What is an FKT?
One might suggest that having 'Your Name' and the acronym 'FKT' beside it, is the trail and ultra running equivalent of having your name up in lights on Broadway, or being the captain of the All Blacks. For now, you are the 'main event'. People want to know stuff like; how you train, what gear you use, and how many Weet Bix you eat for breakfast. At some point your reign will likely come to an end and a new legend will take your place, but for now, the glory is yours, you have the FASTEST KNOWN TIME. Welcome to the NZ FKT database.
Fastest Known Time (FKT) is exactly as it sounds. Essentially an FKT is the world record for a given route, track, or trail.
In New Zealand we have a huge network of trails. Unfortunately, there are very few records which clearly identify NZ FKT's, and we all know how intoxicating the allure of getting your name at the top of a list can be! That is why we have established the NZ TRAILRUN FKT Datebase.
Simply getting out on the trail and enjoying the great outdoors is magic in itself, but for those who want the added challenge and 'Mana' of acquiring the elusive FKT title, this is your place to see whats going on and who's in charge.
We've searched high and low to find some of New Zealands 'Fastest Known Times' and want to throw down the challenge to see some names in the top spots.
To be fair, it was a real mish finding what few FKT's we did. Documented records were rare, and to put up every trail is just terribly impractical, so we have listed a couple of popular tracks in the different regions as examples, and will rely on the trail / ultra community to get involved and supply some records to populate the list.
You will note that in many cases the top spot is vacant. This is your chance. Plan your attempt, tell your mum where you're going, then get out and get it!
Now we know there's plenty of platforms such as 'Strava' and 'Mapmyrun' to track an endless number of 'shorter' segments, and we don't want to take anything away from the efforts that go in to becoming the King or Queen of these. That said, the focus of this FKT database will be on those trails which might be referred to as 'Epics'. By 'Epics' we do mean distances over about 20km say. There will be no hard and fast rules as to what distance qualifies, but this gives you a rough ballpark figure.
How Can I Claim an FKT?
It really is a difficult process to verify/ratify FKT's with absolute certainty, but there are a few things which you can do to make your effort hold a little more weight;
- Track it with GPS
- This is obvious. If everyone can see where and when you went, we can see your splits, pace, time etc, then it is hard to deny whats in plain sight.
- Be open and honest about your attempt
- Get it out there on social media, drop us a note to say that you're going to make an attempt on a specific FKT, talk about it. We want to hear about your experience and celebrate achievements so do let us know and we can put your name up in lights (well on the FKT page, at least until someone else comes to claim your crown).
- We don't want to be throwing any wild accusations around, but we do know that for some people the possibility of becoming famous and having all your dreams come true may prove to be somewhat corrupting. Our community are a good bunch so show them respect and be honest with your submissions. Besides, we all know that its easy to spot a rat.
- Submit new trails
- As we mentioned earlier, there are a heap of awesome trails. We've started out with a mere fraction of these. If you've got your sights on a trail which isn't on our list then let us know, complete your mission and we'll publish it.
- The more the merrier.
- Let us know whether you completed the trail 'unsupported', 'self-supported', or 'supported', and any evidence you have to support this (see below).
- Send us an email with your details and we'll do the rest.
- Have we got something wrong?
- Yes we are only human and will occasionally miss something or get it totally wrong, so please let us know. If you think you, or someone you know has a faster time please fill us in and we will be happy to publish the correct details
Are There Any Rules?
The biggest factors in your FKT endeavour are;
- The actual route you took
- Did you deviate from the 'official mapped route', or is your attempt simply to be the fastest to complete a defined set of objectives.
- What direction did you go; North to South, East to West, clockwise or anti-clockwise for example
- Did you have help of any sort assistance
- the standardised classifications of an FKT attempt are as follows;
For a record to be classified as 'unsupported' the runner has to carry everything they might need from start to finish. This includes food, extra clothing, emergency supplies, basically anything else they may potentially need. Water can be acquired from natural sources, but generally speaking it is you, the trail, and all the stuff you bring along.
You may not have a crew, but you also aren't carrying everything you might need from start to finish. On a self-supported attempt you may have placed some supplies at various points along the trail, but the help you receive may not be from anyone else except yourself.
These are those attempts where the runner has a crew or team of people helping them along the way. This can be in the form of pacers to help keep them on track, or 'aid stations' which provide nutrition, warmth, first aid, you name it, it can have it.