Fastest Known Podcast

Coming to you every Friday: interviews with FKT-setters and other athletes in the world of Fastest Known Times.


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Category: Highlight

Everyone is disappointed that races were cancelled or postponed.  What about the race directors themselves - this is how they make a living - what is their perspective?

James Varner, Rainshadow Running:

"We're known for our post-race parties as much as the running; it's one big happy family. That's all a big no-no right now with social distancing."

Justin Ricks, Mad Moose Events:

"When you lose something, you realize what you're missing. When people come back, there will be a lot of positive energy."

Category: Highlight

Everyone is talking about it so we should as well.  But instead of more graphs of "How COVID-19 will spread", we will listen to authentic, personal reports from friends.  Europe - United States - New Zealand.  Each report is very different!  We can learn from each other.

"This is a global pandemic, and it supersedes everyone's personal goals"

Note: These conversations were recorded Monday afternoon, March 23, which is important to know as every situation changes every day.

Category: Person-Person

Amanda and Justin were in Kauai to run the Kalalau Trail and thought to check it out. Ill prepared for the humidity, Amanda nonetheless decided to go for the FKT, and succeeded. Justin accompanied her going out (so she is listed as Supported) but then then fell apart from the heat.

"We were all wondering, 'where's Justin'? He was two hours late getting back."

Three days later he felt better, going an hour faster than Amanda and establishing the Male FKT.

Category: Topics

Going lightweight saves a ton of energy, but how best to do that?  

"People pack for their fears"

Andrew Skurka was a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, and created monster routes, such as the Great Western Loop and Alaska-Yukon Expedition. He now runs a guiding business (when not racing Marathons), with 29 trips this year alone. 

Alan Dixon is an engineer and adventurer who helped co-found Backpacking Light, and will be a guide on three Andrew Skurka Adventures this year.

Category: Person-Person

Ryan has been actively racing since 2006 - winning and doing well in 26 Ultra's - then announced for 2020 he will focus exclusively on FKTs:

"I like racing, a lot. But this fall I asked myself what I really care to do the most. And that was easy. I love running in the wilderness. Alone in the biggest, best, and most wild mountains."

Category: Person-Person

The Stoke Factor goes up a notch with Rea Kolbl and Trever Townsend in the room (or on the trail):

“We just like to sign up for things we have no idea how to do, then figure it out!”

Rea Kolbl was a competitive gymnast in her native Slovenia, then while earning a Masters Degree in Engineering at Stanford University, realized she could make more money Obstacle Course Racing than indoors teaching Grad students, so she walked out the door and hasn’t looked back. 

Category: Person-Person

The Longs Peak FKT stood for 33 years!  The Grand Teton FKT for 29 years ... then Andy broke them both in the span of two weeks!

"I'm a mediocre runner and a mediocre climber ... but not many people do both."

Andy was Climbing Ranger at the Longs Peak Ranger Station (as was Chris Reveley, the previous FKT holder) so he has extremely valuable thoughts and advice for all of us:

"I've backed off more routes than I can remember ... everything has to be perfect."

Category: Person-Person

A resident of Keene, NY, Ryan is one of the guys trading fast times on the Presi and Adirondack Traverses. They get after it, yet it's all one big friendly community.

"The previous record-holder came out and helped, making sure I knew the best ways to go."

His next project? 500 miles on fat bikes, unsupported, in winter, across Manitoba, on the "worlds longest winter road", the Wapusk Trail (Wapusk is Cree for "Polar Bear").  

"Our bikes with gear weigh 100 lbs. Last year we carried a shotgun."

Category: Person-Person

Brett came seemingly out of nowhere in 2009 when he set the coveted FKT on the John Muir Trail, going Unsupported 7 hrs faster than the Supported time.

"I think it took Barkley to convince some of the holdouts."

Category: Person-Person

The Te Araroa is amazing: from the northern to southern tip of New Zealand, across the entire island (2 actually) nation!  Lucy set the Female FKT, followed by George a mere 4 days later with the Male FKT, completely by coincidence. Lucy's tip for hiking 66 straight days?

"Go shove a heap of food in your face, then go again."