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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Josh has run in 13 different countries in a single day, and run a 5k in all 50 states in 6 days! Like the Jared Campbell Episode 61, Josh is a spreadsheet maestro.

"The elite talent I lack can be made up for in logistical planning."

Josh lives in Michigan and sets FKTs in the western mountains - Midwesterners take note - you can do this!

"R2R2R.alt has the same elevation profile as the over-crowded R2R2R, but besides being much more remote and thin, requires you swim the Colorado River.  If you mess up, you'll really mess up"

The success or failure - and misery or enjoyment - of a project is often dependent on your partner! Everyone intuitively knows this but we rarely hear any discussion about it - so let's discuss it with Jared Campbell.

Potential partners should talk in advance to ascertain:

Jared discusses the 4 key components (important links below) - - -

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?