Outside Business Journal

Outside Inc. Acquires Sports Database Fastest Known Time

The speed-record database for running, hiking, and endurance sports adds new capabilities to Outside’s portfolio of active-lifestyle brands

Bella Wilkes

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Outside Inc., Outside Business Journal’s Boulder, Colorado-based parent company, has announced its acquisition of Fastest Known Time (FKT), an online database of speed records in running, hiking, and endurance sports.

FKT, which from 2020 to 2022 saw substantial growth on its platform (fueled in part by pandemic-related race cancellations), builds upon several mapping and database assets already in the Outside portfolio, including Gaia GPS and Trailforks. The company plans to use these assets cross-functionally, leveraging the capabilities of Gaia to enhance the accuracy of the current FKT platform.

“At Outside, we’re committed to inspiring people to get outdoors and fuel their active lifestyles,” said Robin Thurtson, Outside’s CEO. “By adding Fastest Known Time to the Outside ecosystem and integrating our advanced mapping technologies into the platform, our goal is to continue inspiring outdoor enthusiasts to push themselves to new heights.”

In a newsletter to its members sent this week, the FKT team wrote, “[Our community] will be very happy to know that Outside is bringing a massive amount of knowledge, passion, and resources to greatly improve the services and features of this website, in a way we could not do.” 

In a release of its own, Outside confirmed that it will make several changes and improvements to the FKT product in the months ahead, including:

  • Integrating Gaia GPS technology and map layers into FKT
  • Modernizing the website to improve UX across all FKT features
  • Adding new capabilities and benefits to further the site’s offerings
  • Expanding the available categories of FKT achievements with an eye toward making the site more inclusive to a wider variety of athletes
  • Adding future FKT benefits for Outside+ members

Outside says that, following the acquisition, it will “continue partnering with the regional editors who have been instrumental to FKT’s growth.” FKT founder Buzz Burrell will continue to serve in an advisory role, and co-founders Peter Bakwin and Jeff Schuler will step away to focus on other projects.

“Without the dedication of our community who care for and support our work, we couldn’t have created FKT into what it is today—an integral part of the running and hiking cultures worldwide,” said Burrell. “Outside is…significantly improving the services and features of the website to continue serving our large following of athletes and active participants. We have no doubt that Outside’s acquisition will take FKT to new heights.”

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