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The Colorado and California 14ers have long been top objectives, and the Idaho and Utah summits over 12,000' have been done, but NOBODY had done the highest summits in Montana - until Nate. "I did eight scouting trips, logging over 180 miles, 340 miles, and 126k of vert." Listen to Nate's great description of what's cool in Montana, and how not to get attacked by a Grizzly Bear. "I'm not a great ultra runner ... I just wanted to spend big days in the mountains rambling around."

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The "Speedgoat" has won 40 hundred mile trail races, including one every year, 18 years in a row.   "I do want to win my 19th in a row, but at some point it's all going to end ... is that time now"? Listen to Karl's thoughtful and honest comments, what it means to be slowing down, his descriptions of the Appalachian Trail, and ... his next project: "I'm going out there this summer to scout it ... I was looking at the FKT site, and noticed the Self-Supported time is doable ... I may be an old man, but I may be able to bridge that."

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Jeff just did the Arizona Trail Self-Supported, 9 hours faster than the Supported time!  How do thru-hikers do that? "I work it out so I can go for hours without even taking off my pack - bending over to get water out of a stream takes time". Really? Yes, really - thru-hikers work to save seconds on trips that may take months.  Jeff has done the Calendar Triple Crown and the Great Western Loop, while only running one ultra - listen to how a real thru-hiker approaches these huge trips. "I was going to start the AZT on April 4, but didn't feel like it ... so I just waited and started the next day".

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There are two ways to build a running career: 1) By talking about yourself on social media; 2) By winning races. Darcy has taken the second path! "I was from a different generation … I just like to run … “ She broke Sue Johnston’s 10-year old Female Supported FKT on the John Muir Trail by a whopping 10 hours, and threatened the Overall (Mens) FKT, much to the delight of those following her progress. "That was not my intention … I was just out there, blissfully … At one point, my crew said, 'Do you have any idea what you’re doing?!'"

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Jared Campbell is the sleep deprivation king. He has the most Barkley Marathons finishes (3); he has 10 Hardrock 100 finishes including a win; he's the holder of many original FKTs; he founded Running Up For Air and he's rrreally into "speed canyoneering"... wait, what? Finally, he's a "runner's runner." He's basically not on social media or sponsored - instead he's the lead engineer in a full-time job and a devoted family man with a wife and two daughters. How does someone like this push his body and mind to such extreme places, especially related to the Barkley which is as close to an FKT as a race can get? He asks himself: "Is my mind in the right place? Is my commitment there? Over the years I've developed a sense for 'yes, I have my mind in the right place for that amount of time,' whether it's 20 or 30 hours or more." Want more? Check out this video Jared posted in 2011: https://youtu.be/NFCjaKhbHMk

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This week we talk with Ryan Sandes all the way from Cape Town, South Africa. His bio is long but what stands out most is his 5th, 2nd and 1st at the Western States 100 where he’ll be racing again this year. Along with preparing to run the iconic Two Oceans road marathon, Ryan recently invented a project called the 13 Peaks Challenge. Similar to the “rounds” in the U.K., there are 13 summits one must tag in 1, 2 or multi-day efforts. The time required and the ambition is all on the individual to decide. “I was keen to do a link up of a bunch of peaks. I’m not very scientific; I didn’t really check the distance between the peaks. I guessed it might be around 50-60 kilometers but it was over 100. 13 peaks is just a rad adventure that anyone can try.” Ryan was intent on creating a logical route - one that didn’t require orienteering experience - so despite some suggestions from friends that he allow variable linkups of all 13 peaks he’s strict on keeping it a loop that finishes where it starts in true “round” style. We also talked about his general feeling on FKTs and why they matter most to the individual, not the public or critics.

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It's the 1 year anniversary of FastestKnownTime.com! Buzz and Peter talk about what has changed about the website, its functionality and features, what it means to be the "gatekeepers" of the FKT movement, and much more.

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Mike completely disrupts the long-distance paradigm - instead of 1-2 Marathons a year, he might do that many in a single weekend. He has run 107 ultra’s in the last 11 years, and most of them fast - his Marathon PR is 2:17:49. And he just completed the Israel National Trail - 1,016km in 10 days, 16 hours, 36 minutes. “I’ve been inspired by this FKT movement … I think there’s freedom with it … and there’s so much opportunity to engage the community.” The “INT” runs South-North, crossing the entire country of Israel, and is modeled after the Appalachian Trail. Mike was tracked on this website, and offered great insights during our discussion: “That’s the power of these things … they bring you to your limits, and that’s what I was looking for.”

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At only age 37, Andrew Skurka has already been there, and done that: "Hiking fast was not accepted. I was frowned upon for doing the AT in 3 months." Times have changed, and so did Andrew - he's done massive projects many people may not have even heard of: the Sea-Sea route (7,775mi), Great Western Loop (6,875mi), and the Alaska Yukon Expedition (24 days between road crossings). He's written a book, definitely has the best how-to website for backpacking (andrewskurka.com), and it's worth listening to his perspective on FKTs.

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FKTs of the Year in Europe...what an inspiring list! Kilian Jornet was the #1 men's FKT of the Year in Europe for his effort on the Bob Graham Round. Hear from Kilian himself in this new episode.

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FKTOY Europe Awards, Part 1, with Matt Lefort, Meredith Quinlan, & Jess Baker by FastestKnownTime.com

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A preview to the Fastest Known Time of the Year awards for Europe, we speak with Andorran expert – Matt Lefort – about England's "rounds," the first recorded "race" in the Pyrenees in 1904, Skyrunner Bruno Brunod's FKT on the Matterhorn, Kilian Jornet's admiration of the FKT forefathers, and how publicity for FKTs is different in the U.S. and Europe.

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A resident of Boston, MA, Joe McConaughy set the Supported FKT for the 2,655 mile Pacific Crest Trail in 2014, and on the 26-peak Wicklow Round in Ireland last May.  He is best known however, for his amazing Self-Supported FKT on the iconic, 2,189 mile Appalachian Trail, which not only bettered the Self-Supported record by 8 ½ DAYS, but also the overall Supported record of Karl Meltzer by 10 hours, and won him the Male FKT of the Year Award for 2017. "Not having a support crew really does take it down a notch from what you’re able to provide … you spend two hours in town, and leave carrying 25 pounds of food and supplies on your back.” Listen to Joe very thoughtfully weigh the pro’s and con’s of Supported vs Self-Supported:   "I love going Self-Supported.  At the same time, it’s incredibly hard to be self-supported for a long trail like that.  It’s forced isolation from other people." "Stringbean" has a new website: http://thestringbean.co

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Paddy O'Leary is an Irish transplant who on October 13 set the FKT on the East Bay Skyline Trail, running 32.61 miles in 4 hours, 18 minutes, 12 seconds. He was training for the TNF50, where he was 5th place last year; he's also been 3rd at Chuckanut and 4th at Way Too Cool. So what's a young fast guy like Paddy doing running an FKT? "When I moved to the Bay Area 5 years ago I didn't run at all, I was a Lacrosse player who moved here for work. Then I fell in with a bad crew, that peer-presured me into running ultras." "It dawned on me that in Ireland I was a very good lacrosse player but in America, I was one of the weakest players, whereas with running, l was actually pretty decent at it. In the space of 14 months, I went from a half marathon to 100km race." His advice? "I try to take a lot of calories on board every 30 minutes, about 300 to 400 calories an hour. Outside racing, I don't follow a nutritional plan. The marginal gains achieved by having a restricted diet would turn into marginal losses for me because I'd be giving up the enjoyment I get out of food and beer." Photo by Ryan Scura ( http://instagram.com/rscura )

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Candice Burt speaks to us from Moab last fall, where she was race-directing the Moab 240 -- she basically invented the 200 mile trail racing distance. And she described going solo and unsupported on August 29 around Mount Rainier on the Wonderland Trail, which earned her the #3 Fastest Known Time of the Year Award. "The Wonderland Trail was joyous, painful, and scary all at the same time. It makes it more of an adventure; you're just relying on yourself, and what you have in your pack is all you've got."

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Part two of our special Fastest Known Time of the Year Awards concludes, with the #2 and #1 winners, female and male. All four winners are interviewed for this episode, describing how they did the super-cool FKTs that won them the awards. Who are they? "I planned on running TNF then with no race to run, went after this iconic FKT instead." - "It was so fast, was it like a time trial?" - "It was a long time trial!" "I really surprised myself when I finished, because that wasn’t the plan. I planned to take more rest but I didn’t feel the need when I was out there, I was just moving, then at the end it was 'wow', I was 7 hours ahead of schedule." "I’m super excited, I have goosebumps, I feel this is the Oscars of FKTs, or maybe the Critics' Choice Awards." "Most of my strength comes from enthusiasm."

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The Fastest Known Time of the Year Awards are back for the 3rd year! This special Episode features amazing descriptions of the #5, #4, and #3 FKTs of the Year. Adding to the fun is Hillary Allen as co-host, and an appearance by Joe Grant, who beautifully articulates what is meaningful about this sport. "When you stop racing and you start dreaming, that's when the magic happens. And for me, that's what trail running and racing is all about." -- Hillary Allen "My experience was raw, and profound to me. I was happy with the learning that occurred on the route, I was happy with the effort, I was happy with learning the route ... (It wasn't the "number") … Yeah, so the number, there's something to it, but It's not the defining aspect of what makes this notable to me." -- Joe Grant

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What was the preeminent FKT in 2018? What inspired you the most? What are your predictions for 2019? Anton Krupicka, Clare Gallagher, and Peter Bakwin answer these questions and more! "Nick Elson on Half Dome and Joe Grants' Nolans - it's style versus pure performance." "When the TNF50 was cancelled, the ladies really threw down - watching Ida, Sandi, and then Taylor in less than a week was really cool." "Karel was super-rad - he cut the time by 10%, and didn't look like he was totally worked."

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Sunny Stroeer's impressive resume includes FKTs on the 22,838ft Aconcagua and its circumnavigation, the Annapurna Circuit, and the Pfiffner Traverse. She left a high-paying job as a management consultant -- but kept her hard-charging attitude -- to spend her days bagging many of the world's tallest summits, climbing big walls, and setting records running in the mountains. "I went by myself solo and unsupported and I got a lot of very strange reactions: 'But, where is your guide? Who are you with? Where is your husband?' ... And that just didn't sit right with me." She talks about closing the gender gap in unsupported outdoor pursuits, her preference for slow/strategic risk, upgrading from her Astrovan home, and her huge list of projects on the near horizon. Listen-in, and then learn more (and hire Sunny as a mountain guide) at http://www.sunnystroeer.com.

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Peter Bakwin is the only person to do the Double Hardrock, the first person to go under 4 days on the John Muir Trail, plus many other races and FKTs, and is one of the co-founders of this website and podcast. Following up with our “3100: Run and Become” interview, Peter describes his experience of self-transcendence while running, and discusses when ultra-running may become unhealthy. “My own experience is that when you bump up against your perceived limits you either stop or you transcend (usually after a complete melt-down). The latter is clearly a spiritual experience, as anyone who has encountered it will know. All of a sudden energy comes from... not you.”

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What if running could lead to enlightenment? This ambitious question is the heart of the documentary 3100: Run and Become. Based around the Self Transcendence 3100 Mile Race, the world’s longest certified footrace, this is an uplifting, intimate portrait of endurance runners who push themselves to the edge of physical and mental collapse, as they endeavor to challenge the boundaries of impossibility. The Director, Sanjay Rawal, is a lifelong runner himself, and he describes a very interesting backstory behind this film which also explores the "Marathon Monks" of Mt Hiei in Japan, and Shaun Martin, a Navaho runner and race director. "Running is a form of prayer. Running is a teacher. Running is a celebration of life."

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Jim Walmsley is one of the best ultrarunners in the world, who a few days ago (12/10/2018), with Tim Freriks and Eric Senseman, set a new FKT on the dramatic and adventurous "R2R2R.alt" in the Grand Canyon. "It's really aesthetic, because the Bass is the only trail other than the Kaibab that goes completely from one Rim to the other, with the only catch being, there is no bridge across the River..." Jim describes their preparation, the size and scope of the Grand Canyon, a scouting trip (“we just stood and looked at the River for 30 minutes”), and finally, what it's like to swim across the Colorado River: "I just took off and swam across … my idea was I wanted to set the tone … we're here to do it, we're not here to chicken out."

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In 2014 Justin Simoni, the “Long Ranger”, bicycled to all 58 of Colorado’s 14,000’ summits, climbed them, then biked to the next in 34+ days. In 2017 he upped the standard and in 60 straight days did the “Highest Hundred” (summits in CO) in the same self-powered, self-supported style. And his background is an artist, not an athlete. “I look back and wonder, 'Did I really do these things?'" Listen to Justin’s thoughtful discussion on “When is it too much?”, and how to determine “Where to draw the line?”. “Something is always going to go wrong. So just anticipate that as being part of the challenge. This just isn’t a physical challenge. Who’s going to stop you? Just your mind.” And lastly, what’s the difference between an FKT, an “OKT”, and Justin’s speciality, the “WTF”?

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Our first-ever live recording! The Trail Running Film Festival was on a nationwide tour when it stopped in Boulder (check to see if it's playing near you), and we recorded questions and comments directly from the audience. Q:  There are 3 styles of FKTs: Supported, Self-Supported, and Unsupported … which one is better? Q: What’s the funnest thing the two of you have done together? Q: What do you guys think about Kilian, and his claim on Everest? Listen to these questions answered on this podcast, along with strategic advice from Peter on setting a new FKT: “If you can’t be fast, be first”.

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Nobody can do the big thru-hikes like Heather Anderson - she once held the Self-Supported Overall (not Female) FKT’s for the PCT, AT, and Arizona Trail - simultaneously.  On November 8 she became the 5th person and 1st woman to do the Calendar Triple Crown - the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Continental Divide Trails in the same year - and the first Female to do the Triple Triple Crown - all three big trails, three times. "My mom still remembers the day, 15 years ago, when I ran down the stairs yelling, 'I’m going to do this!'" On March 1, 2018, her first book, "Thirst, 2600 miles to home" will be published, and is available for download now. Her TED Talk from 2015 is very good. Heather articulates how she approached this hike differently: "My goal was basically to do these trails exactly how I wanted to do them at any given point in time.  It was good, it was refreshing ... I wanted this to unfold; an area of growth for me.  You can't ever go wrong on a long journey; you're always going to come out the other side, with new insights."

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Who is the first person to use the term "Fastest Known Time" in print? Bill Wright co-wrote Speed Climbing: How to Climb Faster and Better in 2004, and has a family, a full-time job, and he climbs, bikes, or runs every day, and he balances all of that by ... going fast. "You don’t have to compete on speed … it's just another way to experience the route, the run, the mountain - but if you do, that just gives you more time to smell the flowers." Is he risking his life? Is scrambling or speed-climbing safe? Listen as Bill's vast experience provides thoughtful views on not only leading a balanced life, but on preserving it: "We put on this scrambling series every fall … Rule #1 is: 'Don’t Die'"

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What’s a 26 year old former marathon runner doing setting the FKT on the fabled Longs Peak North Face (Cables) route? “The FKT idea is real motivating to me - it takes away external pressure, but in other ways it adds more pressure because it’s internal - it’s all up to you.” Kate Hale can run, she can climb, and she can bike; listen to her describe her future goals on Longs Peak: “I feel like I am the most laser-focused when I’m in scenarios like that, and that is a pretty addicting feeling.”

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This past weekend Christof Teuscher became the first person to attempt and complete a quad-crossing of the Grand Canyon. That's Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim times four, (OK... R2R2R2R2R2R2R2R2R)! He completed the quad-crossing in 58 hours and 10 minutes -- 10 hours less than the previous FKT for *three* crossings! Not bad, especially considering he only starting running five years ago. "If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you can do these things. What I thought was impossible is possible -- if you put in the training." We speak with Christof about his remarkable feat.

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Kyle Richardson was only 22 years old on Aug 1, when he set the new FKT on the high and technical LA Freeway. His time of 16hrs 28mins 53secs bettered the time of 16hrs 59mins set by Matthias Messner just last year. “The LA Freeway links Longs Peak, the tallest in Rocky Mountain National Park, with Arapaho Peak, the tallest in the Indian Peaks. It’s above 12,000 feet the entire time. It’s an iconic line - this is what you see on the skyline looking west.” “For 14 hours I didn’t see a soul, even though I was right above Boulder, almost in sight of Denver”. There was no water the entire distance, so Kyle describes how he stashed 3 liters of water in two locations, and why this Self-Supported style made the most sense. The route is rated 5.6 in difficulty, but Kyle was ready for it: “Find what inspires you. Then put in the time to learn the route; respect the route. Practice."

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David Horton won the first two editions of the Hardrock 100, finished the Barkley Marathons, has both run and biked across the country, and was the only person to hold the overall FKT on both the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail. He knows a thing or two, including thoughts about the recent FKT action on the fabled AT. “Scott Jurek was phenomenal - he dug deep deep deep into the pain cave. What Jurek did was above and beyond what I’ve ever seen, anywhere. But does he have it deep down for another one? I’m not sure.” David's FKT on the PCT is documented in the 77 minute video, “The Runner”, and last years, “Extraordinary” is an 88 minute fictionalized account of David and his wife. David has run 113,000 miles. Listen to one of the most venerable FKT and ultrarunners ever, as he describes his newfound sport of cycling, and how it was the pavement, not the trails, that wore his knees out. “I’m still an athlete, I still compete. And I can’t ever imagine not being an athlete … can you?”

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Alyssa is a “Professional Triathlete who can’t seem to shake her ultrarunning habit”. She has finished 30 Ironman Triathlons, 40 ultra races, and once finished 4th in the Taiwan Ironman using all borrowed gear. On July 31, 2018, she set a new women's FKT on Vermont’s 273mi Long Trail of 5 days, 2 hours. Alyssa describes being inspired by Jennifer Pharr Davis and Nikki Kimball, both of whose Long Trail times she bettered, while noting, “Last year was my 4th as a professional triathlete. I needed to do something different - I needed to keep my fire lit”. She once did two Ironmans on successive weekends in different continents, but notes, “The Long Trail was way harder - the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The terrain is so variable - unless you’ve spent time on this trail it’s hard to describe - it changes every few hundred meters - it’s soul-crushing. Alyssa notes that women tend to want to be very prepared before they undertake something, while men are willing to jump in, even if they’re not 100%. So her advice to women? “Go do it. There’s nothing stopping you, because you get to make it your own. It’s like your own version of The Amazing Race - you get to do that yourself with FKTs”.

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Scott is one of the best ultrarunners in history, winning the Hardrock 100, Badwater in Death Valley, the Spartathlon in Greece, and an unprecedented 7 wins in a row at the Western States 100. In 2016 he and his wife Jenny took on a personal project, the 2,200mi Appalachian Trail, setting a new FKT of 46 days, 9 hours. This journey became a book on the New York Times Best Seller List, entitled, "North: Finding My Way on the Appalachian Trail." “We didn’t have all the beta … we wanted the full adventure … if we were to go back we would do a million things different. But it was a great experience, and exactly what we needed.” Listen as they describe the range of emotions experienced on an FKT of this length, and how it’s difficult to to write about their friends, who are all very accomplished people, and also colorful characters … and who still are their friends. Jenny predicts how fast the FKT on the AT will go, and Scott describes what is next for him. Podcast music by Sage Baptiste (instagram.com/imsagebaptiste & @whatablr) and mixed by Kyle Richardson (instagram.com/kylerichardson).

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Learn how a Belgian dentist set the FKT on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016, then in 2018, was over four days faster on the Appalachian Trail than two of the fastest ultra-runners in the US. We speak with Karel Sabbe and his support crew, Joren Biebuyck, about their remarkable feat. "I start to hit my stride after 2,000 miles." -- Karel Sabbe Podcast music by Sage Baptiste (instagram.com/imsagebaptiste & soundcloud.com/whatablr) and mixed by Kyle Richardson (instagram.com/kylerichardson).

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“Sometimes being successful means just getting back to the car. Alive.” Tony Krupicka is one of the most famous ultra-runners in the world, the figurehead of the minimalism movement, who made a transition to climbing, biking, and skiing, and who continues to inspire thousands with his creative adventures. Podcast music by Sage Baptiste (instagram.com/imsagebaptiste & soundcloud.com/whatablr) and mixed by Kyle Richardson (instagram.com/kylerichardson).

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