This week, the winners were announced for the 2022 International Association of Ultrarunners (IAU) Athlete of the Year Awards, 2022 — with three men and three women making the final selection. Taking the top honors were Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland and Aleksandr Sorokin of Lithuania.
In May of 2022, Bereznowska reset the 48-hour world record to 403.32k (250.611 miles). The record was set at the UltraPark Weekend 48 Hour in her home country and was recently broken by Joasia “Jo” Zakrzewski (U.K.), who ran 411.458k (255.668 miles) at the Taipei Ultramarathon in February 2023. Also in 2022, Bereznowska won the IAU 24-Hour European Championships for the second consecutive year.
Sorokin’s name recurred in the record books numerous times throughout 2022, beginning in January when he reset two of his own world records, running 10:51:39 for 100 miles and 177.41k (110.24 miles) for 12 hours at the 2022 Spartanion race in Tel Aviv, Israel. He was back again in April, at the Centurion Running Track 100 Mile in England, where he ran 6:05:41 for the 100k distance to break Japan’s Nao Kazami’s previous record of 6:09:14. Finally, in September, at the IAU 24-Hour European Championships, he added 10k to his own world record, running 319.614k (198.599 miles) in those 24 hours.
A second-place award was given to Caitriona Jennings (Ireland), whose achievements in 2022 include a third-place finish at the IAU 100k World Championships and a win at the IAU 50k European Championships. Jennings, who dabbles in trail ultrarunning as well as road, also took second at the 2022 JFK 50 Mile, setting a new masters record.
Haruki Okayama (Japan) secured the runner-up award on the men’s side, having won the 2022 IAU 100k World Championships in a time of 6:12:10. Okayama also ran 2:18 at the Tokyo Marathon in March of 2022.
Third-place spots were awarded to Camille Herron (USA) and Houssame Eddine Benabbou (Spain).
Herron, who is well-known across multiple ultrarunning disciplines, set a new American 100-mile track record in 13:02:16 at the 2022 Desert Solstice Track Invitational in December and also placed eighth at the 2022 Western States 100.
Benabbou won the 2022 IAU 50k European Championships in a time of 2:49:20 on the hilly course and also ran 2:11 at the 2022 Seville Marathon.
2022 IAU Athlete of the Year Awards Winners
- Patrycja Bereznowska (Poland)
- Caitriona Jennings (Ireland)
- Camille Herron (USA)
- Aleksandr Sorokin (Lithuania)
- Haruki Okayama (Japan)
- Houssame Eddine Benabbou (Spain)
Nominees for the awards were drawn predominantly from road and track disciplines, but the list also included all of the top-three men and women from the 2022 Trail World Championships 80k race — Blandine L’Hirondel (France), Ida Nilsson (Sweden), and Gemma Arenas (Spain); and on the men’s side Adam Peterman (USA), Nicolas Martin (France), and Andreas Reiterer (Italy).