honoured that we got a mention on here for our self made adventure. I’m a bit bemused by the interest in our data as we never made any claims of an FKT, in fact we weren’t even on Strava at that point (not sure that existed back then), and had never heard of an FKT.
We purely did this challenge as a personal achievement and to raise money for Pink Ribbon Foundation (breast cancer).
Hence there are no detailed timings or evidence, just 2 friends running around in their pink underwear. Good luck to all of you giving it a go as an FKT, and wish everyone the best of luck just doing it for fun like we did.
Great to hear from you Lucja and Marina that made this adventure even if it was not for an FKT. I think people have found inspiration in your effort and the pad has become a bit legendary so there is genuine interest. Any such adventure are of interest to FKT if the route is easy for people to follow and explore interesting parts of the country.
Amazing with two new records in the same week (in may 2021). The self-supported by Teun and the supported by Addie. Both coverred by Runners World NL. https://www.runnersworld.com/nl/nieuws/a36455830/addie-van-der-vleuten-…
My attempt will start at may 26th around 6:00 am CET in Pieterburen. Legends Tracking has done a great job building the tracking sites where Addie's record gps-track will run with me virtually, so one can see where I am relative to Addie during his attempt. My route will be the latest available and downloadable gpx from www.pieterpad.nl/etappes where one can find the latest detours due to maintenance works on bridges and roads.
Below the link to the tracking site, a link to my facebook page where I will occasionally post a live video and to my website:
Best of luck, will follow with interest.
Check out the first female self-supported FKT by Irene Kinneim, a wonderful effort and adventure.