Seventh Annual AJW’s Taproom Year In Ultrarunning Rankings: 2017

AJW's TaproomFor the past six years (end of 2011end of 2012end of 2013end of 2014 , end of 2015, and end of 2016), I have posted some year-end ultrarunning awards. Now, I would like to introduce the Seventh Annual AJW’s Taproom Year in Ultrarunning Rankings.

These are not scientific in any way and the criteria is 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 nor do they pretend to be fully representative of all that occurred in 2017, so take them or leave them. Here goes!

Female Ultrarunner of the Year

  1. Courtney Dauwalter
  2. Camille Herron
  3. Cat Bradley
  4. Clare Gallagher

Male Ultrarunner of the Year

  1. Tim Tollefson
  2. Tim Freriks
  3. Hayden Hawks
  4. Jim Walmsley

Female Performance of the Year

  1. Courtney Dauwalter’s win at the Moab 240 Mile
  2. Camille Herron’s win at the Comrades Marathon (report)
  3. Camille Herron’s 100-mile world record at the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile (interview)

Male Performance of the Year

  1. Guillaume Calmettes’s win at Big’s Backyard Ultra
  2. John Kelly’s Barkley Marathons finish (report)
  3. Hayden Hawks’s win at CCC (interview)

NOTE: For the purposes of my ‘Rookie of the Year’ award below, I consider a runner to be a ‘rookie’ if 2017 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 2017 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.

Female Rookie of the Year

  • Sabrina Stanley (She ran four ultras prior to the 2017 season, only one of which, the Leadville 100, I consider high profile.)

Male Rookie of the Year

  • Tim Freriks (He ran two ultras prior to the 2017 season, only one of which, Lake Sonoma 50 Mile, I consider high profile.)

Female Surprise of the Year

  • Cat Bradley’s win at the Western States 100 (interview)

Male Surprise of the Year

  • Mark Hammond’s third place at Western States (interview)

Female FKT of the Year

  • Cat Bradley’s Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim FKT (report)

Male FKT of the Year

  • Joe McConaughy’s self-supported Appalachian Trail FKT (interview)

Best Trail Running Film of the Year

Most Inspirational Person of the Year

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company 2017 Celebration IPAThis week’s Beer of the Week is the 2017 edition of the Celebration Fresh Hop Ale from one of my favorite all-time breweries, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. Every year since 1981, the good folks at Sierra Nevada have celebrated the holidays by producing a small-batch, freshly hopped IPA. This year’s edition is particularly tasty with hints of pine and citrus layered onto their traditional malt-based IPA. A great beer for the holidays!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • Who are your choices for ultrarunner of the year, according to AJW’s voting rules of North American runners and their competitions at ‘home’ and abroad?
  • If you were to vote for global ultrarunners of the year, who would they be?
  • How about AJW’s other categories? Who would be your picks?