Brendan Pytka, who established the FKT route was awesome and helped us with advice to navigate through the Newark maze. We had fun during the journey and look forward for more to come and will be glad to support this FKT organization - thank you!
Fastest Known Time (FKT) Penn Station to Penn Station (NY, NJ)
Zandy Mangold & Chris Calimano
On February 13, 2019, Zandy Mangold and Chris Calimano announced their intentions to attempt an unsupported Penn Station to Penn Station Fastest Known Time (FKT) on Monday, February 18, 2019 at 4:00 AM EST. We connected with Brendan Pytka, who created the FKT route and established a time of 6 hours and 26 minutes, to discuss navigation logistics as Brendan provided important advice from his experience that would help safely guide us over the Newark bridges. Then our goal would be to simply travel north to the George Washington Bridge before running southbound towards the NYC Penn Station, finishing on 32nd and Broadway. Our Garmin Live tracker and Facebook announcement was posted on Sunday evening as we prepared for Monday’s FKT attempt.
Our Newark Penn Station arrival was delayed by an hour because of the inclement weather consisting of sleet/snow. After capturing several photographs from Newark Penn Station, we bundled-up to attack the cold-rainy weather and start our trek – our Garmin watches were started at 5:09AM EST.
We quickly realized that exiting Newark was more challenging than anticipated. As google/apple maps proved to be unreliable we encountered several roadblocks but after nearly two hours, we finally arrived in Journal Square (NJ) and knew our mission was to head North to the GWB. We finally found our groove until an apartment door was kicked opened and slammed into Zandy, who pulled his groin from the incident; this jeopardized our entire attempt but Zandy digged deep and wanted to continue. We realized that we did not have time to spare but stopped for very quick photos along the NJ route: Weehawkin, Union City, Fort Lee.
We were extremely nervous when approaching the George Washington Bridge as we have been informed that the pedestrian walkway, which typically opens 6:00 AM, may be closed due to inclement weather. At the foot of the bridge we noticed a Port Authority truck in front of a STOP sign – we were deflated as our FKT attempt was ending…as we shuffled our feet to the truck we noticed other pedestrians then Zandy shouted “is the bridge open?” and we were greeted with a welcoming “of course!” – GAME ON!!
We took a few additional photos on the GWB then committed to breaking 6 hours. With a bit of luck, commitment and determination we arrived at NYC Penn Station at 11:02 AM EST, with a finishing time of 5 hours 52 minutes and 16 seconds. After stopping our Garmins and snapping a few finisher photos we jumped in a taxi so we could celebrate with our families. We also called and thanked Brendan Pykta, who made this possible and more importantly we are thankful to the Fastest Known Time organization – thank you!
Garmin Activity: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/3394375058