Setting FKTs (fastest known times) has been popular for decades. In 2020, however, the company was more involved than ever.
In 2020, FastestKnownTime.com received 3,054 FKT submissions in North America alone. “This is an increase of nearly 400% over the previous year,” said Craig Randall, Fastest Known Time employee. Worldwide participation on the website increased by 438%.
And this increase in running, hiking and cycling as quickly as possible was also clearly visible to our employees – in 2020 we covered more than 20 individual FKTs.
“For the fifth year in a row, we asked our constituents to choose their five favorite FKTs for men and women,” said Randall. The FKT team then counted the votes for each athlete and put them together a final list.
Amazingly, three of the top 10 were on the same route. Read on to see the top FCTs for women and top men of 2020.
The best FKTs of 2020
1. Kelly Halpin, Wind River High Route (WY)
Halpin broke the FKT for the Wind River High Route and ran a 97 mile route with 30,000 feet of vertical gain. It was finished in 2 days, 11 hours and 37 minutes.
“Most of the route stays between 10,000 and 12,000 feet over loose mountain passes, glaciers, snowfields, and alpine tundra,” Halpin said. “I didn’t pack sleeping equipment, an animal shelter or a stove.”
2. Sabrina Stanley, Nolans 14 (CO)
In the summer of 2020, Nolans 14 (a route with an overall success rate of 15%) saw five female FCTs in just 87 days. Stanley’s backed FKT of 2 days and 49 minutes came just 54 days after her first FKT record, beating both her previous time (by more than 2 hours) and Meghan Hicks’ time (set in September) of 2 days, 2 hours and 32 minutes.
3. Sarah Hansel, Nolans 14 (CO)
Nolan’s 14 is as exhausting as it is, but running it without assistance is even more of a job. In the same week That Joey Campanelli set his men’s unsupported record on the track, Hansel set her record for the first unsupported women.
Hansel ran north and finished in 2 days, 9 hours, 43 minutes.
4-5. (3-way tie): Michaela Osler Colorado Trail (CO) / Kaytlyn Gerbin, Wonderland Trail (WA) / Alyssa Godesky, Adirondack 46 High Peaks (NY)
Michaela Osler hiked (actually ran) the Colorado Trail in August 2020. She finished the 500 mile trail in 10 days, 12 hours, 39 minutes – 4 days before the scheduled appointment. And she migrated it on her own.
Kaytlyn Gerbin has completed her FKT on Mount Rainier’s 150 km Wonderland Trail in a quick 18 hours, 41 minutes. She completed and assisted the route in a clockwise direction, beating the previous record by more than 3 hours.
Alyssa Godesky completed the 46 High Peaks Route in the Adirondacks, which was assisted in 3 days, 16 hours and 16 minutes. She put the first and current women FKT for the 160 mile standard route.
1. Joey Campanelli, Nolans 14 (CO)
Campanelli completed the grueling Nolan’s 14, a 100-mile route with 44,000 feet of vertical gain in Colorado’s Sawatch Range. The route climbs 14 14,000-foot peaks in a row. He finished in 1 day, 17 hours, beating the previous record by more than 6 hours.
2. Joe McConaughy, Long Road (MA, VT)
McConaughy, also known as “Stringbean,” set a record on the 273-mile trail that runs from the Massachusetts border through Vermont. He ran it north to south without assistance in 4 days and 23 hours.
3. Eric Gilbertson, Rocky Mountain Slam (CO, MT, WY)
Eric Gilbertson had originally planned a two month international trip, but due to COVID-19, he went to the Rocky Mountain Slam instead. Gilbertson climbed the slam (which consists of Colorado’s 14s, Wyomings 13s, and Montanas 12s, and the Colorado Centennials) in 60 days and 9 hours.
He also recorded a FKT for the Wyoming 13ers.
4. David Alaya, Sierra High Route (CA)
David Alaya completed this 198 mile route without assistance in 4 days, 3 hours and 36 minutes. The impressive part? Beat the 2016 FKT by 13 hours.
5. Adam Kimble, Tahoe Rim Trail (NV)
Adam Kimble’s FKT plan was insane: not only did he set a record on the Tahoe Rim, he knocked out the previous record holder. Kilian Jornet. Kimble completed the 170 mile route with a gain of nearly 27,000 feet in one day, 13 hours and 12 minutes.
And of course, it wouldn’t be an exact mirror image of 2020 if some crazy FKT hadn’t been completed under lockdown.
One of FKT’s honorable mentions went to Cody Marett for his “Quarantine In-Room Marathon”: a little over 2,300 laps in his 18-meter hotel room in Jeollabuk-do, Korea. Marett ran the quarantined 26.2 miles in 4 hours, 27 minutes and 28 seconds.
It’s pretty hard to decide based on the sheer number of efforts that have been completed this year, but we’d add too Coree Woltering’s Ice Age FKT to run.
The full list of awards, nominations and routes can be found here on FatestKnownTime.com. This year’s FKT Awards were presented by The north wall.
95 marathons in a row: Q&A with Alyssa Clark
Alyssa Clark started running a quarantined marathon every day. Then she ran successive marathons and set a record. Continue reading…