Running Times Magazine is running an article in their March 2013 issue which discusses the fervor surrounding the issue of Fastest Known Times (FKTs) and the debate about how to properly catalog and report such times.
The article is entitled
Records Not Races
Is the pursuit of Fastest Known Times the future of competition?
by: Adam Chase discusses the growing trend of setting FKTs and compares them to the more traditional practice of racing events. Bryce Thatcher, Ultraspire Founding Partner and Ultra Runner, known for holding the Grand Teton summit record for 29 years was asked what his thoughts are on FKTs.
Here are a few brief snippets from the FKTs article:
…Accurate GPS watches and websites that provide a place to recored times and course details have helped spur the growth in FKT attempts and how seriously people consider them. Upload a run to one of the sites and suddenly everyone can track the details….
…Besides improved technology, the cause for the growth is largely credited to runners who are fed up with races that fill in mere minutes, soaring entry fees, and the traffic and noise of a high-tech world. These factors drive runners to seek out solitude in a natural setting, where they can test themselves in what might be deemed a “purist” way…
…Many FKTs are unsupported efforts, so runners carry their own sustenance and protection, be it extra food, hydration, weather protection or even rope and climbing gear. A lot of reported FKTs are considered “extreme.”…
…Still, most agree that it’s a good-faith sport, built on trust, convenience and often a longing for a purist endeavor on the trails. While it’s unlikely that FKTs will ever replace elite head-to-head racing or change the trail or road-racing scene anytime soon, the concept is intriguing in light of the problems…
March 2013 Issue of Running Times.