Podcast: Episode 213: Karel Sabbe Breaks Down New PCT FKT


On August 26, Karel Sabbe reached the U.S.-Canadian border, officially smashing the supported record on the Pacific Crest Trail. The 33-year-old dentist from Belgium covered the 2,600-mile-plus trail in just 46 days, 12 hours, and 50 minutes—which was five days and four hours ahead of Timothy Olson’s mark of 51 days, 16 hours, and 55 minutes. 

His secret to success?

Not thinking about the old record. 

“If you go into an FKT attempt with the current FKT in mind, you’re limiting yourself,” Sabbe said. “My goal was to get the best out of myself every day.”

By shifting his mindset from what had been done before to what he believed he could do, Sabbe managed to average 58.1 miles and 9,000 feet of climbing a day, for 47 days straight—despite a record-breaking snowpack and cumbersome wildfire detour.

Today, Sabbe joins the FKT Podcast to break down his FKT with previous self-supported record holder and podcast host Heather Anderson. Get the inside scoop on why he returned to the trail after setting an FKT here in 2016, the strategy with his minimal four-person crew, how he contended with the elements, and what fueled him on the trail.

Plus, learn about his unconventional training style of running on average just eight hours a week in the lead-up to this massive effort, which entailed running many hours more than that each day.

Read up on Sabbe’s seven FKTs on fastestknowntime.com, and follow his adventures on Instagram

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

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