An Australian runner named Grant Brisbin set an FKT (fastest known time) on a route in New South Wales just north of Sydney after completing the 100K Central Coast Century Run in 10 hours, 27 minutes on Sunday. Brisbin’s time beat the previous record, which another Australian runner named Josef McGrath set earlier this year, by an hour, easily claiming the FKT as his own. The Central Coast Century route record is the second FKT of Brisbin’s ultrarunning career.
The Central Coast Century Run takes runners on a big loop through multiple national parks and a state forest, up a mountain and along the coast. Brisbin started and finished his run in Bouddi National Park, just like McGrath did in January when he ran his FKT. The time to beat for Brisbin was a quick 11-hour, 28-minute run, which McGrath set by averaging 6:41 per kilometre throughout his attempt.
This was not going to be an easy task, as the route is not only long, but quite hilly. Over the course of the 100K, runners on the Central Coast Century Run gain more than 2,500m of elevation. The challenging terrain may have slowed Brisbin down, but not enough to prevent him from winning the FKT, as he averaged 6:16 per kilometre throughout the run.
Brisbin managed to beat McGrath’s time despite starting off on the route much slower than the previous record holder. In his opening 20K, McGrath ran 16 kilometres under five-minute pace. Brisbin didn’t run a sub-five-minute kilometre until he was more than halfway through the run, and his pace was consistently slower than McGrath’s for most of the first half. He slowly began to chip away at McGrath’s lead, though, and ended up not only beating the FKT but smashing it.
“This was suppose to be low-key adventure, basically a ‘Sunday long run,’ to find some motivation and inspiration,” Brisbin wrote on Instagram after his run. “To me, it’s never been about racing, it’s been about the places, the people and most importantly the adventure to be had. This route is quite incredible with a bit of everything road, trail, technical, up, down, sand, stairs and anything else you can think of.”
While Brisbin didn’t go into the FKT attempt thinking of it as a must-win operation, he left the challenge with the route record in hand, and based on his time, it may be a while before someone else comes along and betters it.