Fastest Known Times (or FKTs as they’re lovingly known) are pretty much what the name says – the Fastest Known Time for running a trail or a route.
Written by Rob Bathgate
Updated September 9
Fastest Known Times (or FKTs as they’re lovingly known) are pretty much what the name says – the Fastest Known Time for running a trail or a route. They have their origin in some of the biggest multi-day running challenges in North America, such as the Pacific Crest Trail and the Appalachian Trail, but have become more commonplace on a wider variety of runs in recent years.
So while FKTs have their roots in huge challenges that only the craziest, fittest and fastest runners would entertain having a crack at, we like the idea of bringing them to our Trail Directory as a way of motivating all levels of runner to set some goals and shoot for some realistic objectives. Those that want to can get a little bit competitive about it, but trying for a personal FKT on a particular run could simply be a way of setting individual goals. It’s quite OK to compete only against yourself!
There are really 2 kinds of FKT that you’ll see on this site:
FKTs are here to keep you motivated and have some fun with. Or to ignore completely if they’re not your kind of thing. Use them as you wish but most of all, enjoy yourself out there on the trails and stay safe.
Are Wild Things FKTs guaranteed to be the fastest anyone has ever run a given route?
No. We are not claiming these to be ‘world records’. They are simply the fastest recorded times for our club members. And initially at least, they will only apply to runs completed on or after 1st January 2020.
What is the basis of FKTs – moving time or elapsed time?
Elapsed time. So if you’re serious about recording a fast time don’t stop for a sandwich at that great viewpoint!
Which runs qualify for FKTs and which don’t?
ALL Trail Directory runs, regardless of how easy or hard they are, now qualify!
Who qualifies for FKTs?
To earn a personal FKT and have that displayed on the FKT leaderboard you will need to be a current VIP Member of Wild Things. Likewise, if your VIP Membership lapses you will lose all your FKTs until such time as you upgrade back to VIP status.
How do I claim an FKT?
If you run a route from the Trail Directory it will automatically be considered for an FKT if a) you are a current VIP Member and b) you have connected your Strava account to your Wild Things account (easily done here, but only if you are a VIP Member!)
Do I need a Strava account to claim an FKT?
Having a Strava account that is connected to your Wild Things account is the easiest way to claim FKTs as it requires absolutely no work on your part. But you can still claim FKTs if you don’t want to connect your Strava account or you don’t have one – details on how to do this can be seen under the ‘Missing your time’ section of the FKT block on any qualifying trail guide in the Directory.
How long does it take for my FKT to show on the website?
To keep everything as fair and accurate as possible we manually review all potential FKTs so please allow up to 24 hrs from the time your run appears on Strava (or you submit it to us) before claiming a 'missing time'
Do I have to run the exact same route as shown in the Trail Directory?
Yes. Pretty much. All possible FKTs are scrutinised to check that the route taken corresponds with that described in the Directory and ideally we will see an exact match before validating a claim. We do however have a little latitude here – just so long as there is no material advantage to the runner (i.e. a shorter distance, less climb or using a much easier trail) – then slight deviations will not necessarily invalidate a claim. This allows for temporary diversions around a slip on a track or similar.
Does it matter which way I run a route?
No. Many routes, especially point-to-points or loops offer the runner a choice of going A to B vs B to A, or clockwise vs anti-clockwise. On some routes one direction is obviously quicker, but on others the fastest direction is less obvious and may depend on the relative strengths/weaknesses of the individual runner. So, by allowing any route to be run in either direction we encourage some strategic decision-making to add to the fun.
What if I incorporate a Trail Directory run into a longer run?
We MAY be able to ‘disentangle’ the Trail Directory component from the rest by accessing your Strava activity or GPX file from the total run data. But this is not always possible and will always incur extra work at our end, so we’d prefer a clean GPX file/Strava activity that covers the Trail Directory run only. This may mean e.g. running to the start of the described route then stopping your watch and re-starting it as a new activity before continuing. And/or doing likewise when you hit the end of the described run.
Can I claim more than one FKT in a single run?
No. While it is often possible to join together more than one Trail Directory run in a single outing it requires far too much manual work at our end to disentangle the GPX data and validate multiple FKTs. The solution would once again to be to record your run as multiple activities rather than one single one.
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