What Was the Best 100 Mile Debut of 2009?

With the iRunFar faithful having named the top 100 mile performances of the year (that would be Krissy Moehl’s Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc and Geoff Roes’s Wasatch 100), we thought we’d follow up on something we did last year. Namely, have you choose the best 100 mile debut of 2009. We’ll help you out by providing some nominees to start with. However, we’ve learned our lesson and will hold off on opening our poll until Monday, January 11. That way, we can add to the nominees those notable 100 mile debuts that we may have missed. Let us know who those folks may be… or if one of our nominees has previously run a 100 miler!

[1/11/10 Update] The poll is up with no additions, so go vote. The poll will remain open until 5 p.m. EST on Friday, January 15. Interested in who the winner is? Well, get family and friends to vote for your pick!

The Nominees for Best 100 Mile Debut of 2009

Lynette Clemons – Winner Leadville 100
Lynette, who? Don’t feel embarrassed if you don’t know who Lynette is even after her surprise win at the Leadville 100. Everyone expected the women’s win to come down to a battle between Jamie Donaldson and Darcy Africa. While those ladies battled all day, Lynette finished nearly an hour ahead of both of them. Her 20:58:01 was a great time on a surprisingly hot day.

Zach Miller – Sixth Western States 100
Zachariah Miller’s been running fast ultras for a long while now. Way back in 2003, he was second at the JFK 50 mile with a time of 6:10:02. Still, he’d never run a 100 miles until the Western States 100. It was there that he ran 17:34:12. His sixth place is quite impressive, when you consider how deep the field was, how hot it was, and the fact that he was coming from Bozeman, Montana. It wasn’t pretty, but it was one hell of a performance!

Anita Ortiz – Winner Western States 100
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that Anita Ortiz’s Western States 100 was her first 100 miler. First off, she’s been such a great trail runner for so long that it’s hard to think of her as a “rookie” at whatever the distance. More important, she beat some of the best and most experienced women’s 100 milers in the US to win Western States. We’re talking the likes of Krissy Moehl, Beverly Anderson-Abbs, and Nikki Kimball, just to name a few. Her 18:24:17 was also good enough to put her in 9th place overall.

Amy Palmiero-Winters – Winner Heartland 100
In October, Amy Palmiero-Winters pulled off a remarkable feat in winning the Heartland 100 by running 18:54:13. What makes Amy accomplishment all the more noteworthy is that she’s an amputee. Yup, she’s missing her left leg below her knee and still won the race.

Timmy Parry – Winner Leadville 100
Prior to this year’s Leaville 100 there was lots of talk about how talented Timmy Parr is. However, there was an equal amount of chatter about Leadville being his first 100. Well, Timmy went on to run 17:27:23 while beating the two previous Leadville champions. He had to battle the heat and some rough sections en route to outlasting his good friend Duncan Callahan.