UROY et al.

20 December 2013

Ultrarunning is getting ready to release its end of the year accolades, so I thought I’d preempt them by stating who should win.

Male UROY:

Rob Krar. Dude came onto the scene like a wrecking ball. (Sorry, had to.) He has so many iconic runs and wins that it’s hard to believe that he’s done them all in the space of mere months – Moab, Leona, the double crossing, UROC, TNF50. He nearly picked off the defending champ at a sweltering Western States in his hundred-mile debut. Aside from the misstep at JFK, he had an absolutely dominant year. Personally, I don’t see Krar as part of this new school of road/track runners entering the ultra scene – although he ran collegiately, he has been competing in sub-ultra trails for a little while. Still, he was a total blast of fresh air this year. Plus, that beard! That last name that lends itself so well to portmaneaus! I think I need to take a minute…

Rob Krar - interview

#fearthebeard

Sage Canaday obviously had a super strong year and would have won in any other year. Notwithstanding his blow-up at UROC, he too was dominant, but achieved more in the early part of the year and seemed, fairly or not, to fizzle a bit as the year went on.  I’d also rank Ian Sharman pretty highly for setting the new Grand Slam record. I think that incredible achievement has actually been underappreciated in light of the other fireworks this year.

Female UROY:

Michele Yates. Like Krar, totally dominant, winning by my count six of the seven ultras she ran at every standard distance in a wide variety of terrain. That’s incredible breadth. Pam Smith, between Western States and the new hundred mile track record, had a great year as well, but MY simply did more. Rory Bosio’s performance at UTMB, while breaktaking, cannot alone propel her to female UROY in light of her otherwise solid, if sparse, season.

Male UPOY:

This was closer, but I think it’s Krar’s new R2R2R record. He just demolished what was already a pretty tough mark. Could he be the one to take it under six hours? It would require a near superhuman effort, but the Krarnivore is as close to superhuman as we’ve seen.  His win at UROC when he just dropped the hammer on some incredibly stiff competition was impressive, as was Zach Bitter’s new pair of records. (Breaking a Yiannis Kouros record is especially noteworthy.) And as mentioned above, Sharman’s new Slam record was amazing, although the series wouldn’t qualify for UPOY under the Ultrarunning Magazine standards.

Female UPOY:

If you say anything other than Rory Bosio’s run at UTMB, you’re crazy. She not only smashed the record, but placed seventh overall. Again, I don’t think it alone is enough to make her UROY, but it was probably a career-defining effort and one that will be talked about for decades. I might even call it POY regardless of gender.

Finally, I don’t know whether Ultrarunning is considering it, but I’d fully support segregating the awards into a trail category and a track/road category. They’re really apples and orange.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: