A Grassroots Movement to
Bring Women to the Trails
On the heels of her hard-earned Hardrock finish, Marta Fisher wanted a new goal. Only 15 other women started Hardrock that year and she knew that, whatever goals set for herself, it was also important to invite other women to join. She started looking into FKTs and quickly realized that there was a lot of opportunity for women in the world of FKTs. In her home area of Oregon and Washington, only 41 percent of the 353 routes had women’s times. She saw this as an ideal opportunity to challenge others to join her in chasing unique goals.
Danielle Snyder, an accomplished FKTer and performance coach, and Stacey Lee, her Hardrock pacer and a skilled backpacker/trailrunner, were her first two recruits. Dana Katz, another ultrarunning coach, followed shortly after. Teri Smith, a runner and photographer, was the last to join the initial leadership team. Working together, they set a goal that more women than men would set FKTs in Oregon and Washington in 2022. They also hoped to encourage at least 50 women to set their first FKT and that 20 women from communities under represented in trail running would share about their FKTs. Their hope was to connect with a few runners in the Pacific Northwest. They expected this would be a one-year project and that they would motivate a couple of friends to try out FKTs.
What happened next was a big surprise. Trailrunner Magazine wrote a feature article on the project, and soon, they were hearing from women from all over the US. 50 women setting their first FKT turned into over 100 first-time FKT setters, and women across North America reached out to ask how they could be involved. Women started connecting over FKTs, and the initial leadership team realized this idea was important and worth expanding.
As we look forward, we are growing our grassroots movement with the help of like-minded women. Our leadership team has expanded to include eight new members – Grayce Langheine, Isabella Janovick, Hillary Osborne, Bethany Garretson, Rachel Bambrick, Brynn Cunningham, Calantha Elsby and Julia Warick. Learn more about these incredible women and view our full leadership page here.
Our mission is encouraging anyone who identifies as a woman to take on ambitious goals through the lens of FKT. We will do this through education, sharing stories, and supporting and connecting women interested in FKTs. Though our core mission is increasing female representation, we support making FKTs more diverse in all kinds of dimensions. We wholeheartedly support trail and ultra running becoming more inclusive and would like to ally ourselves with anyone working to increase the safety and visibility of BIPOC, LGBTQ, and gender queer runners. We firmly believe that there are opportunities for women at different levels of experience to grow as runners through FKTs. At this time Women Who FKT is not a 501c3 and all our work is through volunteer efforts. We are not affiliated with fastestknowntime.com or Outside Magazine.
Marta & Danielle on a trail adventure
Stacey crewing Marta at Hardrock
Dana and Teri skiing Crater Lake