The wizards who decide North American ultrarunning awards came out with their results, and frankly I'm disappointed in the lack of categories. The Academy Awards honor the best makeup artist, there is a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, and all we can manage are two measly UROYS? In honor of the time piece best suited for measuring long lengths of time, I present the First Annual Golden Sundial Awards.
Disappointing Gel Flavor of the Year - CLIF Chocolate Cherry, 2x Caffeine
CLIF How do you screw this one up!? Chocolate? Good. Cherry? Great. Double caffeine? Even Better. Unfortunately, here are a list of gel flavors I’d rather carry with me; Baked Beans, Marinara, Sweet & Low (just the packet, no syrup necessary), Minced _______________ (insert endangered animal here). CLIF, if you’re reading this, I volunteer to be a gel taste tester so this mistake never happens again, provided I never have to eat another of the Chocolate Cherry disappointment.
Sub-Par Performance of the Year – Geoff Roes, Run Through Time - Salida Marathon
Geoff, this award is a compliment and honor, please remember that sub-par is the goal in golf. Perhaps we should laud this performance as race of the year, but that’d be too easy. Even the mysterious Cloud couldn’t find a way to hate the way you raced on this day. Geoff managed a top-ten finish with a PBR at the last aid station, 3 hours of nonstop chit-chatting and a race report that includes the words “cutest little town in the world.” Bravo, we hope our Golden Sundial finds an imaginary place next to your real trophies.
Scapegoat of the Year - Weather
Mother nature made her presence known this season, and in doing so became my favorite excuse since my brother began suffering from mysterious migraines during his senior year of high school. Weather at Pocatello, Steamboat and the night before Leadville certainly affected my races; Western States had its now signature snowpack, Hardrockers were shocked by storms in the San Juans in July, and UTMB decided that it’s mandatory 15 lbs (or is it Kilos?) of gear were insufficient for a little Cham-oh-nicks shower. Ms. Nature has redeemed herself by keeping most of the nation's mountains clear of snow for a extended season of fall running. We’re even.
Thanks for Nothing Award – Fred Abramowitz
Fred is the race director of Run Rabbit Run, and though I was supposed to be a volunteer, he was so gracious as to allow me a late entry the evening before the race. As is often the case, karma came back and kicked my ass for this sin against ultrarunning. The horrible weather was surely a result of my volunteer to runner flip-flopping transgression. Most recently, Fred had the cajones to create a real prize purse for the inenviable task of racing 100 miles, thus insulting a running population that insists its elite athletes live out of trucks, unable to afford razors, food or rent. Thanks for nothing, Fred!
Best Beer to Mile Ratio Award – Brownie
This guy has become the stuff of legend – did you hear he drank a PBR at an aid station at Hardrock? Did you know he wears a bucket hat because he can hide a full Schlitz under it? Did you know he eats the can when he’s done, refusing to waste even a drop? Brownie, you are an inspiration here at Irunslow, congrats on your achievement.
“I Pay for My Shoes UltraRunner of the Year” – Pete Stevenson
Pete Stevenson is the best ultrarunner on his block, which is coincidentally the same street I live on. His Hardrock bumper sticker mocks my every run. Pete trains like an animal, and with animals at the local shelter. He got a full nights sleep at Hardrock and still managed a 15th place finish. Pete earned the beard of the year award, first place at the Antelope Island 100k, and probably logged more miles than anyone who managed to stay healthy all year. His local tests of insanity/endurance are notorious for bringing mortals to their knees (there is a reason certain other FoCo runners aren’t going for the Grey Rock six-pack FKT). Someone get this guy a shoe deal!
I am open to suggestions for categories for next years awards, and please let me know of any potential omissions from the current categories.