Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ultra Runner of the Year

Allow me to geek out for a second. During my normal long run this Saturday I was listening to a podcast as I often do. The discussion was about voting for Ultra Runner of the Year. The discussion centered around this, what qualifies you as Ultra Runner of the Year? The Mountain, Trail and Ultra (MUT) community is so varied how do you decide?

Here is part of the dilemma, suppose you have an athlete that has won 4 50K races and a 50 mile race against stiff elite competition and you have another athlete that has dominated the 100 mile distance winning 3 of the biggest 100 mile events also against stiff competition. In the only head to head match up the first competitor crushed the second however the first has never run the 100 mile distance. So who is the best?

It really goes to your philosophy of what an ultra runner is. Personally I vote for athlete #2 as to me the 100 mile distance is the gold standard of ultrarunning. Pretty much any marathoner can complete a 50k and 50 miles is also not a huge stretch. But 100 miles.. well things happen in 100 miles that just don't happen in the other races. I think an Ultra runner ought to be doing ultra things.

Also the voting doesn't include any Europeans. Ultrarunner of the Year ought to include the entire field shouldn't it? I mean Killian Jornet is so head and shoulders above every other MUT runner he is in a class by himself. The dude runs up ladders for gods sake!

In the only North American race he ran this year, the Hardrock 100, He beat the course record and seemed to be lolygagging to do it. But he is European and has spent most of his year doing  Fastest Known Times (FKT) ascents of different mountain summits. But what about other Euros? So I am a Killian Fanboy but he is probably not UROY. I would vote him the best all around Mountain Athlete of his generation however.

It is just so confusing. What about stage races? Are they Ultras? This looks pretty Ultra to me.

Anyway it was a rousing discussion and I am excited to see who wins.

No comments:

Post a Comment