FKT: Ajay Hanspal - Milford Track (NZ) - 2023-11-18

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
5h 19m 33s
GPS track(s)

Milford Track Record/FKT, 5hrs 19mins 33secs, 33miles over some of New Zealand's finest lumps!


The Milford Track is one of New Zealand's famous 'Great Walks', the equivalent to our 'National' trails at home in the UK. I attempted the Milford track FKT from South to North mainly due to logistical constraints despite it being what I feel is the slower direction, Initially I thought this way would be faster due to slightly less elevation gain but the particularly nasty unrunnable descent from MacKinnon Pass, especially as it was wet underfoot. Not sure it would have been better in the other direction but I felt the ascent was less steep and it might have been nicer to come down that way instead of heading north. Lost some time on the descent with some slow miles. I had not prepared specifically for this attempt and did so at the end of a typical week of training so there's likely some time to be had for someone tapered and in drier conditions (or just faster), however this was great training for my next A race in January, the HURT100. 


The style I adopted was solo and unsupported mainly due to the track only being accessible by water taxi on both ends. The route has 3 distinct sections that can be applied when tackling the track in either direction; the first 10ish miles is very runnable slight net uphill (hilly but not steep), the middle section involves a mountain pass including the subsequent 1000 metre plus climb and descent - the track is generally a good gradient on the way up from the south so a mix of running and hiking is manageable but the descent is a lot steeper and slightly rougher underfoot. The last section involves 10ish miles over hilly but not steep ouchy trails. There is only 4000ft ish vert but it runs slower as it has some of the toughest terrain underfoot I've encountered.


Nutrition was a limiting factor due to the additional weight, in the end I opted for 6 out of date gels, a snickers bar and 2 full flasks with a Dextrose mix which seemed like a good balance between performance and weight. I used natural water sources throughout to fill up flasks instead of huts as it had rained heavily in the days prior to the attempt and water sources were plentiful. I carried enough kit to keep me safe on the mountain in case of fowl weather, rescue or needing to spend a night out; this included a survival bag, whistle, headtorch, full waterproofs, midlayer, first aid kit, hat and gloves. I urge future attempts to do the same, despite the track being one of the 'Great Walks' and thus very popular it is also very remote and rescue could take many hours.