In 2019, Nick Fowler started touring national parks. He tricked himself into going on a 32-mile hike—his longest by far—when he wanted to touch a glacier with his hand in Glacier National Park.
“The next day I couldn’t walk I was so sore,” Fowler says. “The day after that I thought, ‘That was awesome!”
Just four years later Fowler set the self-supported record on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Fowler joins FKT Podcast host Heather Anderson to connect the dots and explore what it took for Fowler to break none other than the record Anderson held for nine years.
After learning about fastest known times in January of 2021, Fowler went all in. Perhaps too all-in. After discovering that supported PCT record holder Karel Sabbe runs for training, Fowler figured he’d run, too, and he’d run more. So Fowler started running, jacked up his mileage, and broke his foot. Things turned up after Fowler hired FKT legend Joe McConaughy to coach him, and he set the self-supported FKT Pacific Northwest Trail that fall.
Anderson’s self-supported PCT record astonishingly stood for nearly a decade. Some of the best thru-hikers and endurance athletes tried to crack it and failed, until last summer Josh Perry set a new self-supported PCT FKT by five days. Just one year later–and just three years after his foray into endurance sports began–Fowler once again lowered the mark. Unlike Anderson and Perry, Fowler started at the U.S.-Canada border and traveled south until he hit Mexico, covering the 2,592 miles in 52 days, nine hours, and 18 minutes to break Perry’s record by over three days.
Get the full low down on the FKT Podcast—including the surprising (if also not entirely helpful) superpower Fowler brings with him on FKT attempts, his five whys, and why you have to love type II fun if you want to go after FKTs.
Thank you so much, Merrell, for supporting the show and fastestknowntime.com! If you’re looking for a new shoe in which to test yourself on the trails, check out the MTL Skyfire 2, the ultra-lightweight, award-winning trail shoe from our friends at Merrell Test Lab. See what all the buzz is about at www.merrell.com.