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- Diana Fitzpatrick: Breaking 24 at Western States
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Courtney Dauwalter is the 2018 Ultra Runner of the Year. Dauwalter had a prodigious year, running 12 ultras and winning nine of them. She showed remarkable range, winning races from 50K to 279 miles. She had major wins at Western States, posting the second fastest women’s time ever, and Japan’s Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji. Perhaps her most talked about race was Big’s Backyard Ultra, a quirky-format event where runners have to complete a 4.1-mile loop every hour to stay in the competition. She did this for 68 consecutive hours before yielding. A star cross-country skier at the University of Denver, Dauwalter lives in Golden, Colorado with her husband Kevin.
Jeff Browning is the second ranked runner in 2018. Browning had an impressively consistent year, winning three 100-milers, placing third at Run Rabbit Run and fifth at Western States. A graphic artist, gear designer and running coach, ”Bronco Billy” lives in Logan, Utah with his wife Jennifer and their three children.
Darcy Piceu is the third ranked woman for 2018. Piceu was undefeated at the 100-mile distance, impressively winning on four significantly different courses – the highly technical HURT 100, the severely mountainous Ronda dels Cims in Andorra, the mountainous but runnable Angeles Crest, and the swift Javelina 100. A psychologist and counselor, the three-time Hardrock champion lives in Boulder, Colorado.
Dylan Bowman is ranked fourth in the Ultra Runner of the Year balloting for 2018. “DBo” had an outstanding year, winning two major international races, Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji in Japan and Tarawera 100K in New Zealand. He also placed a very close second at Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS), the 119km race in the UTMB series.
On November 4, twenty-two runners lined up for Conquer The World (C.T.W.) Endurance’s first annual Fall Back into the Trails 50K, a 10k loop course with roughly 1,000 feet of elevation gain per lap at Red Wing Recreation Area in Lagrangeville, New York.
Kaytlyn Gerbin is ranked 5th among the women for 2018. She set a course record while winning the Bear 100, was 2nd at Western States and 10th in the World Trail Championships in Spain. Gerbin, who has a PhD in bioengineering, is a scientist at the Allen Institute for Cell Science. She lives in Seattle with her husband, Ely.
Jason Schlarb is the 6th ranked man for 2018. Schlarb had a very busy year, winning Run Rabbit Run 100, Ultra Trail Oman, and the Desert RATS 50K, while placing 2nd at the Eiger Ultra Trail 101K in Switzerland and Mt. Gaoligong 55K in China. When not traipsing around the globe, the former Montana State track athlete lives in Durango, Colorado.
Amanda Basham is the 7th ranked woman for 2018. Basham won the UROC 100K, was 2nd at the Tarawera 100K in New Zealand, and 4th at Western States. Originally from Sweet Home, Oregon, she now lives in North Logan, Utah.
Mark Hammond checks in at number eight in the 2018 voting. The highly consistent Hammond placed third at Western States 100 and second at Run Rabbit Run 100 – both places identical to the previous year. He also finished eighth at Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji in his first international race.
Katie Schide is the ninth ranked runner for 2018. She won two major European races—the Madeira Island Ultra in Portugal, and the MaXi Race International in France. Katie was also second at the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (CCC) 101km.
Jared Hazen was voted in at number 10 in the Ultrarunner of the Year balloting. Originally from Titusville, Pennsylvania, Hazen won the JFK 50 in November, posting the second fastest time in the 57-year history of the race despite muddy conditions.
If I can stress one virtue every trail runner should possess in their arsenal of weapons, it’s the punch of patience. Something I’ve often struggled with over the years. Too often I get caught up in the moment, forget what it’s all about, ignore the signs and then it all comes crashing down.