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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What is the relationship between speed and safety? What is the boundary and how do you know when you're hitting it? Ultrarunners have the fitness to get really far into the backcountry, but do they have the skill and experience to get back safely?

"People are drawn to these routes, because they're super aesthetic, iconic lines. But are they over their head?"

"You can download a .gpx file and just follow your watch on a trail, but on technical terrain, that doesn't work."

In 2016 Joe climbed all 57 Colorado 14ers, self-powered, riding his bike to each mountain, taking 31 days - and he didn’t bring a foam pad.  Earlier he entered the Colorado Trail Mountain Bike race - on a non-suspension bike with a leather saddle.

"An ideal aesthetic is not necessarily a rational thing, it's an emotional feeling."

Leor won 36 of the 42 races he entered, then in 2013 stopped racing to do FKTs.  He held the FKT on the John Muir Trail AND the High Sierra Trail at the same time - then stopped doing FKTs too!  What is his new passion?

"Big Sur is just as wild as the High Sierra - there are places no one has ever seen".

"I've cataloged 157 waterfalls - some I call "FKS's" - First Known Sighting!"

We discuss the highlights of the year so far, and note that unlike in previous years, there have been no major efforts on the AT, the PCT, or the JMT.  Why is that?

"FKTs in my opinion can leave the trails and be more creative.”

“And maybe the big routes have become too fast!”

The California 14ers were just done by a woman, it is somewhat uncommon for a woman to go solo on the technical routes; why is that?

Once again Chris McDougall finds a seed of truth and sprouts it into a great story - this time the millennia-old bond between animals and humans, and how that connection can still nurture us. And frustrate us, if you've just entered a burro race.

"If you and that burro aren't of the same opinion where you're going and how fast, it can drag you up the side of a cliff or through a boulder field." - Ken Chlouber

The Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Linkup encircles Little Cottonwood Canyon.  Joey lives IN Little Cottonwood Canyon!

"The Rustler Lodge is closed in the summer, so it's just 3 of taking care of 85 rooms. It's like 'The Shining'".

Joey spent 56 days going NOBO on the AT in 2014 for a new Self-Supported FKT, but he took one car ride to a hospital due to injury ... so he didn't claim it. He is not sponsored. He doesn't have a YouTube channel. He just lives the life.

From and FKT on the Ptarmigan Traverse, to 61,000 vertical feet skied in one day, Mike Foote is as skilled as he is at home in the mountains.

But here's question: What's the dumbest thing you've ever done?

"My first time skiing I didn't have skins, so for traction I duct-taped pine boughs to the bottom of my skis. Then I fell into a cornice overhanging a 1,500' cliff."

Listen to Mike's humble, humorous, and thoughtful recollections of a life well-lived in the mountains and deserts.

What is the coolest thing you've ever done?

Katie is from Maine; Germain from France - they both were Top Ten at UTMB, then went to New Hampshire for their passion project, the Hut to Hut Traverse - how does that all work?

They ran the whole Traverse together, with Katie 2 hours ahead of the previous Female FKT.

"I was on 'Croo' for 4 summers, and told Grangier how at the end of every summer we saw how fast we could go between the 8 Huts." - Katie

This August, the pair went sub-4 days on the WRHR, a terrific 100 mile traverse of the Wind River Range in Wyoming.

"I was into backpacking and climbing, then discovered trail running and loved the lightweight freedom ... I'm fascinated by how far the human body can go, and how much you can see and experience."

The competition is intense - how do you start a new running shoe company, and be successful?

"My friend gave me a prototype, and I said, 'forget it, don't even try, you'll never succeed against the big shoe company's. But then I tried them on."

"We typically don't talk about the product, we just ask people to try them, and that's what comes back: 'Running on clouds.'"

This is a fun discussion with the co-owner of an international running shoe company - get the inside scoop on how this all works.