Podcast: Episode 174: FKTOY #1 Winners

John Kelly photos Copyright Steve Ashworth

End of Year

This is the finale!  Listen to Nika and John tell you all about their wonderful trips, in their own words,


Nika Meyers

FKT: Colorado Trail (CO)

Time: 9d 14h 19m 00s

Notes: 22 hours faster than a FKT set last year; Self-supported within 4 hours of Supported time

Athlete Comments: "If you have a dream, go for it, because there will never be a perfect time. Be proud that you're going to take the risk."

John Kelly

FKT: Pennine Way (UK)

Time: 2d 10h 04m 53s

Notes: First to go sub 60 hours on the UK's most competitive and famous long trail.

Athlete Comments: "These trails have a huge history. And the level of support has been incredible; I love the community here. This is a team effort."

Full CV

Nika Meyers

  • Age: 32
  • City, Current: Aspen, CO; Hometown: Bridgewater, VT
  • Family: Twin Sister Phebe, parents Phyllis and Robert, brother Lani, nephew Luscian, and several dear friends I consider as part of my family. 
  • Occupation: Artist, Nordic ski coach, Educator
  • Sports Highlights - - -
    • Triple Crown thru-hiker 2018
    • Unsupported Female FKT on Long Trail 2019
    • AZT in 20 days 2019
    • Self-Support Female Colorado Trail FKT 2021
    • Lots of local exploring, skimo and nordic racing.  
  • Social Media - - -

John Kelly

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User Picture
Profile picture for user Jason Hardrath @jasonhardrath

I have had some culminating thoughts around the Bulgers and the Journey to 100, I suppose I will just leave them here.
First, thank you for the kind shout out at the end of the episode! I want to be clear, if there ever were to be any kind of hall of fame or "lifetime achievement" as Buzz mentioned.  I would want to be thoroughly measured on the quality of my contributions and how they impacted the community, not just quantity. I would hope it is evident that, though quantity has been a part of my chosen process (ie Journey to 100), the real goal of the work has been to contribute as many compelling routes and performances as possible, ones that make people rethink the natural spaces around them, and to bring attention to the creative concepts within our niche (ie, Infinity Loops, Summit-Circ, sea-to-summit, run + hard scramble, peak lists pushes, and "picnic" style triathlons). The essence of the Journey to 100 was never meant to simply be a quick and easy tick list, but rather an effort to chase fear-inducing challenges, terrain that forced growth as an athlete, memories that would permeate teaching, and leave behind something, be it route or effort, that inspired others to take up their own mantle of manifesting some best expression of their unique passion and skill. Choosing 100 technical peaks that hadn't been done in a continuous push felt like the authentic final piece to the body of work, 100 for 100. As Buzz says in the film, it was a bit of poetic justice.

In the end, I don't think "doing 100 FKTs" is what to aim at... I think aiming at iterating incredible memories, iterating growth-inducing adventures, and iterating adventures that inspire the community of humans in our unique little niche are a much better aim, whether it is 1 or 100. Perhaps life and FKTs are similar in that way, it is about both the quality and the quantity, but if left to choose only one of the two, I would encourage aiming at the quality...though I will say quality doesn't have to be found on the road well-travelled, it can be pulled from the chaos of the unknown if one has the fortitude for the task.

I appreciate everyone here for 4 years spent together chasing dreams. I am excited to see how FKTs continue to grow as an essential aspect of American (and global) mountain-endurance sport.

In closing, as a heads up around storytelling from Washington Bulgers (Washington's 100 Highest) effort: the big film launch of the "Journey to 100" film is coming up in April

The film tour schedule right now is as follows:

Brooklyn - April 9 

Denver - April 23rd

Portland - April 30

Seattle - May 7

Outside TV digital release - mid May

with stoke and gratitude,
Jason Hardrath
(some guy who ran around on some mountains)