Fastest Known Times (FKT) have become increasingly popular, and 2018 was an incredible year for FKTs across Canada. An FKT implies a route without formal organization, start times, flagging, or finisher medals. The term allegedly originated in 1998 after Peter Bakwin and Buzz Burrell attempted the speed record on the 805K Colorado Trail. In the early days of the internet, it was difficult to determine what the fastest times were, so the term Fastest Known Time was established. 

RELATED: New FKT on the Howe Sound Crest Trail

Jim Walmsley shatters the fastest known time rim to rim on the Grand Canyon. Photo: Nico Barraza

In trail and ultrarunning, the element of trust is significant, and in the world of FKTs, it is no different. Speed attempts are proven with GPS devices, Strava, a witness, or through word of mouth. There are different types of FKTs–supported, unsupported, and self-supported. Routes can range from multi-day thru-hikes like the 890K Bruce Trail to a short sprint up a local mountain. We’ve highlighted a few of this year’s FKTs on Canadian trails: 

Alicia (left) and Tara at the start of the Howe Sound Crest Trail

RELATED: Three-time UTMB champion sets FKT on California’s John Muir Trail

Alberta

Yamnuska Loop (9K) – Joren Titus in 1:06:34 on June 5
East End of Rundle (5.8K) – Unsupported female – Jana Jurackova in 1:18 on July 5
Mount Sir Douglas (35K) – Unsupported male team – Eamonn Walsh and Benjamin Firth in 10:51:15 on July 21
Skyline Trail (45K) – Self supported male – Justin Nichols in 3:45:26 on August 14 (three days after Joedy Dalke set a time of 3:59:18 on August 11)
Livingstone Range Traverse (42.4K) – Unsupported male team – Andrew Fairhurst and Troy Misseghers in 11:33:18 on September 1

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Making this verbal. James @dalkinator and I are going for the Skyline FKT in Jasper this weekend. This is partly inspired by @adamo1979 recent post about the trail and what he thinks is possible time wise for it. Anyone is welcome to join us for some suffering in the mountains! It is supposed to be rainy and so air quality should be okay. We've witnessed what having a goal can inspire as far as training goes and the result on race day (Jayden wins DeathRace-his goal). James and I have had some excellent training at Sinister7 and Deathrace but not ran together. We will both be racing BlackSpur 54k in August with the goal of a CR. Skyline this weekend will be a chance to dial in race speed nutrition and see closely how our bodies handle a larger distance differently. Where do we run at different paces? At what times do our energies hit a low? Hit a high? Can we be efficient in fueling and managing pace while navigating subalpine and alpine terrain? We can't wait to see what we can do 2weeks out from our goal race of 2018. This photo is from the ridge on Mt. Hamel during Leg 4 of the Canadian Deathrace. It was muddy and awesome! #attitudeoveraltitude #mindfirst #runhardcrylater

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B.C.

In B.C., three FKTs were recorded on the Juan de Fuca (47K) trail this year:
Unsupported female – Katherine Boere in 7:18:8 on May 27
Supported female – Jen Segger in 6:52:22 on July 29
Unsupported mixed gender – Jade De la Rosa and Nickademus de la Rosa in 6:59:28 on September 5 (The team also achieved the West Coast Trail 80K FKT in 13:18:21 on August 16)
Brunswick Mountain (14K) – Unsupported male – Mike Murphy in 1:56:31 on July 20
Howe Sound Crest Trail south to north (29K) – Unsupported female – Alicia Woodside and Tara Berry in 4:28:15 on October 27 (Sam Drove set it one month earlier in 4:37:56)
Howe Sound Crest Trail north to south (29K) – Unsupported male – James Stewart in 5:31:58 on October 9
Stein Valley Traverse (91K) – Unsupported male – Nick Elson in 13:30:53 on July 28
Mount Landale (26.5K) – Unsupported male team – Clay Webb and Kevin Ehman in 5:30:35 on October 21

RELATED: Niki Kimball’s Vermont Long Trail FKT bested by Alyssa Godesky 

Ontario

Elgin Trail (41K) – Unsupported male team – Jamieson Hatt, Casey Thivierge, and Derek Mulhall in 5:20 on April 7
Thames Valley Trail (110K) – Self-supported male team – Jamieson Hatt, Casey Thivierge, and Derek Mulhall in 15:00:5 on May 20
Avon Trail (113K) – Self-supported male team – Jamieson Hatt and Casey Thivierge in 17:14 on June 9
Kissing Bridge Trailway (45K) – Self-supported male – Luke Hoyt in 5:23:38 on November 9
Fun fact: The Rideau Trail (300K) FKT was set in 1983 by Bob Tysen in 83 hours and 31 minutes. 2019 attempts anyone?

New Brunswick

Fundy Footpath (42K) – Unsupported male team – Mark McColgan, Marc Gallant, Dawson Mossman, and Brian Demmings in 10:15:42 on August 18

Nunavut

In Nunavut this September, two unknown endurance athletes set the unsupported FKT on Akshayuk Pass (97K) in 25:30:00. 

RELATED: Heather Anderson becomes first woman to complete thru-hike Triple Crown in a calendar year

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