Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Heading to Outdoor Retailer, Ultrarunner of the Year thing

Not much of a post here.. Just letting you know that I will be at the best outdoor gear and social hang out in Salt Lake, Outdoor Retailer, something to rival even the weekly meetings at the Mormon Temple in downtown Salt Lake City. I will be working at the Hoka One One booth for the three days there, but also plan on going on a run with the Montrail guys Thursday evening, luging (pronounced, 'loo-jing') with Meltzer on Friday night, and catching up with lots of friends while getting paid.

The Ultra Runner of the Year results came out. Not too much to add to the winners; Geoff and Tracey are spot on. Congrats you two. For my part, I didn't expect to get many votes as I didn't start racing ultras until Firetrails 50 this past fall. However, there were some guys ahead of me who barely raced ultras, like Max King, who got some votes. I guess if you are sponsored by Montrail and that alone will score you some props, or maybe the mystery panel of UROY voters will vote for runners from their region instead of voting for national-caliber results?

I really don't care too much, but makes me wonder how their whole process works. I also noticed that Brit Ellie Greenwood made the voting, but isn't this a North American kind of tabulation? (or at least US and Canada.. Mexico doesn't seem to have many runners or events these days) Then how come Miguel Heras from Spain didn't get a vote for his NF 50 finals win?

Speaking of which, why the heck don't UROY voters give any props to the North Face 50 Endurance Challenge ? Having run tons of 50's, this was BY FAR the most competitive on US soil ever, as far as I know. The fact that UROY voters ignore this race entirely shows a flawed system. Here are my guesses why it gets no love: 1) Too late in the year to get recognition; 2) The tradionalist UROY voters don't like NF prize money that they think could sully the sport, 3) The North Face is the sponsor, and maybe there are unstated battles between shoe (or apparel) sponsors; 4) A European and a Kiwi won the finals event, and their performances don't count. I truly wonder how many of the UROY voters attended TNF event.. guess I will never know because their ID's are a mystery.

Whatever though... Ultrarunning voting has never loved that race and at this rate never will. (Interestingly, the UR website did post the results, so the problem is the UROY voters and not necessarily the mag.)

Interestingly , I won the Bandera 100K over a week ago, and the gang at Ultrarunning seem to be ignoring the result, as it didn't pop up on their website as a result worthy of posting. They got Josh Cox up there for his awesome run, the Hellgate, and HURT, but not my solid course record at Bandera 100K. I don't toot my horn muc , but I really can't figure this one out. Hmmm.. Opinions? Maybe it's me..

Anyway, maybe I'll see you at OR! Cheers..


  1. Dave, how about we race on the luge course? It's about the only course where I stand a chance.

  2. Looks like Ultrarunning Mag reads your blog and types quickly: .

  3. Hey Dave,

    Ellie raced World 100Ks for Britain, but lives in Canada.

  4. Dave,
    Great post. Like I pointed out on Roes' blog, guys with talent like you possess don't need hidden voters to validate your accomplishments; your races and outstanding results are their own foundations and stand on their own. Those results are ones you control. Others' opinions and agendas you don't, and for that reason, they can't be that important.

    Have a good time in SLC. Say high to Karl for me and don't let him coax you into going face first on the luge.

  5. Agreed - I think *part* of the reason we race is because of the objectivity to it. There are no points for style. There are no judges. Heck - no time outs either. The entire UROY voting thing smacks in the face of all that.

    Screw the UROY. Race. Results. Repeat.

  6. Until the voting becomes more transparent (who is voting, how are they voting, when are they voting), it will continue to just be human nature to 'wonder' about what matters to them.

  7. Dave -

    If you are interested in the make up of the UROY award, I think I've figured out most of the people and processes. It's 18 folks who have been in the sport for decades, primarily Race Directors and a few outstanding runners who obsess about results (ie, AJW). They all individually make an effort to look at a broad spectrum of races, but tend to play historical favorites. For example, if the voters are comprised of UR Magazine staff (all in CA), Greg Soderlund, Julie Fingar, AJ Wilkins, and a few other Western States favorites, it shouldn't be a surprise to see a bias towards certain races (and people who run those races).

    How about for 2011 we set up a "People's Choice" award?

  8. It sounds like a great trip to Salt Lake City and It is great that you are running with great athletes.