Canadian Running

A Day in the Life of an FKT

- Wondering what the actual day-to-day looked like on the Bruce Trail? Obviously, every day is different – especially the final two days, when Karen put in huge hours to secure the overall record. But for days 1–7, things looked something like this:

5 a.m.

Crew wakes up, makes coffee and a pre-mixed oatmeal with dried fruit and nuts

5:30 a.m.

Holland is up, getting dressed and ready to run. Eats breakfast, applies kinesiolog­y tape to tight spots on shins and is out the door to get back to the trailhead

6 a.m.

On the trail! Crew drops Holland at trail after ensuring tracker is on and fully charged headlamp and watch are working, and either she or a pacer (sometimes also a crew member) has her water and snacks

Every 7–10 km

Meet up with the crew at the van on road crossings to refill water bottles or hydration pack, quick snack break with options like bananas, Timbits and Rice Krispie treats. Map check, change any clothes needed (i.e., take off jacket, swap hat, add poles). New runners joining to pace her or just to cheer would pop in and out (she was only running alone for around 45 km of the 900-km trail)

7 p.m.

Slightly longer break for Mr. Noodles, then a crew meeting to discuss night run strategy, add headlamp

8–10 p.m.

The toughest part of the day is knowing when to stop. Holland would often try to push to finish a section of the trail or hit the 100 km mark, but it depended on terrain, weather and how she was feeling. (Usually, the decision would be to stop by 8 p.m., but we’d still end up running until 10 p.m., as she regained motivation after Mr. Noodles!)

10 p.m.

Drive to host house while Holland eats dinner (pasta with cheese, pizza or more Mr. Noodles), plus a recovery shake. Holland uploads GPX files to Strava, assesses maps for the next morning, showers, spends 30–45 minutes in Normatec compressio­n boots, then heads to bed, usually scrolling Instagram before falling asleep around 11–12. Crew resets and organizes the van, makes sure all devices are charging and gets ready for breakfast.

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