For the past nine years, I have posted some year-end ultrarunning awards. I would like to introduce the 10th-annual AJW’s Taproom Year in Ultrarunning Awards for 2021.
(You can check out my awards from the end of 2011, end of 2012, end of 2013, end of 2014, end of 2015, end of 2016, end of 2017, end of 2018, and end of 2019. I didn’t do awards in 2020 due to the COVID-19-pandemic-induced hiatus from racing.)
These are not scientific in any way, and the criteria are made up entirely by me. They represent a selection of North American athletes competing in events in the United States and abroad.
My rankings, in no way, represent an exhaustive study nor do they pretend to be fully representative of all that occurred in 2021, so take them or leave them. Here goes!
Female Ultrarunner of the Year
Male Ultrarunner of the Year
Female Performance of the Year
- Courtney Dauwalter’s win at UTMB (interview)
- Camille Herron’s women’s 100-mile track American record at Desert Solstice
- Brittany Peterson’s course record at Black Canyon 100k
Male Performance of the Year
- Nick Coury’s men’s 24-hour American record at Desert Solstice (interview)
- Jim Walmsley’s men’s 100-kilometer American record at the Hoka Project Carbon X 2
- Dylan Bowman’s second place at the Hardrock 100 (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 2021 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 2021 marked the first time they made an impact on the national or 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 100 Mile.]
- Annie Hughes
Male Rookie of the Year
- Adam Peterman
Female Surprise of the Year
- Abby Hall’s second place at the CCC
Male Surprise of the Year
- Tyler Green’s second place at the Western States 100 (interview)
Female Fastest Known Time (FKT) of the Year
- Addie Bracy and Corey Conner’s women’s unsupported Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim FKT
Male FKT of the Year
- Joe McConaughy aka Stringbean’s men’s supported Arizona Trail FKT (interview)
Best Trail Running Film of the Year
- Inaugural Year: A Story About the First Ever Cocodona 250 by Aravaipa Running
Most Inspirational Person of the Year
- Tommy Rivers Puzey — Puzey has been battling a rare and aggressive form of lung cancer. He finished the New York City Marathon this November.
AJW’s Beer of the Week
This week’s Beer of the Week comes from Steamworks Brewing Company in Durango, Colorado. Hopping on the juicy IPA bandwagon, the good folks at Steamworks have created a deliciously creamy juicy IPA called Sultan of Stoke. Balanced, slightly sweet, and 100% juicy, this beer is so juicy it would go great with your morning eggs and pancakes!
Call for Comments
- What are your picks for the 2021 performances listed in this article?
- Anyone you think will have a breakout year in 2022?