Sixth Annual AJW’s Taproom Year In Ultrarunning Rankings: 2016

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

These are not scientific in any way and the criteria was 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 2016, so take them or leave them.

Male Ultrarunner of the Year

  1. Jim Walmsley
  2. Jeff Browning
  3. Zach Miller
  4. Zach Bitter

Female Ultrarunner of the Year

  1. Kaci Lickteig
  2. Gina Slaby
  3. Magda Boulet
  4. Amy Sproston

Male Performance of the Year

  1. Jim Walmsley’s win of the JFK 50 Mile
  2. Zach Miller’s win at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile Championships (interview, race report)
  3. Jason Schlarb’s tie for the win with Kilian Jornet at Hardrock (interview)

Female Performance of the Year

  1. Gina Slaby’s 100-mile world record at Desert Solstice (interview)
  2. Caroline Boller’s 50-mile American trail best at Brazos Bend 50 Mile (race report)
  3. Kaci Lickteig’s win of Western States (interview)

NOTE: For the purposes of these awards, I consider a runner to be a ‘rookie’ if 2016 was their first season racing and they placed well in at least two ultramarathons. 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.

Male Rookie of the Year

Female Rookie of the Year

Male Surprise of the Year

  • Andrew Miller’s win at Western States (interview)

Female Surprise of the Year

  • Caroline Boller’s 50-mile American trail best at Brazos Bend 50 Mile (race report)

FKT of the Year

  • Karl Meltzer’s supported speed record of the Appalachian Trail (interview)

Best Trail Running Film of the Year

Most Inspirational Person of the Year

  • Dave Mackey

Bottoms up!

AJW’s Beer of the Week

Upslope Brewing Company Barrel Ages Imperial Milk StoutThis week’s Beer of the Week comes from Dave Mackey’s hometown of Boulder, Colorado. Among the many great beers in this outdoor-lovers mecca and one of my favorites is Upslope Brewing Company’s Barrel Aged Imperial Milk Stout. Brewed with a nicely blended combination of oak and bourbon barrels, this beer is a great accompaniment to any chilly December evening.

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? What would be your picks?