Frequently Asked Questions

Szu-ting Yi looking over maps in the Winds

What kind of tracking is eligible?

Real-time tracking is much preferred. SPOT and Garmin InReach work well for this. In areas with cell service, a phone-based real-time tracking app such as Strava Beacon can also work well. See the FKT Verification page for more.

How do I calculate the time for my FKT attempt?

The time includes elapsed time from start to finish of the prescribed route, including all non-moving time.

Are road routes considered for FKTs?

We do consider road routes, though most routes we track are off-road.

What makes a route worthy of inclusion?

Ideally, the route has some interest & integrity, be it aesthetic, historical, or otherwise.

What about other activities like cycling, skiing, climbing?

We love these activities, too, but we're currently focusing our efforts only on running and hiking.

I don’t want to post my live tracker feed publicly during my attempt. Can I share it privately with the FKT team?

Yes; just say so and send us the tracker link using the contact form or when submitting a new route.

We recommend having someone download the data from SPOT for archival/verification before it's deleted; SPOT only keeps the data on their site for a very limited period of time.

Can I turn my tracker / PLB (Personal Locator Beacon) off overnight?

Yes. Save those batteries!

Is "muling" allowed in Supported attempts?

Yes. Supported basically means "anything goes" as long as you cover the ground under your own power.  You can have as many pacers as you want, and they can carry whatever you want them to, but they can't carry, push or drag YOU.

Except the tracker. It's good form to carry the tracker on your person, rather than having a pacer carry it. Not to mention it’s safer, in case the pacer gets lost or forgets to give you back your tracker. But if you're 100% sure they're going to run by your side the entire time, it's not an issue.

More about support and "style" on the FKT Guidelines page.

Does drinking water from an unnatural source (like a visitor center) still count as unsupported?

Good question, and a little controversial. If you want to be pure about it, many in the community would suggest using only natural water sources in an unsupported attempt. On the other hand, if you're walking by a public facility that has a spigot, it seems pointless and arbitrary not to use it. As always, just be clear about exactly what you did.

What happened to the "Unsupported, Accompanied" style?

Unsupported, Accompanied is confusing and controversial, and we're phasing it out. Pacing is support.

If there are two people of the same gender, they can still be Unsupported and it’s obvious they were together because both names are listed -- we don’t need separate “solo” or “team” unsupported categories.

If the team is of mixed gender they are either Unsupported and Mixed gender team, or Supported individuals. Athlete's choice.

What about age groups for FKTs?

We have no plan to establish age groups for FKTs. We have male, female and mixed-gender teams, plus 3 styles of support, so it gets complex quickly. Too many possible permutations (people want oldest, youngest, etc.). Plus additional issues of verification.

We feel your pain, but while we may not be as fit as we once were, we believe maturity and experience is worth something in the FKT arena. We just need to think more creatively than the young studs and studettes.

If you're really attached to performing in your age group, organized races are great for that.

I got the second fastest time. Should I submit it?

Great job! However, this will not be listed in the FKTs for the Route, so please don't submit it as such. The FKT listings on routes show the progress of the Fastest Known Times. The second, third, fourth, etc., FKTs listed there were each at one point the FKT for that route. This is different from how Strava’s leaderboards work, for example.

Please do leave a comment on the Route page regarding your attempt, though. We are very interested to know about and celebrate strong unsuccessful FKT attempts and honorable mentions.  Plus, we may all learn from your "failure"!