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.
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:
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
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
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?
Fundy Footpath (42K) – Unsupported male team – Mark McColgan, Marc Gallant, Dawson Mossman, and Brian Demmings in 10:15:42 on August 18
In Nunavut this September, two unknown endurance athletes set the unsupported FKT on Akshayuk Pass (97K) in 25:30:00.