Tom Bartlett has broken the record for self-supported fastest known time on Western Australia’s Bibbulmun Track.


Tom completed the 1000km trail that winds from Perth to Albany in an impressive 11 days, 21 hours, and 45 minutes. The Bibbulmun Track takes most hikers 6-8 weeks to complete.  

Tom was averaging 80km+ of hiking each day over 18 hours, before sleeping for around four hours each night in shelters along the track.



Tom smashed the previous record of 16 days, 14 hours, and 2 minutes set by Jono Ride in 2018, by almost five whole days. His performance was also only 28 hours behind the supported fastest known time for traversing of the trail, set by Erika Lori in 2021

‘Before I started I had various A, B, C goals. My ambitious A goal was to try to beat the supported record of just under 11 days,’ Tom said.

‘In the end, I achieved my slightly more realistic B goal of sub 12 days!’

What does self-supported mean?

There are a few different ways to measure fastest known times, depending on the amount of support the hiker receives during the traverse.

In Tom’s instance, self-supported means that although he was essentially self-sufficient, he was able to access some support along the way, but only what was also available to other hikers, not support exclusively for him.

For example, technically Tom was able to purchase supplies or stay in hotels in track towns, but any personal assistance from family or friends was not allowed, even in the form of spectating!

Ultralight Hiking

In order to move so quickly, Tom had to pack light, carrying with him only 2.4kg of gear all inside his 15L running vest.

‘I managed to fit my Cumulus sleeping bag, 3mm foam mat, Enlightened Equipment synthetic jacket, Raidlight rain jacket and Zpacks rain pants,’ he said.

‘Although my Leki trekking poles and AirPods were probably the most important items,’ he said.


Not The First Fastest

This isn’t the first fastest known time that Tom’s secured, having broken the self-supported record for the Australian Alpine Walking Track in January 2022. 

‘It’s been a massive last 12 months. I’ve hiked around 7000km including the two FKTs so I think it’s time for a bit of a rest,’ Tom said.

‘FKTs take a huge toll both physically and mentally so I’m trying to respect the recovery process and wait until something lights that fire inside me again. In the meantime, my partner and I have started working as hiking guides!’

Congrats Tom on an amazing feat!


Images thanks to @theadventuregene