2014 Ultrarunners of the Year

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Ellie Greenwood photo courtesy Comrades Marathon

Ellie Greenwood photo courtesy Comrades Marathon

Ellie Greenwood

Ellie Greenwood is the female Ultra Runner of the Year. It’s the third time she has won the award in the past four years. After missing most of 2013 with injuries, she rebounded in the spring with a win at the Chuckanut 50K and followed that with a thrilling come-from-behind win at the Comrades (54-mile) Marathon in South Africa, the world’s oldest and largest ultra. In the fall she won the IAU World 100K Championship in Qatar. In between, Greenwood took on some tough mountain runs and competed well against top competition at the 50K distance – likely too short for her strength to come through.

In July, the Dundee, Scotland native who now lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, became a Canadian citizen.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Chuckanut 50K 4:11:49 11 1
Comrades 54 Mile – South Africa 6:18:15 55 1
Speedgoat 50K 6:53:04 29 3
Squamish 50K 5:20:39 3 1
Run the Rut 50K 6:57:33 40 4
IAU World 100K Championships 7:30:48 34 1

Rob Krar photo by Christina Bauer.png

Rob Krar photo by Christina Bauer.png

Rob Krar

The male Ultra Runner of the Year is Rob Krar, who repeats the award from 2013. Krar started his season with a very close second at the Lake Sonoma 50. In June, the Flagstaff, Arizona running pharmacist posted the second fastest times in race history at both the Western States 100 and the Leadville Trail 100, winning both. He followed that up with a win at the Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile in September. Likely over-raced, Krar had a sub-standard performance at The North Face 50 Mile in December. In view of the rest of his year, voters seemed to have mostly given him a pass for this.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 6:12:14 2
Western States 100 Mile 14:53:22 1
Leadville Trail 100 Mile 16:09:32 1
Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile 17:40:05 1
Bootlegger 50K 3:57:31 1
The North Face SF 50 Mile 6:46:10 12

#2 UltraRunners of the Year

Max King photo courtesy irunfar.com

Max King photo courtesy irunfar.com

Max King

Max King checks in at number 2 in our Ultra Runner of the Year balloting. King won the World 100K Championships in Qatar in November, setting a new American Record of 6:27:43, and leading the US men’s team to a gold medal. He also set course records in winning the venerable Ice Age Trail 50 mile and the Chuckanut 50K. The Bend, Oregon athlete showed off his remarkable versatility by winning the Warrior Dash obstacle course championship in October.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Chuckanut 50K 3:35:42 1
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 6:37:20 7
Ice Age Trail 50 Mile 5:41:07 1
Western States 100 Mile 15:44:45 4
Hasetune Cup 44 Mile – Japan 7:49:05 8
IAU World 100K Championships 6:27:43 1

Rory Bosio photo by Tim Kemple

Rory Bosio photo by Tim Kemple

Rory Bosio

The runner-up woman in our voting is Rory Bosio. Bosio successfully defended her crown at the 103-mile Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, Europe’s most prestigious ultra, winning again by a huge margin. She also won the Laveredo Ultra Trail race, also one of the most significant races in Europe. The Soda Springs, California nurse also won two races stateside, both North Face 50 milers – one in Utah and the other in upstate New York – finishing the year undefeated.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
The North Face Bear Mtn 50 Mile 8:20:16 15 1
Lavaredo Ultra Trail 73 Mile – Italy 14:29:54 18 1
Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – France 23:23:20 14 1
The North Face Utah 50 Mile 8:34:13 10 1

#3 UltraRunners of the Year

Stephanie Howe photo by Matt Trappe

Stephanie Howe photo by Matt Trappe

Stephanie Howe

Western States champion Stephanie Howe checks in at number three. 2014 was a banner year for the Bend, Oregon runner as she won Western States, completed her PhD in Exercise Physiology, and got married – all within a span of four months!

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Mesquite Canyon 50K 4:56:40 4 1
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 7:33:24 17 2
Western States 100 Mile 18:01:42 18 1
The North Face SF 50 Mile 7:28:48 40 3

Sage Canaday photo by Jason Eichhorst

Sage Canaday photo by Jason Eichhorst

Sage Canaday

Sage Canaday was voted to third place among the men. The Boulder, Colorado based runner won the highly competitive North Face Endurance Challenge championship and Speedgoat 50K. Canaday had a busy year with three international races, placing very high in all of them.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Tarawera 43 Mile – New Zealand 5:33:38 1
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 6:12:58 3
Transvulcania 45.5 Mile – Spain 7:11:39 3
Speedgoat 50K 5:12:32 1
Run the Rut 50K 5:20:26 2
Les Templiers 45.3 Mile – France 6:45:00 4
The North Face SF 50 Mile 6:07:52 1

#4 UltraRunners of the Year

Dylan Bowman photo courtesy The North Face

Dylan Bowman photo courtesy The North Face

Dylan Bowman

Dylan Bowman is the fourth ranked runner for 2014. Bowman started the year off with a win at the Sean O’Brien 50 and finished a strong third at Western States. The Mill Valley, California based athlete is sales director for Hypoxico Altitude Training and set an unofficial record with 100 summits of Mount Tamalpais in 2014.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
TransGrancanaria 125K – Spain 15:59:13 9
Sean O’Brien 50 Mile 6:23:17 1
The North Face Bear Mtn 50 Mile 6:51:52 1
Western States 100 Mile 15:36:41 3
The North Face SF 50 Mile 6:23:48 5

Kaci Lickteig photo by Belinda Agamaite

Kaci Lickteig photo by Belinda Agamaite

Kaci Lickteig

Fourth in our balloting for women is Kaci Lickteig of Omaha, Nebraska. Lickteig won five races in 2014 and broke the course record at the venerable Ice Age Trail 50. Dubbed the “Pixie Ninja” for her diminutive size and relentlessly competitive nature, Lickteig works as a physical therapist at an Omaha hospital.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile 15:45:32 7 2
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 7:37:42 20 3
Ice Age Trail 50 Mile 6:41:39 9 1
Western States 100 Mile 20:07:10 40 6
Psycho Psummer 50K 4:14:51 2 1
The Bear Chase 100K 8:40:45 1 1
Market to Market 50K 3:27:33 2 1
Javelina Jundred 100 Mile 15:40:55 3 1

#5 UltraRunners of the Year

Magdalena Boulet photo courtesy ultrasportslive.tv

Magdalena Boulet photo courtesy ultrasportslive.tv

Magdalena Boulet

The number five woman for 2014 is Magdalena Boulet. A 2008 Olympic marathoner, Boulet made her ultra debut in December 2013 and ramped it up this year with wins at four races in five starts, including the hyper-competitive North Face Challenge Championship. Boulet, who has a masters degree in exercise physiology, works as an executive at GU Energy Labs, where she is responsible for research and development. She lives in Oakland, California with her husband and eight-year-old son.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Way Too Cool 50K 3:53:09 10 1
Cayuga Trail 50 Mile 8:22:00 16 1
Overlook 50K 3:55:19 1 1
Flagline Trail Fest 50K 4:10:49 9 2
The North Face SF 50 Mile 7:08:09 26 1

Joe Fejes photo by Catherine Harding

Joe Fejes photo by Catherine Harding

Joe Fejes

Joe Fejes checks in at number five for the men. The Hochston, Georgia attorney ran two outstanding six-day races in 2014, setting an American Record with 580.3 miles at Six Days in the Dome in August. Fejes won six races during the year, five of which were 24 hours or longer.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Across the Years Six Day 555.361 1
Destin Beach 24 Hours 110 1
Beyond Limits 24 Hours 120 1
Graveyard 100 Mile 16:08:38 3
Three Days at the Fair 48 Hours 230 1
Strollng Jim 40 Mile 5:46:35 8
Merrill’s Mile 12 Hours 69.314 1
Six Days in the Dome Six Days 580.3 1
Weymouth Woods 50K 5:29:25 7

#6 UltraRunners of the Year

Brian Rusiecki photo by Bobby Gill

Brian Rusiecki photo by Bobby Gill

Brian Rusiecki

Brian Rusiecki finished sixth in the voting. The South Deerfield, Massachusetts based electrical engineer set a new course record in winning the Vermont 100 and won the Bull Run Run 50 for the third straight year. He also showed off his mountain skills by placing in the top 20 at UTMB and capped a very busy year by placing second at Mountain Masochist.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Leatherwood 50 Mile 8:01:09 1
Bull Run Run 50 Mile 6:36:56 1
The North Face Bear Mtn 50 Mile 7:35:28 5
Massanutten 100 Mile 19:06:09 2
Cayuga Trail 50 Mile 8:00:00 11
Manitou Revenge 54 Mile 11:19:18 3
Vermont 100 Mile 14:47:35 1
UTMB 103 Mile 23:52:46 19
Pisgah Mountain 50K 3:57:38 1
Grindstone 100 Mile 19:08:01 2
Mountain Masochist 50 Mile 7:20:59 2

Pam Smith photo courtesy irunfar

Pam Smith photo courtesy irunfar

Pam Smith

Pam Smith is the number six woman in this year’s balloting. A physician from Salem, Oregon, Smith backed up her fourth place finish at Western States with a course record win at the Angeles Crest 100 Mile a mere four weeks later. She then switched to the roads, placing tenth in the World 100K Championships in Qatar, scoring for the bronze medal winning US team.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Mad City 100K 7:47:51 7 1
Western States 100 Mile 19:10:42 28 4
Angeles Crest 100 Mile 21:04:18 6 1
Autumn Leaves 50K 4:05:04 3 1
IAU World 100K Championships 7:59:11 61 10

#7 UltraRunners of the Year

Larisa Dannis photo by Glenn Tachiyama

Larisa Dannis photo by Glenn Tachiyama

Larisa Dannis

Larisa Dannis had a breakthrough year to place seventh in the voting. She nailed a spot at Western States with a strong run at the Ice Age Trail 50 in May, and then beat all predictions by placing second at Western States. A web marketing specialist, she moved from New Hampshire to the San Francisco area over the summer and capped off her year with a course record win at the Door County 50 Mile, where she became the fourth woman in history to break 6 hours.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile 17:10:30 19 4
Land Between the Lakes 50 Mile 7:28:14 4 1
Ice Age Trail 50 Mile 7:15:39 16 3
Western States 100 Mile 18:29:18 22 2
Overlook 50K 3:59:10 2 2
Berkeley Trail Adventure 50K 4:27:00 2 1
Door County 50 Mile 5:59:11 5 1

Jeff Browning photo by Will Thomas

Jeff Browning photo by Will Thomas

Jeff Browning

Mountain specialist Jeff Browning places seventh among the men. As one might expect from a guy nicknamed “Bronco Billy” Browning seeks out the most difficult courses and excels at them, winning both the Zion 100 and Grindstone 100. The Bend, Oregon resident has been known to dabble in website design when not charging up a rocky trail somewhere.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Zion 100 Mile 16:49:53 1
Smith Rock Ascent 50K 4:07:54 1
Lord Hill 50K 4:53:16 3
Hardrock 100 Mile 26:58:53 4
Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile 19:06:43 2
Grindstone 100 Mile 18:34:40 1

#8 UltraRunners of the Year

Zach Bitter photo by Israel Archuletta

Zach Bitter photo by Israel Archuletta

Zach Bitter

Zach Bitter comes in at number eight. The Wisconsin middle-school teacher posted the fastest 100-mile time of the year and was also consistently fast at the 100K distance, winning the Mad City 100K and placing sixth in the world championships. Heretofore a road racing specialist, Bitter also placed a solid sixth at the Ice Age Trail 50.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Mad City 100K 6:44:04 1
Ice Age Trail 50 Mile 6:19:52 6
Psycho Psummer 50K 3:52:25 1
Six Days in the Dome (100 Mile split) 12:08:24
IAU World 100K Championships 6:48:53 6

 


 

Traci Falbo photo by Israel Archuletta

Traci Falbo photo by Israel Archuletta

Traci Falbo

Traci Falbo had a stellar year to place eighth. She ran the fastest trail 100-mile time in history at the inaugural running of the Tunnel Hill 100, finishing first overall in a field of 84. Her American record 48-hour run at Six Days in the Dome was one of the top performances of the year. The Indiana native ran with such intensity in that race, collapsing at the finish, that many were using the term “to Falbo” as a verb meaning “literally giving it your all”.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Destin Beach 50 Mile 7:42:37 5 1
Land Between the Lakes 50 Mile 8:16:35 8 2
Umstead 100 Mile 16:16:50 4 2
Keys 100 Mile 15:35:02 3 2
Kettle Moraine 100 Mile 19:16:06 7 1
Six Days in the Dome 48-hour 242.35 1 1
Tunnel Hill 100 Mile 14:45:26 1 1
Desert Solstice 24 Hour 147.676 4 2

#9 UltraRunners of the Year

Emily Harrison photo by John Medinger

Emily Harrison photo by John Medinger

Emily Harrison

Emily Harrison is our number nine ranked woman for 2014. The Virginia native, now living in Flagstaff, Arizona, had a stellar year capped by a win at the IAU World Championship 50K in Qatar. She also set course records at the Caumsett 50K (posting the second fastest 50K in U.S. history) and the Lake Sonoma 50. After contending early in the race she was forced to DNF at Western States with a leg injury, the only race she entered and did not win all year.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Caumsett 50K 3:15:01 6 1
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 7:26:15 15 1
Western States 100 Mile DNF
IAU World Championship 50K 3:32:30 1

 


Seth Swason photo by Michael Lebowitz

Seth Swason photo by Michael Lebowitz

Seth Swanson

Seth Swanson comes in at number nine after a short, but highly successful, season. He placed second at Western States where he said he “far exceeded my expectations” and followed that up with a course record win at the Cascade Crest Classic in the mountains east of Seattle. A horticulture professor at Montana State University, Swanson recalls his early running days when his wife Norel would routinely beat him. Now, hardly anyone does.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Capitol Peak 50 Mile 6:31:49 1
Western States 100 Mile 15:19:39 2
Cascade Crest 100 Mile 17:56:50 1

#10 UltraRunners of the Year

Alex Varner photo by Matt Trappe

Alex Varner photo by Matt Laye

Alex Varner

Alex Varner of Mill Valley, California checks in at our number 10 runner. Varner ran four races – all of them large, highly competitive events – and placed highly in all. Varner, who has an MBA from the University of North Carolina, works as the Director of Research for an investment firm in San Francisco.

2014 Race Results

Race Time Place
Way Too Cool 50K 3:17:04 2
Lake Sonoma 50 Mile 6:24:04 4
Western States 100 Mile 15:53:42 7
The North Face 50 Mile 6:14:06 3

 


Nikki Kimball photo by Dee Metrick

Nikki Kimball photo by Dee Metrick

Nikki Kimball

Nikki Kimball of Bozeman, Montana is our tenth ranked female. Kimball, a physical therapist, won the Marathon des Sables, a 7-day 155-mile stage race in Morocco and also won the Run Rabbit Run 100 Miler in Colorado. Kimball is a three-time Ultra Runner of the Year (2003, 2004 and 2007); this is the 12th consecutive year she has been ranked in the top 10.

2014 Race Results

Race Time  Overall Place Female Place
Marathon des Sables 29:04:49 31 1
Silver State 50 Mile 8:53:29 6 1
Western States 100 Mile 19:51:31 39 5
Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile 21:14:36 10 1

 

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