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  1. #161

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    Who says it isn't relevant to the FKT?

    Just like I pointed out, everyone odd who completes the AT is an FKT. Walking backwards. To him, that is how it is done. Want to be the AT FKT? Beat him doing it backwards. To you, it has to be done differently...it has to be done YOUR way....but...are YOU the governing body of AT FKT's? No? Me either...and neither is backwards dude. But if you ask him, he is the FKT of the AT. And, in all seriousness, until somebody else does it backwards for 2200 miles, IMHO, he IS the FKT! Try to beat his time and you are in some rare air!

    Now, back to these "rules"...why isn't the FKT an absolute? Why isn't the Fastest Known Time to complete the AT the absolute fastest time to complete the AT? What the hell am I missing? Purity? Feh! Finish the trail in the shortest time possible and you hold the FKT. Period. Any "rules" or limits imposed are arbitrary and irrelevant. Because, it boils down to one simple thing that everyone seems to be missing. Time. Not time going to and from town and how the hell you got there. None of that mileage counts towards 2200, but the TIME does. So, to the competitor that figures out how to eliminate the TIME WASTED OFF TRAIL and retain the MILES HIKED ON TRAIL is the SMARTEST and will be the FASTEST. Because, it isn't a race to see how fast you can get from S to K with rules on how you get to/from town or how you get your supplies or where you frigging sleep at night. It's how fast you do the 2200 miles. Period. To me, if you have aid stations at every gap, its a valid FKT. If you get a ride into town every night and never sleep a frigging night on the AT, its a valid FKT. If you want to put categorical limitations, you need categories of FKT's that are LESS THAN THE ABSOLUTE FKT. In other words, you don't want the real FKT. You want the FKT your way. Less than the absolute FKT. That's cool. Just be sure you understand you aren't promoting the true FKT. Not even close....

    Why does TIME matter?

    Because its the direct measure of human performance, which is the intent.

    The more extraneous factors you can eliminate , the more pure performance comparisons can be made.

    Should people care whose driver knows the roads , trailheads, campsites best?
    Care whose spouse is a better crew and cook?
    Who has the most experienced help and advice in strategy and planning?
    Who can afford better transportation, lodging, gear, medical attention?
    Who has the most friends/groupies carry their crap so they dont have too?
    Who has most people volunteer to "lead them" thru confuzzling areas at night

    Because...that stuff is huge part of supported success.

  2. #162
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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    What about the retailer that sold her two burgers and a basket of fries? Or the hotel that provided her a washer and drier? Technology is always leveraged to support a hiker. Why is the ride into town and back to the trailhead singled out?.
    bill's answer is awesome, but my simplistic answer is simply because it has a precedent with previous "unsupported" FKT's, simple as that. I personally think it's stupid and the unsupported FKT should indeed be based on typical purest-thru-hiker style, allowing hitches into town and such. But oh well, too late!

  3. #163
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    Perhaps worth pointing out to the scary bear and others:

    David Horton held the FKT on the PCT for some time.
    It was the "absolute FKT" which the proboards designate as the "overall FKT" rather than absolute.
    His trip was performed in supported style.

    Scott Williamson then bested David Horton's time and earned the Overall FKT in the process.
    His trip was performed in Self-supported style.

    So for a time- the overall or absolute FKT board read
    Scott Williamson (self supported and overall FKT) XX-XX-XX
    David Horton (supported FKT) XX-XX-XX
    If it makes you feel warm and fuzzy you could slap 1st place and 2nd place in front of those names but that's not really how it's done.

    So Scott Williamson bested a fully supported runner as a self supported backpacker on the 2600 mile PCT.
    A fairly amazing feat most would agree. Something to seriously let sink in for a second.


    In the process of doing so Scott established his set of guidelines to help define and clarify what self-supported means.
    So this wasn't some arbitrary standard pulled from thin air, but actually one built and cultivated over a dozen FKT attempts and hikes on the PCT by Scott.

    Know it or not... there is a history of some sort... and not a very ancient one either really. All these people are very much living breathing folks... a decent bit of them reading this thread even.

    Williamson's guidelines come from a pretty thoughtful and sound space. Thoughtful and serious folks who follow take them seriously for good reason.
    It's very rare to find a less than sincerely serious person hold an FKT on a long trail.

    "Are You Serious"- Andrew Bird


    Used to be willfully obtuse
    (or is the word abstruse?)
    Semantics like a noose
    Get out your dictionaries

    I'm gonna cut to the quick
    This is all non-fiction
    Words you beat with a stick
    These are my true convictions

    So tell me, are you serious?
    Are you serious?
    Cause every night of your life
    You'll fight for it
    So mysterious
    How imperious!
    But are you serious
    When it really comes down to it?

  4. #164
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    "the guidelines do have to have some structure and practical sense... not just be stuff you pull out of your butt to make it harder, unique or that cannot be practically repeated."
    You did miss that portion of the portion of my post you quoted.

    But you are correct even if you're being silly about it. http://fastestknowntime.proboards.co.../19/read-first
    Supported, self-supported, unsupported? What does it mean?

    • Supported means you have a dedicated support team that meets you along the way to supply whatever you need. This generally allows for the fastest, lightest trips, and for an element of camaraderie and safety, since someone knows about where you are at all times.
    • Self-supported means that you don't carry everything you need from the start, but you don't have dedicated, pre-arranged people helping you. This is commonly done a couple different ways: You might put out stashes of supplies for yourself prior to the trip, or you might just use what's out there, such as stores, begging from other trail users, etc. Long distance backpackers are typically self-supported, since they resupply by mail drop or in stores.
    • Unsupported means you have no external support of any kind. Typically, this means that you must carry all your supplies right from the start, except any water that can be obtained along the way from natural sources. This approach has also been termed "alpine style".

      So who says? Peter Bakwin and Buzz Burrell, and eventually the community of folks who participate and add to the hobby.
      Since unlike say... track and field... where we can clearly designate a 100m, 200m, 400m and so on event; Some basic guidelines were established as an FKT can literally take place anywhere on any trail in any place.

      The absolute fastest time is Supported.
      We can all realize though that as the sport grew, ultra-runners went further and further, and of course simple solo events happened that they were something different. That's why the old joke persists on the long trails:
      Supported is the runners record, Self supported is the backpackers record.

      Much like establishing a rock climbing route... sometimes a route needs a little extra instruction or beta to make the most of it.
      Just like we can all understand that showing up to the local crag with a 60' extension ladder and climbing to the top is quite an efficient way to do it... I think we all understand that it's not quite fair to claim you topped out all those routes and can safely declare yourself the best boulderer ever.
      And of course anyone watching can see if you grab that quickdraw or finger hook a bolt and would quickly cry foul.

      Afterwards when you're all hanging out at 7-11 in line to get slurpees... if some jerk chooses to cut in line... well we all know that isn't going to fly despite the fact there is no governing body or law to prevent it.

      So there is an absolute... and two sub-categories.
      1-You're the fastest possible person with help.
      1a-Or you're the fastest person without help.
      1b-If the trail is too damn long to carry all your stuff... you're allowed to stop for stuff.
      Individual trails/FKT's have some further guidelines as needed.

      That's it.

      No need to be a three year old about it or get silly.
      Getting in a car is getting help- that's pretty much the gist of it.
      Shouldn't be hard but it is.
    It is hard because it is arbitrary. And arbitrary is by definition illogical(without logic). 1b, so if getting in a car screws up an unsupported, going in a store doesn't screw it up? You must walk into town? But once in town you can access your bank account and get money for food? What if it is your parents' money because you are broke? Can you eat in a restaurant? Carry-out? Sleep in a motel? Worse yet, is there an exception for when the river is too high and you must use the ferry? Or does that just end your attempt at mile 1900something? Can I personally stash food caches on the trail prior to my attempt or do I have to hike into town to get it? Do I have to use USPS for my mail drops or can I have Uber deliver it to the trailhead? I can think of at least 20 other scenarios that require RULES or clarifications about 1a and 1b. Because, except for 1, a and b are about somebody making up rules for something they don't hold the patent on. And the rules get made because of why? Because the rule maker did a FKT and says so, apparently. In other words, follow his rules because it's his record. Again, back to backwards guy. And, I'm not being silly or a three year old. It's called logic and deductive reasoning and 1a and 1b don't get an intellectual pass from me.

    I get it. I don't agree with it or like it. It's just too damn arbitrary and unregulated. I guess the FKT means a lot to folks. I think the absolute FKT is a very cool thing to compete for. I respect those that do any attempt at a FKT on the AT. Its a tough nut. It's even tougher when there is no governing body and no hard set of rules. Just rules made by folks who claim something OTHER than the real fastest FKT. That's #1. Then, you can have all the subsets of records you want.

  5. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
    Perhaps worth pointing out to the scary bear and others:

    David Horton held the FKT on the PCT for some time.
    It was the "absolute FKT" which the proboards designate as the "overall FKT" rather than absolute.
    His trip was performed in supported style.

    Scott Williamson then bested David Horton's time and earned the Overall FKT in the process.
    His trip was performed in Self-supported style.
    Not to disparage David H too much, but the bottom line is he left a bit on the table. Its a great help to have a target to beat, when achieving a best anything. Which is why things evolve. On the AT, he ran only 12 hrs per day, it was all he needed to do.

    As interest in these things get popularized by media, and more people, especially elite ultra runners have a go, and times are pushed closer to extreme limits, supported will be less likely to be eclipsed by self supported again.

  6. #166
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    Day 5: 33 miles


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  7. #167
    Registered User Just Bill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScareBear View Post
    It is hard because it is arbitrary. And arbitrary is by definition illogical(without logic).

    I get it. I don't agree with it or like it. It's just too damn arbitrary and unregulated. I guess the FKT means a lot to folks. I think the absolute FKT is a very cool thing to compete for. I respect those that do any attempt at a FKT on the AT. Its a tough nut.
    Most of your early questions are spelled out in the FKT definitions actually.

    if your definition of arbitrary in this case is simply "you didn't get a vote" then you are correct, it is arbitrary.
    The principal way to have a vote is to set an FKT, or better an OKT (only known time). In being first... you set the rules. However as Muddy pointed out...it doesn't mean anyone will care or recognize your effort. Walking backwards guy is silly, likely it will merit a newspaper article or perhaps a Guinness record but not really an athletic achievement of note worthy of your fellow human to take up. It creates no real passion or inspiration.

    if Scott declared, "no hitching" and it turned out nobody could best his effort under those constraints then it would likely fall out of favor. However subsequent attempts "voted" in favor of this measure and subsequently succeeded. So the motion proposed is the motion carried so to speak and the rules evolve.

    in the same way we recognize that when a backpacker completes a trail it is a different effort than a fully supported effort. The community recognizes that achievement as worthy of repetition and the standard is developed...and continues to evolve. It's neither a fully open or closed system but does have a community of participants who self govern it as needed. "My house, my rules". Don't like it you know the answer...anyone is welcome to participate but that doesn't mean it's a free for all.

    Why do we drive on the right side of the road and Europeans the left? That's illogical and arbitrary but necessary nonetheless. Some structure is needed. If it was totally insane it wouldn't hold but the system works and occasionally some judgements are made by the community as a whole. Some voices have more weight (pioneers like Bakwin, Buzz, Horton, Doyle) but that's no different than anything else. Unwritten or not we all follow some rules in any situation involving more than one person. Immigrate to a new country...blend in or participate to change the system. Don't speak the language? Don't hold your breath expecting the community to learn yours because you graced them with your arrival.

    Some runners only recognize the absolute fastest time.
    Some backpackers only respect self supported efforts and discount supported FKT's as a stunt.
    Many ultra runners and backpackers are some of the best humans on the planet, some of them are just former addicts with a socially acceptable outlet.
    Some people hate the whole thing and jump in to tell everyone how much they hate it.
    That's life.

    However if it was the closed and arbitrary system you feel it is...I'd surely be wasting my breath discussing these nuances of style. I smoke too many cigarettes to waste my breath, that's why I type.

    Those who participate do have a say, some more than others, but it is a fluid system still in its very early days. This isn't the olympics dating back to ancient whenever... it's a hobby a few decades old just barely emerging as a "sport". That term should be very loosely used though as more or less it's just a version of one of the oldest games played on the planet: a race. Usually it's the racing at all on trails that most find sacrilegious. But for those who enjoy it, it's treated as reverently and seriously as any religion...and we all know those damned things engender endless debate and impassioned blathering from fanatics on all sides. Little of it has to do with absolute logic, it's purely illogical to race yourself to the death for pleasure of some strange sort. But until the AI comes and wipes us out for our illogical existence, carry on being human.

  8. #168

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmcpeak View Post
    Day 5: 33 miles


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    She is going to need some big days for make up. I wish her well. 183 miles in five days. I'm amazed that people can hike that.

  9. #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nodust View Post
    183 miles in five days.
    You could probably do it! It's about going as light as possible and hiking longer not faster. 2 mph x 16 hrs = 32 miles.

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    Sustaining it for 2190 is another matter.

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    Default Kathryn Jones is attempting a selfsupported record.

    What is the elevation change in that first 183 miles? Gotta be a lot.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  12. #172

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rmcpeak View Post
    You could probably do it! It's about going as light as possible and hiking longer not faster. 2 mph x 16 hrs = 32 miles.
    I would like to do 20-25 mile days. Working towards that for my Colorado trail hike. I've got 14 days and want to see as much as possible.

    I averaged 1.5 mph in Ga AT last summer. Just not in the shape I need to be in.

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    This probably is the start of a new thread... I'll hit you with a PM...

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    There's an app for that... about 68 grand

  15. #175
    Registered User -Rush-'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    What is the elevation change in that first 183 miles? Gotta be a lot.
    Springer to Derrick Knob

    2017-04-25 20_49_21-OneNote.png
    "Though I have lost the intimacy with the seasons since my hike, I retain the sense of perfect order, of graceful succession and surrender, and of the bold brilliance of fall leaves as they yield to death." - David Brill

  16. #176

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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    What is the elevation change in that first 183 miles? Gotta be a lot.
    Elevation change is 52,640 feet ascending and 51,560 feet descending. Total change is 104,200 feet. Doing that in five days, including a trip to town and back, is quite impressive.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    What is the elevation change in that first 183 miles? Gotta be a lot.
    Elevation change is 52,640 feet ascending and 51,560 feet descending. Total change is 104,200 feet. Doing that in five days, including a trip to town and back, is quite impressive.
    Yes it is. Can't imagine how she got those blisters
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  18. #178

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    Quote Originally Posted by FreeGoldRush View Post
    Elevation change is 52,640 feet ascending and 51,560 feet descending. Total change is 104,200 feet. Doing that in five days, including a trip to town and back, is quite impressive.

    Whats really impressive, is the folks doing this are just pacing themselves
    And can break out a 50-70 mile day when needed....

    Some of the attempters, that is..
    JPDs last day was 68 miles in ga.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 04-25-2017 at 22:22.

  19. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    Not to disparage David H too much, but the bottom line is he left a bit on the table. Its a great help to have a target to beat, when achieving a best anything. Which is why things evolve. On the AT, he ran only 12 hrs per day, it was all he needed to do.

    As interest in these things get popularized by media, and more people, especially elite ultra runners have a go, and times are pushed closer to extreme limits, supported will be less likely to be eclipsed by self supported again.
    First to Bill. I really admire your passion about the topic. You have been a clear bell for your position and I respect your position. I do agree for the need for rules, I think we both do. It's just that FKT brings with it $$$$. $$$$ needs rules or the cheating and arguing will go on ad infinitum. We've already seen "cheating" in the form of miles skipped in a pickup truck(I think it was a truck) and the beating(deservedly so) that she took for it. And to me, letting the rules be made by the "king of the hill" is arbitrary. Who is to judge aesthetics v. athletics? Apparently the last guy to win. That's the arbitrary that I can't wrap my head around. Except to say that to hike the entire AT backwards in under 7 months is indeed a feat of BOTH aesthetic and athletic glory!

    Second, to Muddy, I agree wholeheartedly. From this point forward, any 1a or 1b that bests a 1 will be the penultimate trail accomplishment. At some point the FKT will be bested by only minutes. Not days or even hours. And, that point is rapidly approaching.

  20. #180
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    FWIW, in about 30+ years I plan on setting the FKT for a 90 year old thru hiker and I will be accepting all the help anyone wants to give me. I'm thinking Pizza drone delivery and self driving shuttles.

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