I am surprised at all the excitement over FKTs these days. It seems like everyone it out to log a fast route over some ridiculous trail with an unnecessary amount of peril and elevation gain. It is not that I don’t think these are noteworthy achievements. They truly are a testimony to the resilience and questionable judgment of the running community. I am merely surprised because FKTs are old news.
To be honest, I have been logging and maintaining records even before Strava was around as a bragging platform. In the good ol’ days we had to lie face to face. That is so much harder.
I can still remember my first FKT. In the Montana Rockies, hidden between Bozeman and Big Sky, lies a stretch of the Gallatin river which I know well. Summers found us hiking, fishing, and exploring in those mountains. This particular evening, my father, brother, and I had taken a fishing trip up into the mountains. Fighting briars and rockslides, fallen trees and swarming flies, we heroically battled up the bank of the surging river. Our goal was to do our part in wildlife conservation by weeding out of the most ignorant of trout from the gene pool. Couple this with our poor fishing technique and we had an adventure on our hands. By the end of the day we had outwitted, or at least bored to death, enough trout for everyone to get a taste back at the cabin. As the sun quickly ducked behind the mountain ridge, our most pressing concern was getting our hard fought catch into the frying pan at camp before one of us fell into the river and the whole mess managed to escape.
My father to my older brother: “Nate, hand me the flashlight.”
Older brother to me: “Seth, hand me the flashlight.”
Me to the darkness: *Gulp*
The last thing I remember was someone clearing their throat in the darkness and then a wavering voice saying, “Was that a bear?!”
And that, my friend, is when I logged my FKT on the Gallatin River Trail. I highly doubt it will ever be beaten.