AJW’s Taproom 2019 in Ultrarunning Awards

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AJW's TaproomFor the past eight years (end of 2011end of 2012end of 2013end of 2014end of 2015end of 2016end of 2017, and end of 2018), I have posted some year-end ultrarunning awards. Now, I would like to introduce the ninth-annual AJW’s Taproom Year in Ultrarunning Rankings for 2019.

These are not scientific in any way and the criteria are made up entirely by me. They represent a selection of North American racers competing in events in the U.S. and abroad. My rankings, in no way, represent an exhaustive study or do they pretend to be fully representative of all that occurred in 2019, so take them or leave them. Here goes!

Female Ultrarunner of the Year

  1. Courtney Dauwalter
  2. Kaci Lickteig
  3. Clare Gallagher
  4. Brittany Peterson

Male Ultrarunner of the Year

  1.  Jim Walmsley
  2. Zach Bitter
  3. Patrick Reagan
  4.  Jared Hazen

Female Performance of the Year

  1. Camille Herron’s 24-hour world record at the IAU 24-Hour World Championships
  2. Maggie Guterl’s overall win at Big Backyard Ultra
  3. Courtney Dauwalter’s win at UTMB (interview)

Male Performance of the Year

  1. Jim Walmsley’s course record at the Western States 100 (interview)
  2. Zach Bitter’s 100-mile world record at Six Days in the Dome
  3. Jim Walmsley’s 50-mile world record at Project X (interview)

Female Rookie of the Year

[Author’s Note: For the purposes of my ‘Rookie of the Year’ award, I consider a runner to be a ‘rookie’ if 2019 was their first season racing at a highly competitive level. In most cases, the candidates considered for this award have completed a few races in prior years, but 2019 marked the first time they made an impact on the national/international scene beyond a race or two. For me, my ‘rookie’ litmus-test example is Anton Krupicka in 2006 when he came out of nowhere and won the Leadville Trail 100 Mile.]

  • Madison Hart

Male Rookie of the Year

  • Matt Daniels

Female Surprise of the Year

  • Brittany Peterson’s second-place finish at the Western States 100 (interview)

Male Surprise of the Year

  • Seth Ruhling’s win at the JFK 50 Mile

Female Fastest Known Time (FKT) of the Year

  • Alondra Moody’s Smokies Challenge Adventure Run (SCAR) unsupported FKT

Male FKT of the Year

  • Jordan Fields’s Presidential Traverse FKT

Best Trail Running Film of the Year

  • Leadman: The Dave Mackey Story by Billy Yang and Matt Trappe

Most Inspirational Person of the Year

  • Amelia Boone

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

This Week’s Beer of the Week comes from OddStory Brewing Company in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I had the opportunity to visit OddStory last weekend while running the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile and was impressed with their beer. Of particular note was their Winter Warmer which is a unique take on the English Strong Ale variety. Tipping the scales at 9% ABV, it is certainly robust but a perfect beer for the holiday season and it’s sneaky since it tastes so smooth.

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Who are your choices for North American ultrarunner of the year? And if you were to vote for global ultrarunners of the year, who would they be?
  • How about AJW’s other categories? What would be your picks?