Ultimate Direction Announces 2016 FKT Awards

Ultimate Direction announced the winners of the 2016 FKT of the Year Awards last Friday.    The two winners were Pete Kostelnick for his Trans-America FKT and Heather “Anish” Anderson for her FKT of the Arizona Trail.

FKTOY Heather Anish Anderson Fastest Known Time Arizona Trail

Kostelnick averaged 70 miles per day for 42 days on his run from San Francisco to New York City.  Anish Anderson crushed the 800-mile AZ Trail in 19 days.  “I am extremely honored by the FKTOY. I never expected to be selected from such an amazing group of efforts on an incredibly wide variety of challenging routes. The Arizona Trail is an incredible wilderness trail and I am thankful to have experienced it in such a unique and challenging way,” Anderson commented.

We asked Anish about some of the essential pieces of gear she used on her FKT run.  Being an Ultimate Direction athlete, she named three of their pieces:  On her head, the Desert Hat keeps the sun off.  UD’s Women’s Ultra Jacket wards off chilly weather.  And, their Body Bottles are awesome – I use them myself.

Check out the full press release, below:

Boulder, Colorado, February 17, 2017 – In association with UltraRunning Magazine, Ultimate Direction, the leading brand in hydration and wearable gear innovations, is proud to announce the results of the Fastest Known Time Of The Year Awards 2016 (FKTOY). The men’s competition was won by Pete Kostelnick for his incredible Trans America FKT, where he broke a 36-year-old record by a massive four days. Ultimate Direction ambassador Heather Anderson won the women’s award for establishing yet another self-supported record on a long trail, this time on the Arizona Trail, where her time was two days faster than the men’s self-supported Fastest Known Time (FKT).

The concept of ‘FKT’ was created by renowned running adventurists Peter Bakwin and Ultimate Direction’s very own Brand Vice President, Buzz Burrell. Today, FKT is a term runners all over the world have come to understand and value as examples of creativity and arduous adventure. This yearly competition was established to celebrate core qualities such as personal vision, creativity and determination. Candidates are judged by a jury of their peers — consisting of 21 knowledgeable and experienced runners from as wide a demographic as possible in terms of gender, age, and location.

Buzz Burrell said, “Runners all over the world now understand and use the term, and may expend more effort going for a FKT than for a race. In 2016, some notable FKT’s received more publicity than the winners of the biggest ultra races. There will never be objective parameters for FKTs, instead we have a list of amazing achievements that sprang from the inspired hearts, minds, and bodies of individuals, and we have the opportunity to learn and be inspired by them.”

Karl Hoagland, Publisher of UltraRunning Magazine, said, “We thought it was time to recognize the extraordinary feats of human endurance taking place in the FKT corner of our sport, so we went to the creators of the term and curators of the whole concept – Buzz Burrell and Peter Bakwin. The March issue of UltraRunning Magazine will have complete coverage of the FKTOY. As with the Ultra Runner of the Year, recognizing and honoring the best in our sport is a fun and natural part of our coverage. But its most important function is to shine a light on what we all can do, and to inspire everyone to get out there and create their own epic experiences.”

Kostelnick’s TransAmerican crossing so thoroughly annihilated the long-standing record, and was so arduous (he averaged over 70 miles per day for more than 42 days), that the effort topped other notable records set on iconic routes, such as Jim Walmsley putting up a new mark on the Grand Canyon’s 42 mile Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim route and Karl Meltzer setting a new best time on the 2,190 mile Appalachian Trail.

In scorching the Arizona Trail — unsupported – in 19 days, “Anish” (Anderson’s trail name) deeply impressed the voters of the FKTOY. Braving triple-digit temperatures and 800 miles of profoundly empty landscape, Anderson’s new Arizona Trail record adds to her record Unsupported FKT’s for the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trails, for both Women and Men.

The 2016 competition saw a variety of amazing and inspirational achievements and although there is one winner from each gender that receives the ultimate respect from the running community, the other contenders certainly didn’t make it easy for the voters. To see the thoughts from the judges and what each FKT candidate achieved please visit:http://bit.ly/2lSlWN3