Fastest Known Times (FKT) is an archive of the fastest known times for various trails and routes.
I have known about this website for some time and have scoured it for info on adventure runs many times over. Not only is it an amazing archive of the fastest known times (records) for the many listed trails and routes, it also offers many detailed trip reports to accompany these FKT posts. These trip reports are very helpful when trying to decide which runs I would like to do (or at least dream of doing) and what to expect along the way. Little did I know that someday I would have the opportunity to enter in my own FKT and trip report for one of the trails listed.
After running the Paria Canyon last week, a little over 2 hours faster than the previous FKT, I had my chance. Although, I wasn't sure what to do... I had some reservations to weed through first.
1. Was my time really the fastest? Well, my 6h 51m 11s time was much faster than the FKT websites record for the Paria of 9h 17m. But...my time really wasn't that fast compared to what the top end trail runners are doing on other trails. If one of them decided to run the Paria then they would crush my time. Or...maybe one of them has already run the Paria in a super fast time and that time hasn't been reported. Maybe some other average joe trail runner like me has run it faster and hasn't reported it because they simply don't care or didn't know about the FKT website. That's the thing about an off the beaten path adventure run like this, there isn't always the best information about fastest times.
2. Do I really care? I am very self competitive when trail running... When I step onto the trail to run a big goal like the Wonderland Trail, R2R2R, Paria, Hole to Hump, etc., I can't help but try my hardest to put in the fastest possible time for me and break my PR if possible. I have never been in the position to be THE fastest time on a trail (again, I doubt my time is the fastest anyone has run down the Paria...) so this is something new and strange for me. I feel fine pushing my own limits running and posting about it because it is just my time, for me. In the end, no one cares because my times aren't that remarkable. This is something different-my time for the Paria may not be remarkable but it will matter because it might be the FKT.
After wrestling with these two ideas for some time, I decided in the end to go ahead and post my Paria Canyon time on Fastest Known Times (FKT). To be honest, I like the idea of having something to chase and am inspired by how fast people can run certain trails. Some people may not care about this but I enjoy it. I decided that it would be worth posting my time so that people could either chase it and break it or come out of the woodwork to post their own FKT from some previous year. If there is a faster time out there I would like to read about it and be inspired by it.
For those interested, here is my post on Fastest Known Times (FKT) about my time down the Paria Canyon.