How hard is it to set a new Fastest Known Time? Really hard as it turns out.
In April we awarded four Grants to people undertaking interesting and ambitious projects. How did it go? Some great attempts, some not so great … and none succeeded! But do any of these constitute a real “failure”? Is learning, growing, and exploring a failure or a success? Read on and then tell us what you think.
Fastest Known Times have become really popular – as we found out when Ultimate Direction, along with partners La Sportiva and GU Energy Labs, announced the intention to award four Grants to people attempting FKT projects – and we received 315 Applications! After screening those 79 projects were still left – and each one was totally worthy and really interesting. I planned to crush that down to 20 projects our Award Panel could vote on – but I just couldn’t do it – they were too good!
I could only get it down to 39 Applications, then turned it over to our Panel to decide. Here’s what they said: “I want to do this one!!!”. “An iconic trail that’s incredibly challenging”. “This is one of my pipe-dream projects.” “OH MY GOSH!”.
So enough spray, these four athletes will be awarded $1,000 plus all the partners gear they want (from East to West):
Hut to Hut – Samuel Jurek – New Hampshire – June 30-July 1
“The White Mountains Hut Traverse is an extremely rocky and rugged route connecting the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) huts in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.”
“FKTs bring you to territory rarely frequented. They are unlike experiences on a race course, yet access that same competitive spirit. There are no spectators, yellow ribbons lighting the way, aid stations, or a crowd to cheer you down the homestretch. You have to continue on under your own volition. Digging into the soul, these attempts are raw, authentic experiences that force an examination of vulnerabilities and access of true grit.”
Award Panel comments:
“Lots of history!” “East coast trails are different than California – very burly.” “It’s going to be hard.”