Thru-hikers and ultrarunners have been crushing all summer, but some athletes are just getting into their peak season. These are three major FKTs that fell in the last week.
Fastest known times (FKTs) are a trendy challenge amongst the newer generation: hikers and runners across the country now compete for FKTs, and even awards like Fastest Known Time of the Year.
There are countless blogs about people’s speed ventures and one semi-official FKT website that tracks both successful and unsuccessful attempts.
Without further ado, here are three athletes who just set major FKT records.
Rory ‘Bigfoot’ Anderson, Superior Hiking Trail, Unsupported
Rory Anderson of Minnesota set a new FKT of the Superior Hiking Trail on September 28. He covered the 310 miles of the rugged trail unsupported and broke the record by more than 7 hours. It’s worth noting the SHT’s route has changed drastically over the past decade, which FastestKnownTime.com records.
“As the trail continued to expand FKTs were set on whatever existed at the time, but we consider trips starting in 2016 to be on the more or less complete SHT,” reads the site. You can follow Anderson’s multitude of hiking adventures on his YouTube channel here.
Anderson’s record: 7 days, 13 hours, 25 minutes.
Previous record: 7 days, 20 hours, 56 minutes.
Nika ‘Early Bird’ Meyers, Long Trail, Unsupported
On Thursday, Nika Meyers of Vermont set the unsupported female record for the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail is the U.S. The extremely rugged, steep, and rocky trail runs 273 miles from the Vermont border to Canada along the spine of the Green Mountains. Meyers hiked it southbound.
Meyers’ record: 6 days, 11 hours, 40 minutes.
Previous record: There is no previous unsupported female record for the Long Trail listed on FKT.com, making Meyers the first. Jennifer Pharr-Davis set the self-supported female record for this trail at 7 days, 15 hours, 40 minutes.
Joe Grant, Colorado Trail (via Collegiate West route), Supported
Joe Grant is probably most well-known for his insane FKT on Nolan’s 14, which is the completion of 14 14,000-foot mountains in Colorado’s Sawatch Range in under 60 hours.
His most recent, albeit yet-to-be-verified, FKT set on the Colorado Trail is another of the most grueling in the state. It spans 500 miles and eight mountain ranges from Denver to Durango. Grant appears to have set a new record with the support of three of his friends, running east to west (aka north to south).
This potential record* comes with some caveats. FastestKnownTime.com, the de-facto official site of FKTs, hasn’t listed or tracked Joe’s attempt yet. There are also faster times on the Colorado Trail, including a supported time of 8 days, 13 hours, 28 minutes by Jonathan Basham.
Grant’s course included the Collegiate West route. Most hikers (and likely Basham) take the eastern route on the CT, which is generally considered a faster route. So Grant’s could likely stand alone as its own variation. However, Peter Bawkin of FastestKnownTime.com noted that previously, the Colorado Trail FKTs did not recognize the different variations.
Bawkin also noted that Grant had not submitted an FKT for verification as of Friday. But given Grant’s incredible resume, we’re guessing this will be confirmed eventually. Until then, just note this asterisk.
*Grant’s record: 8 days, 20 hours, 9 minutes.