Keeper of the Trail
Why Peter Bakwin holds the key to all trail records
Long-time trail runner, Peter Bakwin, 49, of Boulder, Colorado, is best known as the man behind the trail-running speed record website, ...
Photo by Buzz Burrell
Long-time trail runner, Peter Bakwin, 49, of Boulder, Colorado, is best known as the man behind the trail-running speed record website, Fastest Known Time, a clearinghouse of sorts, for all long-distance trail-record attempts. But how did he become the keeper of these records?
It was in 1999, while planning his own speed-record attempt with legendary adventurer Buzz Burrell of Boulder, Colorado, for California's 222-mile John Muir Trail (JMT), that Bakwin first realized the need for a single repository of such information. Says Bakwin, "I spent a bunch of time researching the existing records and found that they were fuzzy." So in 2005, he launched the Fastest Known Time website—the only website devoted entirely to trail speed records.
The site includes over 200 records, a few of which Bakwin set himself, including the first sub-four-day traverse of the rugged JMT. "He's never been very interested in cranking out miles around a track or following markings in a trail race," says his wife, Stephanie Ehret, an accomplished ultrarunner (she is a former 100-mile National Champion) and founding member of the orginal Montrail/Patagonia Ultrarunning Team.