2016 UltraRunners of the Year


Jim Walmsley

Jim Walmsley, of Flagstaff, Arizona, ran eight ultras during the year, winning seven of them. His only non-win was at Western States, where he missed a turn at mile 93 while leading the race by an hour. In a totally dominant year, he set course records at the JFK 50, Lake Sonoma 50, and Bandera 100K. He also set a new fastest known time on the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim-to-rim route.

Read full interview with Jim


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
Bandera 7:46:37 1
Moab Red Hot 3:49:20 1
Mesquite Canyon 4:11:09 1
Lake Sonoma 6:00:52 1
Western States 18:45:36 20
Franklin Mountain 4:34:07 1
Flagstaff to Grand Canyon 3:30:44 1
JFK 5:21:28 1

Kaci Lickteig

Kaci Lickteig, a physical therapist from Omaha, Nebraska, also raced eight times during the year, winning seven times. Nicknamed the “Pixie Ninja” for her diminutive stature and her strong performances, her biggest win was at the Western States 100. She also won the Bear 100, with her lone defeat placing second at the Lake Sonoma 50. In three of her seven wins, she not only was first woman, but beat all the men as well.

Read full interview with Kaci

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Lake Sonoma 7:22:13 16 2
Silver State 7:41:54 4 1
Western States 17:57:59 14 1
The Bear 20:27:57 5 1
GOATz 3:45:46 2 1
Bohemian Alps 4:24:54 1 1
Psycho Psummer 4:23:25 1 1

Magdalena Boulet

Magdalena Boulet of Oakland, California, last year’s ultra runner of the year, placed second in the 2016 voting. Boulet, who is the Vice President of Innovation and Product Development for GU Energy, won the Canyons 100K and was the top U.S. finisher at The North Face Endurance Challenge 50 Mile. She also was fifth woman and top American at UTMB in France.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
The Canyons 10:58:03 4 1
UTMB (France) 28:18:05 50 5
Overlook 4:09:52 5 1
Speedgoat 7:30:10 36 3
TNF-San Francisco 7:06:12 21 2
Western States dnf

Jeff Browning

Jeff Browning of Bend, Oregon is the second ranked ultra runner for 2016. Browning, an endurance coach, graphic designer and father of three, won the HURT 100 in January and then posted a most impressive double, placing third at Western States and fourth at Hardrock only three weeks apart.

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
HURT 21:22:49 1
Free State 8:30:08 1
Western States 16:30:40 3
Hardrock 25:42:03 4
Run Rabbit Run 19:38:48 4
Frozen Trail Runfest 4:25:48 1

Zach Miller

Zach Miller of Manitou Springs, Colorado is the third ranked ultra runner for 2016. Miller won the Madera Island 115km race in the spring and then led UTMB, Europe’s most significant ultra, for more than 70 miles, ultimately fading to sixth. In December he beat a stellar field to win The North Face Challenge Championship 50 Miler in Marin County, posting what many consider the best run ever at the event, which has seen too many course modifications over the years for accurate comparisons to be valid.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
Madera Island (Portugal) 13:52:17 1
UTMB (France) 22:54:26 6
TNF-San Francisco 5:56:03 1

Courtney Dauwalter

In her fourth year of running ultras, Courtney Dauwalter blossomed in 2016 into a world-class ultra athlete. The Golden, Colorado-based school teacher won four local events and then ran an impressive 21:23:37 to win the prestigious Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile in September. She followed that up with a 147.49 total at the Desert Solstice 24-hour in December, good for fifth on the all-time U.S. list.

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Run Rabbit Run 21:23:37 8 1
Javelina 8:48:25 1 1
Hideaway 5:02:30 2 1
Continental Divide 5:03:29 3 1
San Juan Solstice 10:52:02 24 2
FANS 135.7 1 1
Collegiate Peaks 8:48:07 11 1
Greenland Trail 5:41:21 5 1
Vegas Moonlight 62.64 3 2

Caroline Boller

Caroline Boller is ranked number four among the women for 2016. Boller finished the year with a bang, placing second at the JKF50 and then running the fastest women’s trail 50-miler ever, clocking a 5:48:01 at the Brazos Bend 50 in Texas. Amazingly, she’s only been running for four years. A native of England, Boller is now a dual citizen and works as general counsel for a winery in Solvang, California.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Western States 22:06:51 58 12
IAU 50K Championships (Qatar) 3:52:04 47 16
JFK 6:32:35 11 2
Mokelumne River 4:08:10 1 1
Caumsett 3:22:50 11 1
Brazos Bend 5:48:01 1 1

Ian Sharman

Ian Sharman of Bend, Oregon checks in at number four among the men. Sharman won the Rocky Raccoon 100 and the Leadville Trail 100, both for the third time. He also extended his top 10 streak at Western States to seven consecutive years, placing sixth.  A native of England, Sharman owns a coaching business and directs the U.S. Skyrunning series.

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
Rocky Raccoon 13:45:03 1
American River 6:17:04 3
Gorge Waterfalls 4:28:05 1
Comrades (South Africa) 6:25:38 68
Western States 16:55:11 6
Leadville Trail 16:22:39 1

Zach Bitter

Zach Bitter is the fifth ranked runner of the year for 2016. He set an American Record for 100 miles at the end of 2015 (included in the voting period for 2016) at the Desert Solstice Invitational, clocking 11:40:55. He also set a new course record at the Javelina Jundred in October. Originally from Wisconsin, Bitter works as a tech rep for a shoe company and lives in Carmichael, California. Photo: Howie Stern


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
2015 Desert Solstice 11:40:55 1
Lake Sonoma 7:09:08 10
Mendocino Coast 3:55:36 1
Comrades 6:05:52 32
Overlook 3:41:55 2
Javelina 13:30:28 1
IAU World 100K (Spain) 6:52:50 20

Devon Yanko

Devon Yanko is ranked number 5 among the women for 2016. Yanko, a bakery owner from San Anselmo, California won the Sean O’Brien 100K to earn a golden ticket to Western States, and then placed third there. She also won the American River 50. Photo: Joe McCladdie

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Sean O’Brien 10:27:02 3 1
American River 7:10:31 11 1
Western States 19:10:08 24 3
Berkeley Trail Adventure 4:44:37 2 1

Amy Sproston

Amy Sproston placed sixth among the women for 2016. A win at the Black Canyon 100K and a second place finish at Western States highlighted her year. Sproston, who lives in Bend, Oregon, is a compliance officer for a global humanitarian aid agency. Photo: Courtesy Injinji.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Western States 18:54:44 21 2
UTMB (France) dnf
Tillamook Burn 8:17:56 2 1
Zane Grey 11:22:39 12 4
Black Canyons 10:09:34 11 1

Brian Rusiecki

Brian Rusiecki of South Deerfield, Massachusetts is the sixth ranked male for 2016. This marks the fifth consecutive year of top 10 placement for the uber-consistent Rusiecki, and the third time he’s been ranked sixth. Rusiecki finished ten ultras during a busy year, and won four of them including both the Massanutten 100 and the Vermont 100. Photo: TimToogood

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
Georgia Death Race 14:53:51 11
Bull Run Run 6:40:31 1
TNF – Bear Mtn 7:11:51 2
Massanutten 19:15:14 1
Vermont 15:47:11 1
UTMB (France) 35:40:17 235
Vermont 6:35:36 1
Mountain Masochist 7:08:59 2
Pisgah Mountain 4:16:10 2
Manitou Revenge 11:19:02 2

Tim Tollefson

Tim Tollefson is the seventh place male in the voting for runner of the year. Tollefson had a breakout run at UTMB, covering the 105-mile route through the Alps in 22:30:28 and finishing third. He also won the Canyons 50K and the Silver State 50K. When not running, he is a physiotherapist and lives in Mammoth Lakes, California with his wife Lindsay, who is also an elite ultra runner.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
The Canyons 4:40:21 1
Broken Arrow 5:04:36 2
UTMB 22:30:38 3
Silver State 3:58:51 1
Transgrancanaria 19:37:14 92

Katalin Nagy

Katalin Nagy checks in at number seven on the women’s side. She clocked a swift 14:41:59 for 100 miles at the Desert Solstice Invitational, and won the prestigious Spartathlon 153-mile in Greece for the second straight year. Originally from Gyöngyös, Hungary, Nagy is now an American citizen and lives in Sarasota, Florida.

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
2015 Desert Solstice 129 3 1
2015 Desert Solstice 14:41:59 3 1
Spartathlon 25:23:52 4 1
Everglades 6:52:35 1 1
Soochow 125 2

Pam Smith

Pam Smith is the number eight-ranked female for 2016. Smith, a pathologist and mother of two from Salem, Oregon, was the top U.S. finisher in the IAU World 100K Championships in Spain, and was second woman at the 153-mile Spartathlon in Greece. Stateside, she clocked 143.66 miles in the Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 24-hour race, where she came through 100 miles in a split of 14:09:48. Photo: Glenn Tachiyama


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 143.66 1
Dawn to Dusk to Dawn 14:09:48 1
Spartathlon (Greece) 27:13:31 13 2
Hagg Mud 4:38:30 8 1
IAU World 100K (Spain) 7:56:48 79 12

Andrew Miller

Andrew Miller ran only two races in 2016, but made the most of them. He won the Georgia Death Race 68 Mile in the spring, which earned him a golden ticket into Western States. He then won Western States in June, at age 20 the youngest winner in the race’s venerable history. The Corvallis, Oregon native is a full-time college student at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff. Photo: Paul Nelson

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
Georgia Death Race 11:42:51 1
Western States 15:39:36 1

Pete Kostelnick

Pete Kostelnick checks in as the number 9 runner of the year. Kostelnick, a financial analyst from Lincoln, Nebraska, won the Badwater 135 Mile in July after a sub-20 hour finish at Western States three weeks earlier. He set a new record for running across the country, running from San Francisco to New York City in 42 days, six hours and 30 minutes. Though not officially a part of the voting (only actual races are included in the voting data), the superb effort was no doubt influential in many voters thinking.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
2015 Desert Solstice 163.68 1
2015 Desert Solstice 14:08:12 2
Badwater 21:56:32 1
Western States 19:55:44 29

Darcy Piceu

Darcy Piceu is ranked ninth in the women’s voting. Interestingly, she was also ninth last year. A school therapist by profession, Piceu won the Bigfoot 120 Mile and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile in Utah just a month apart. She also won the Jemez Mountain 50 Mile. Piceu lives in Boulder, Colorado with her 8-year-old daughter Sophia.

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Gorge Waterfalls 11:15:09 22 5
Jemez Mountain 10:32:05 9 1
Wasatch Front 23:15:25 12 1
Bigfoot 30:57:09 1 1
Tushar Trail 13:03:49 2 1

Gina Slaby

Gina Slaby is the tenth ranked female in our annual Ultra Runner of the Year balloting. The 35-year-old Navy lieutenant commander set a stunning world record at the Desert Solstice Invitational in December, running 13:45:49 for 100 miles. She also won the Vermont 100 and the Lumberjack 100 earlier in the year.


2016 Race Results

Race Time Place Gender Place
Vermont 18:05:42 7 1
Cougar Mountain 5:04:44 1 1
Lumberjack 17:34:25 1 1
Desert Solstice 13:45:49 1 1

Alex Nichols

Alex Nichols of Colorado Springs is the number 10 ranked male. Nichols won the highly competitive Run Rabbit Run 100 mile in his debut 100 miler. He was also second at the Speedgoat 50K and fifth at The North Face 50 Mile. Originally from Minneapolis, Nichols is a cross country coach at Colorado College.

2016 Race Results

Race Time Place
Broken Arrow 5:18:06 4
Speedgoat 5:27:42 2
Run Rabbit Run 17:57:33 1
TNF-San Francisco 6:33:43 5

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