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Karel Sabbe nabs Via Alpina FKT in Alps

Fastest Known Time legend adds another to his resume

On Friday, Belgian ultrarunner Karel Sabbe successfully finished his quest for the fastest known time on the Via Alpina trail, covering 2,650 kilometres through eight different countries in 30 days. Sabbe averaged 85 kilometres of hiking each day and 4,800 metres of elevation gain.

His challenge began in Trieste, Italy and the goal destination was the city of Monaco. Sabbe started his journey on July 7 and finished on August 6, crossing through Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, France and Monaco on the Via Alpina hiking trail.

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After 30 days, eight hours and 57 minutes, Sabbe reached his end point in Monaco. To put this in perspective, Sabbe ran about two marathons a day and climbed halfway up Mount Everest (which is 8,900m) each day. 

Photo: Instagram/karelsabbe

Sabbe noted on his Strava page that he ran into a heavy storm on days six and seven. As the storm broke, he had to find shelter in a small mountain hut. On day 17, he spent the night hiking to get ahead of another thunderstorm on its way.

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Sabbe shattered the previously set FKT record by 14 days, which stood at 44 days. This record will be Sabbe’s sixth FKT; he has also has set fastest times on the GR 5A Coastal Route, Alta Via Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. Sabbe was the last runner standing at the legendary 2019 Barkley Marathons.

To see other fastest known times around the world, visit www.fastestknowntime.com.

You can view Karl Sabbe FKT and each day of his journey on his Strava page.