August 06, 2010

Just To Be Clear

(BC Parks official with my finishing time)

I've been hearing some questions in the last few days. Questions about 'is it legit' and how can I prove it if there was no one there at the 'finish line'? I'm totally cool with that. HEY I GET IT! If I ever do end up running the trail again I'll go South to North, first and foremost because I now believe it's faster that way, and secondly because I guess you could sprint into the lodge at the end and have a park official there to validate everything.

I knew that I would have to be taken at my word for the most part on this one. Being a fully self supported, point to point run with no intersecting points whatsoever will do that. Sure I have a picture of a GPS watch saying I ran 80km in 10h08m...but couldn't I have 'paused' the watch along the way? During my stops? During even one stop? Couldn't I have taken a break 'off the clock' without anyone knowing? Well the answer is obviously yes, that might be possible...before GPS of course!

I'm curious as to Frank and Kevin's experience in 1997? I can't imagine it was anyone but them involved since park staff didn't even know what the previous record was.

With a speed attempt the watch starts with the first step and does not cease until you reach the finish. I had an eight minute stop at the beach vendor around km 44, and that's all a part of it. There are no time outs, no car delays (road hockey), and no nap breaks. I started at 5:34:28am and finished at 3:43:20pm

I had a friend by the name of Sarah Logan officially start me with a ten second countdown. I shot a video on my GoPro head cam but it was too dark to pick it up. You can at least hear us talking and she confirms the start time. I also intended to shoot a finishing video with my head cam but the battery died after shooting 37 individual videos...go figure! I'm forwarding all my footage onto a friend by the name of Erik Nachtrieb so that he can hopefully make something outta nothing and create a worthwhile recap of the day. In the end I was very thankful to have carried a back up camera just in case and that's what I shot my finishing video on.

Oh yeah, and on that note. No I have never seen The Blair Witch Project, and yes in hindsight I realize it's quite dramatic. The honest truth though is that I have never cracked like that in my entire life and I was completely out of it when I made the finish. I'll go into detail in my eventual run recap, and yes I know I look somewhat foolish...but that's what it was...that's literally all I had left. I actually had to cut out five full minutes me shooting video of the sky when I fell asleep on the spot. If you didn't watch it the whole way through, I do at least eventually sit up and start talking somewhat coherently for a few seconds as I'm getting my wits about me!

Anyways, the point of all this is that I just figured out this feature from Google Earth. It takes a full minute to load on my laptop, but give it a second and you can click all the way down to individual black boxes with times in them. You can see exactly where I started and finished, and if you locate the beach vendor, which is just over half way through, you can see my full eight minute break, all on the clock, while I'm running in circles and having some intriguing conversations!

(I had to remove the auto loading Google Earth feature as it was freezing up my computer and hence I have no doubt others were having issues as well) Here is the here's the direct link to the downloadable file

I figured I'd throw this one in here too. It's me tackling the first cable car crossing of the day. It's amazing how much energy you expend on this trail through ladder work and cable cars alone.

I hope this is enough to dispel any further doubts or questions. I'm a man of my word and honestly my reputation means more to me than anything else. If anyone has any specific questions, good or bad, please do not hesitate to drop me a line!

I'll have the recap done in a few days, and Erik will be working on the video side of things too. Since I went straight back to work just hours after getting home I'm still attempting to catch up on everything. Sorry for the delays.



mrf0rd said...

If we thought you were full of shit, we'd tell ya! :-)

I'm sorry that you even have to try and explain yourself!

Great job again!



Totally believe you!! Who could question a man videoing himself bonking? talk about putting it all out there. Congrats again!

FiveSix said...


I was one of the hikers you passed that day. You were the talk of the trail for a few days after.

We went through Chez Monique (SP) the same day you did and the staff were all abuzz discussing you.

For what is worth to all the doubters I saw you around ten on the day of your run at Cribs Creek.

Great job, inspiring.


Mark C. Ryan said...

I can't believe anyone en questioned it. I guess a record at HURT and an M6 at WS100 doesn't mean a heckuva a lot to people. My only question is how do you go from starting endurance sports in 2004 from scratch and become quite possibly the fastest ultra marathon trail runner in Canada in a mere 6 years. Any tips are welcome.

Vava said...

Why would anyone doubt your accomplishment in the first place? I don't get it. I am not an ultra runner, but if I know anything about dedicated athletes (and especially weekend warriors) is that they are never satisfied with shortcuts and, therefore, avoid taking them even at the risk of injury. You are hard core and seem to love your sport too much to disrespect it in any way.

Congratulations and continuted success!

Chris Twardzik said...

Yo GR!!! first off - FREAKING awesome man. I would absolutely love to join you on this again next year if you want to tackle again. Secondly - any doubters can go blow. You are legit and honorable. Let's just focus on how bad ass this was. Also - I think this looks like a freaking blast!! looking forward to the video and post more mini ones like this if you can. YOU THE MAN Robbins. cheers

garobbins said...

Thanks for the great comments all!

I'm recovering decently well, though my hip is still bugging me from running those dame off camber beach sections.

11 days till I embark on a new distance record, 220k / 135miles...can't wait!!


Tom Craik said...

There's a line from Chris Farley's '80's flick, "Tommy Boy" that goes something like this:
"you can get a good look at a T-Bone by sticking your head up a bulls ass, but why would you when you could take the butcher's word for it?"

Gary, your record is your record and the guarantee is in the man. Anyone who knows you, would guarantee it too.

Boris T said...

Congrats on the achievement! It sucks you gotta prove your accomplishment to some people, really sucks.

Anonymous said...

i'm pretty sure i saw you slobbering over a side of beef at memphis blues on lonsdale that same day u jerk! must've had a stunt double out on the trail doing stand in... elmer fud perhaps...? :p

lazy TR

ken michal said...

Why would anyone worry about "official" timing on a FKT?!?!? I could see if this was an organized race but... oi vey!!!

Congratulations again on a fantastic run, Gary!!! Can't wait to see you at HURT!

All Day!