FKT: George Mihalakellis - Great Dividing / Goldfields Track (Australia) - 2018-12-08

Route variation
Goldfields Track (Bendigo-Ballarat)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
1d 11h 2m 0s

Scant info on this - just a couple of social media posts.  George posted on Instagram:

"Team George has just covered the 210 km Goldfields Track (Mt. Bunningyong to Bendigo) in a new FKT of 35.03 hours. I mention team because without them none of this is possible. I am truly blessed with the people in my corner and loved sharing not only the journey but the laughs, tears and those wow moments. Can’t wait to see where the and when the next one is."

More on Facebook:

"The Goldfields Track is the longest shared use trail in Victoria. It’s 210 km point to point and links the cities of Ballarat and Bendigo. I completed it in 2016 in an FKT (Fastest Known Time) of 42.15, which was then beaten by Peter Munns and Peter Clarke in a time of 41.49. I wanted to challenge myself again when the conditions seemed right. This weekend we set a new FKT of 35.03. After getting notification early in 2018 that I had finally made it into Spartathlon in Greece after years of trying, I decided to change my training regime and focus on strength and fitness, rather than simply running a lot! I began taking high intensity group fitness classes and used hot yoga to keep my body stretched as well as for heat training. I knew I was going to load the back half of the year with events and wanted to be in the best shape I could. After coming back from a successful event in Greece, running 246km in 35.55 through a significant Mediterranean cyclone, I wanted to keep the training going. I changed my body shape and composition quite significantly in the time between Spartathalon and Alpine Challenge, losing a good amount of body fat and increasing my muscle mass. I finished the altered Alpine 100-Miler course (35km loops, changed due to severe weather conditions) in just under 24 hours and recovered really quickly. My plan had always been to do the Alpine coast2kosci double so with this year's heartbreaking cancellation of C2K due to local administration issues, we grabbed the opportunity to take on this similarly long challenge. We had the crew already, we had the time off work arranged and, being in the best running shape I could hope for, we decided to have another crack at Goldfields. After completing it entirely self-supported in 2016, this time I wanted to share the journey with mates and a full support crew.  The weather was hot, with temperatures hitting 41 degrees out on some of the open plains, and it turned out to be just as physically and mentally taxing as the self-supported run during the middle of winter and in -3 degree temperatures in 2016. You always learn something new when you’re on your feet for such a long time. You go through so many ups and downs but always get through them especially with such support from the team and ultra-running community.  I think that’s one of the aspects that drew me to this challenge – an FKT attempt is very different to an event. You can’t use the energy of the competitors around you to push you along, you can’t set a challenge to try and catch someone or stay ahead of another runner – it is just you out there. Solo running over that time and distance teaches you a lot of lessons about who you are and what you are capable of.  I left everything I had out there. There were some tough moments where I relied heavily on my team to keep my spirits up. Knowing someone is waiting in the bush in the middle of the night with ice, cold drinks and a smile can help you to dig that bit deeper. There were other times when I had to be able to push myself or push my pacers to get the most out of me. We had originally hoped to do the track in under 30 hours but the conditions didn’t lend themselves to that on this attempt and at times I had to put some speed into my running to make up for the slower pace early on in the heat of the day. The Challenger ATR 5 was made for this type of adventure. The mixture of sealed and gravel roads, bush tracks and technical descents were all handled well while still providing that HOKA cushion feel I love so much.  After 35 hours on my feet, with no shoe or sock change (I actually didn’t take the shoes off at all!) my feet were perfect. No blisters, no hot spots, and toenails all where they should be. While training and conditioning contributes to some degree, those who have experienced foot issues will know all too well the role that your shoe plays in this, and in the recovery. I wouldn’t even consider these events in anything other than HOKA." - George Mihalakellis


Is there a .gpx file for this? Or a strava link?

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Announcing an attempt at the Goldfields Track FKT on 25th September 2020 under the Supported category by John Robinson, Simon Austin and Ross McPhee.