Monday, January 17, 2011

Ultrarunner Of The Year

Results for Ultrarunning Magazine's Ultrarunner of the Year award were announced today and I was named Male runner of the year for the second year in a row. Finding out about this was a little less exciting for me this year than last year, partly because last year was the first time for me, but mostly because the voting was a lot closer last year. This year I kind of knew that I was going to win it. That said it's still a huge honor and something I am very proud of. It's never easy to defend an award like this and I certainly ran my ass off in 2010 to win this award a second time.

In general I think the voting panel did a pretty good job. Each year there are some surprises in this voting, but I think when you have something as obscure as ultrarunning being measured by a panel of 18 voters you are going to have some weird outcomes.

It still baffles me how little recognition this panel gives to the North Face Championship race in December. Granted I didn't win this race, but I beat more truly world class ultrarunners in that run than any North American ultrarunner has in a long time, if not ever. It certainly wasn't my best race ever, but not good for a single vote in the performance of the year category? Tony's vote tally for his Western States performance, which I think he deserved, shows that the panel is willing to vote for a second place finisher, but my lack of even a single vote for NF race shows just how unwilling the panel is to acknowledge that that race has become, without question, the most competitive ultra in North America.

I think another example that illustrates this is the fact that Dave Mackey got one total vote for runner of the year. Yes, he only ran 2 ultras all year but he won Firetrails and finished 3rd at North Face. Max King (not to take anything away from Max, but just to prove a point) also ran (to my knowledge) 2 ultras this year. He finished 2nd at Way Too Cool and 3rd at American River and finished with 8 total votes and 11 places ahead of Dave in the voting. Perhaps Max picked up some votes due to his dominance at shorter races, but I suspect it has more to do with voters who are unwilling to place as much importance on a new race like NF 50 as they are on some of the old classics like Way Too Cool and American River, even if the new race had a significantly stronger field.

At any rate, this is a pretty minor thing to be my biggest question with the voting. Overall I really do think they do a pretty good job at something which is really not as easy it sounds. The women's side of things was certainly a lot closer and likely will raise a lot more questions, but I think the panel did a good job there too. Personally I think Ellie deserved female runner of the year, but without having run a 100 miler I certainly didn't expect her to win it. She has the talent to dominate the women's side of things for the next several years, I'm excited to see if she's able to stay healthy and turn that potential into a reality.


Sheri said...

Congratulations Geoff! Can't wait to see what you do in 2011. So proud of and miss you very much.

Anton said...


Your comments pretty much completely sum up my thoughts. I couldn't believe that not a single vote was cast for a TNF performance and that Dave was given only one vote in the UROY category behind some specious other picks. And, in my opinion, his TNF run was even better than his Firetrails.

Top-5 POY picks were spot on, though, in my opinion.

Also, congratulations, Geoff!

Larry Linux said...

Congrats Geoff!

Although I am no expert in ultras, I know a good bit about digital photography. If the "P" in "POY" stood for picture, it would definitely go to Luis for the image of you being followed by Tony. The lighting in that shot is spectacular!


Anonymous said...

Geoff & Tony: I've lost a lot of respect for both of you - especially you, Geoff, because I already knew Tony was a self-centered clown. You shouldn't openly question such an award like you have on your blog because it *IS* a great honor that many ultrarunners would love to have and you do seem quite ungrateful. The fact that you've won UROTY again (and, yes, I do believe you deserved it by a mile) and then kind of picked at the voting really says to me that you've lost your way. Dude, you just won Ulrarunner of the Year! Be glad about it and let it be. Also, why no mention of Tracy G. by name? I think your comments about the women's field were offensive. You've dissed Tracy.

Now for you, Tony. Like Geoff, you are *so* full of yourself. Get over yourself. The way you train, you're going to be a broken down old man at age 35. You need some humility and you need to get a clue. It's eay to run 180 miles a week when you have no job or a family to support. You think you're God but last time I checked you got smoked at Western by Mr. Roes and came within inches of your life at Leadville, which - by the way - you ran rather arrogantly, thinking you could beat Matt's record, and you're ducking Leadville in 2011 or so it seems. All of that said, you were amazing at Miwok and are a great runner for sure, but a runner who needs some humility and I would think that smoking by Geoff at Western and the Leadville debacle would have done that. Dude, you need to get over yourself.

Both of you overlooked a runner who deserved a solid 2nd in the voting--Zach Gingerich.

Anonymous said...

Geoff: One more thing. The fact that you even named this blog "Fumbling Toward Endurance" suggests a humble runner. Somewhere between when you started this blog and today, when you acted ungrateful for the the award, clearly shows that you've become arrogant. The guy who named this blog "Fumbling Toward Endurance" would have said he's honored by the award, congrats to Tracy, thanks to the voters and whhat a great sport this is.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like someone's sucking some TNF cock.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Geoff!

Matt said...

Congratulations, Geoff.

And hilarious stuff from some very funny admirers. I'm still chuckling.

Here's to another great year.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the previous poster. Imagine Michael Jordon winning the MVP and then questioning the voting. Would have never happened. Geoff, this post shows that you may run like a superstar but can't act the part worth a damn. As for Tony, yeah, self-centered and ego-centric he is. I probably would be too if I had no job, was a student, lived in Boulder and had the time to run 200 mpw.

Mark said...

Wow! This is likely to become "The Post of the Year"

Congrats Geoff!

Anonymous said...

So long as we have arrogant dudes like Roes and Krupicka the sport of Ultra Running is going to hell in a handcart.

Anonymous said...

Agree. TNF's cock is gettin' a workout. Someone call Dean.

Jeff Valliere said...

Congrats Geoff!!

Agreed that Dave should have gotten a bit more credit for his performances in 2010. Though small in quantity, they were high in quality.

To Anonymous....

You obviously don't know much about Tony or Geoff. Both of these guys are so down to earth and to say such things about them is ridiculous. I also find it interesting that you post such drivel as "anonymous". Weak.

Brett said...

To the Anonymous posters - he who is such a coward to not even put his own name is hardly worth commenting on. Sounds like someone is just a weeeeeee bit jealous.

I don't know those 2 from a hole in the ground hardly, but from what I know in roundabout ways they are pretty much the opposite of what you imply in your spew of oral diarreah.

Mom said...

To Geoff: We are very proud of you and are so pleased that you got UROY again. You so deserve it. You are truly an inspiration to the sport of ultrarunning. You set a great example for others to follow - you have since you were running in high school.

To Jeff: Well-stated. Geoff and Tony are very down to earth guys that really enjoy this sport and are willing to help others any way they can.

To Anonymous: ???????

Rick said...

One of the best parts about this sport is that a back of the packer, a mid-packer and an amateur front runner can toe the line with the elite runners. But, then there are a few of the non-elites out there that think because they run in the same race as the elites that they have a voice in how and who the elites should be. The Anonymous poster has a complete loss of reality, the reality that professional runners are professional athletes and making some sort of comparison to them not having jobs or family's to support is coming from pure ignorance, the same sort of ignorance that stenches in racism. So for all the ignorant anonymous posters out there - educate yourself and get some professional help with your own short comings. Or, if you'd prefer, get some amateur help.

H.Green said...

Congrats Geoff! An awesome accomplishment!

I normally just read blogs and don't ever comment but damn that anonymous jerk sounds like he ate some sour grapes. I follow all the ultrarunning blogs and you guys give me the motivation to get out there and go for a run even if it is a fraction of what you do! I admire the fact that you guys actually do blog regularly because I feel like I know you without ever seeing you in face and you both seem like humble, appreciative, good sports (unlike Mr. Anonymous).
Anywho, congratulations on this achievement and shit, if I had the guts to just run a 100 mile race, let alone win, everyone and their mom would know about it.

Anonymous said...

Ha, as a runner I'm not even fit to lick Tony or Geoff's feet. BUT, let's face it, champions that these guys are, they are really only the champions of all the white yuppies suffering from affluenza who can afford this sport (yes, myself included.) If and when there is ever any prize money in this sport, the days of American vicories will be over.

GZ said...

Geoff - congrats.

I found myself getting a bit wrangled about some of the UROY results, with many thoughts similar to yours.

But then I let it go. I am pretty sure none of the guys in those lists were thinking at 2/3rds into their race about UROY rankings.

Simply, it ain't why anyone I know does it. So really, how important is it?

Jeff said...

Congratulations, Geoff. You've definitely earned it, and to be undefeated in every 100-miler you've won is amazing (let alone simply having finished every 100)!

Funny how every negative comment is from "anonymous."

Jeff said...

Oh, and to question the voting in the awards voting shows that you have a stake in the structure, recognition and future of the sport. I'd hardly call doing so "ungrateful."

Patrick Thurber said...

"So long as we have arrogant dudes like Roes and Krupicka the sport of Ultra Running is going to hell in a handcart."

hahahha! that has got to be a buddy fucking around!

i dunno, those anonymous posts may need their own end-of-year award for most funny and entertaining blog lurking of 2010.

Wyatt Hornsby said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt said...

I agree with "P."

Those comments are so ridiculous and generically "critical," I think they (the anonymous commentors) are full of shit.


Scott Dunlap said...

Geoff - congrats on a well-deserved award and a stellar year. I look at the pool of ultrarunners (Mackey included) and am in awe of how much bar setting all of you did this year. I don't think the competition for this award could have been any tougher.

And how do you like those anonymous comments? I had to turn on "modify comments" this month thanks to the staggering amount of idiotic comments from folks lacking the integrity to sign their name. It's truly stunning.

A Silicon Valley gazillionaire (and runner) once told me "one in every ten thousand people is a bonafide sociopath. If you're getting lots of traffic, don't be surprised if a few insane comments appear on your blog or Facebook page - the digital age is the best outlet these people have ever had. Just thank God they don't stalk you like the old days."

Congrats again!


Betsy and Scott Fischer said...

Congratulations, Geoff! We are very proud of our *Juneau* runner (we know you are coming back). Neither one of us pretend to know much about ultrarunning beyond what we have learned through following you, but I commend you for thoughtfully questioning how the awards are decided. Seems weird that there isn't something in place to make it more objective, but as you say, it's a pretty obscure sport. You are brave to speak out as you do - looks like you stirred up some interesting reactions. Maybe you will win "blog of the year" next!

Wyatt said...

Congrats, Geoff! You had an amazing year and deserve this recognition as the #1 ultrarunner of the year. May 2011 be even better. Hope to see meet at some point.

Also, I unfortunately had to turn on the moderation feature on my blog and maybe you do to? I don't mind critical comments, but there is a line between critical and flaming anonymous aholes.Something to consider?

Again, congrats!


keirahenninger said...


Yippie! Congrats!!!! So well deserved you are such a rockstar!! Dont give any of the negative comments any energy~ your *incredible* performances speak for themselves!! Go Geoff go, and we all know you have nothing against Tracy. No problem giving a shout out to Ellie~she is a super stud, and you were just givng your opinion. Last I checked your allowed to still have one of those!! haha...

Sometimes the energy we have does not come off correctly when we write. Of course you are thankful, and you don't need to defend yourself here. You stated you were grateful, but also added a few of your own thoughts to the mix. Fair enough. Last I checked it's your blog not anyone else's!

On, on, on Jeff! Keep resting, and come back and kill it again in 2011!!!! ;o))

Unknown said...

Well done Geoff and no surprise after the way you ripped it up out there last year. You have an opinion and that is so healthy, the fact that you have the guts to say what you feel is even better. Good on you, thats one of the reasons I respect you. Its because of your honesty and approach that I put a lot of worth into what you say and through various people who know you personally i am informed that you are a good guy. As for someone who starts ranting off and hasn't got the cojones to even sign his own name, well, need I say more. As Scott Dunlap mentioned he changed his comments to "modify" and I see his point as he got some jackass doing the same shit. Whats happening if people cant express and thought out loud? But for someone to cowardly diss you. Childish. Again well done and a good 2011. As for giving Anton grief about his training?? Its his life ;)

Local Mind Media said...

Congratulations Geoff.

WS holds a lot of weight in the voting, obviously. I wish the voting and voters were more transparent.

I can certainly see how the 10th place guy in the voting slipped in front of guys like Mackey and especially Neal Gorman. I mean, 8th place at Vermont (6th male!) is quite an accomplishment.

Your efforts and success stand on their own; you don't need some washed up old farts to vote on your achievement to validate them.

Have a(nother) great year.

Benj said...

Hilarious that the same guy who is bitter posted numerous times on here against you and Tony. Congrats Geoff!!! ONTO 2011!!!

Derrick said...

Congrats on the well deserved recognition. Very interesting insight (from your behalf) on the process and awarding.

All the best for a great 2011.

Brett said...

On a side note, check out via the link Geoff posted to see the list of individual performances of the year and age-based performances of the year. What a truly amazing year it was in ultrarunning!

tara said...

Just wanted to say Congrats and thanks to elite runners like you and Tony for doing a blog that is updated so often. It is awesome for the rest of us to get a glimpse into what it takes to be as good as you all are. You both seem like very nice gentlemen would ignore the anonymous comments. If they won't put their name on a comment, I think that says it all. Congrats and thanks again.

Sara Montgomery said...

Ditto all of what Tara said.
Congrats on the award! Well deserved, obviously.

Eric B said...

Congrats Geoff, I enjoy your blog and Tony's. I believe the "anonymous" is way off base, and wouldn't worry about somebody who hides behind a screen name of "anonymous". I don't think he reading the same blogs, if he reads them at all. When things come up short in race, neither you or Tony sugar coat it, and are humble in defeat as your are in victory. Congrats again.

AJW said...

I have to agree that even though Dave Mackey "only" ran two ultras they were both incredible performances. The CR at Firetrails was stout,

Congrats on UROY. You deserved it.

John Nguyen said...

Congrats on the award! Anonymous posters should not be allowed to post or should be deleted, in my opinion. They're just "hit and run" cowards. And I'd bet they aren't even ultra runners. I read all your blogs and find your ideas and opinions very interesting. It'll be interesting to see how our sport evolves in the next decade. Have a great new year!

Just a back-of-the-packer aspiring to be a mid-packer,

Anonymous said...

gas a tope,

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Sir!

@Anonymous guys: Oh, come on!


Anonymous said...

Yes Geoff shoulda won the award cause he had the best year without a doubt.

Regarding one poster who said if the sport went global and folks like the world-class Kenyans got involved they'd dominate, that shows some limited understanding of ultrarunning. Just cause you're fast don't mean you can win a 50mile or 100mile race. What seperates guys like Geoff and Tony from the rest of us ain't their heart. It has something to do with their legs, yes, but what really seperates them guys don't show up on paper. And it's yet to be scene whetheir the Africans have it or not. Until then Geoff, Tony and a few others rule the roost.

Anonymous said...

I do think Geoff is the man and no one else deserved this award more tham him.

But Tony is really just a god-darn pretender who thinks he's John Lennon in New Balances. I'm just waiting for Yoko Ono to come chasing his ass down Green Mountain. I mean really, Anton acts all "Crosby Stills and Nash"-like and yet is really a heavily sponsored athlete out for the cash? Shave off that jesus-esque beard and all you have is some pretender who runs a gazillion miles a week and still got beaten at WS buy a dude (Roes) who does half his mileage.

Roes=real Talent
Krupiska=pretender and wannabe John Lennon Jesus guy without an f'ing clue.

Dave Mackey said...

Geoff, congrats on your UROY award! Awesome piece of work. Thanks also for supporting freedom of speech on your blog; it makes for a good laugh at the trolls' expense.

Mark said...

Anonymous for "Ultra Troll of the Year!"

"I'm just waiting for Yoko Ono to come chasing his ass down Green Mountain." - I mean, is that good stuff or what?

I'm feeling a little "man crush" germinating??? Hmmmm....

Anonymous said...

There is a fine line between freedom of speech and lack of respect for others...In Europe you will get your rear kicked for personal coments like the ones I have to unfortunately read. Who cares how long his hair is or with how many miles per week he is satisfied. Let the guy do his own thing and for those critics...enjoy life, worry about you.

Patrick Thurber said...

if these anonymous posters don't quit, this blog may replace as my go-to source for laughs.

can i try one?

"We're on the front lines of World War Ultra and Geoff Roes and Anton Krupicka are the Hitler and Mussolini of the Axis! Not to mention if this were Ho Chi Minh, they'd be chucking bearded grenades into the barracks of true ultra running soldiers all while blasting hippie devil music from their tie-dyed VW bus! Bastards! Quit running so fast for so long! What are you even running from anyway, huh?! YEAH!"

i dunno, any good? too much?

Fairbanks said...

Congratulations Geoff! Having run some miles in Alaska I got a kick out of a video of you at the end of WS, 3min before getting to the track and some guy says, " come on Alaska, kick some ass Alaska". Knowing AK and how it shapes everyone who's lucky enough to live there. I can only imagine it's been part of your evolution as a runner and as for 2011: kick some ass Alaska!

bmundy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bmundy said...

Well, you elite guys give us wannabes something to shoot for. You're essentially rock stars. Running/trail running is such an awesome experience! I plan to be 85 and still running the cross country USATF PAC races.

With regards to Roes, you gotta love a dude from Alaska who cooks and trains. I did have some of the same visceral thoughts with regards to humility in accepting an award, but you have a view of the sport/voting process. I believe you were speaking up for your under-appreciated friends? We all (hopefully) become better people from such misunderstandings. Perhaps, Geoff, we'll get to know you better in a future interview. Tell us how/how much you train!

Ben - Auburn, CA. See you at one of the WS aid stations! Go River City Rebels!

Morgan Williams said...

Anonymous January 18 12.14 pm

I guess your comments are angled at my post on Geoff's Prize Money thread back on 31 December. I don't recall anyone else mentioning the East Africans.

I didn't suggest they would dominate ultra running.

What I said was that there were now options available to them (the World Mountain Running Champs and a Commonwealth Championship of Ultra races being two) that a number of them were taking and in which they were dominating.

Those events may well allow them to bridge the gap between the disciplines in due course.

If you want an example of how a good mountain runner can step up, you only have to look at Anna Frost's performance at TNF 50 in November.

If she can take that step, maybe others from that background will follow suit.

Geoff, many congratulations on the Award. There is much healthy respect for your achievements on this side of the Atlantic, and Tony's also.

Be good to bump into you in Chamonix in August; assuming I get a spot in the CCC. Should know later today I think.


Morgan Williams

Anonymous said...

Awesome runner, awesome man...
You really deserved it. Congratulations and good luck for the whole year Geoff.



Mr Trail Safety said...

Geoff: You earned it, hands down!


Corle said...

Those who do know Tony, know that he is warm, real and kind.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations to a humble guy!!Your Western States win alone should have sealed the deal for you.You earned the award and whatever comes with it.Unfortunately,you have assholes that will not leave their true name on your blog.


Anonymous said...

Geoff and Tony, congratulations to the both of you. I am a big fan of Zach, but you guys certainly earned those top two spots this year. It was a blast following you guys at WS-it's been fun & exciting to see you guys push the competition level of ultras up a notch. Keep it up-best of luck in 2011.
James R.

Anonymous said...

Geoff and Tony, congratulations to the both of you. I am a big fan of Zach, but you guys certainly earned those top two spots this year. It was a blast following you guys at WS-it's been fun & exciting to see you guys push the competition level of ultras up a notch. Keep it up-best of luck in 2011.
James R.

Brandon Thrower said...

To say that Tony is a wannabe is completely ridiculous. He has won 3 100s and many other shorter ultra events in his career (quite often breaking the course record). Maybe the real wannabe is this anonymous guy.

Congrats Geoff on a fantastic year! Looks like 2011 is shaping up to be one competitive year! It's going to be a good one!

Brandon Fuller said...


All that anonymous flaming and you didn't even get a cool nickname out of it. That is the ripoff. These anonymous guys are not fulfilling their roles.

Matt said...


Well done, really deserved!
You continue to amaze and inspire me (us) in the truly best of fashions, through extraordinary sportsmanship, humility and sincerity.

Totally agree that a smart guy can count his odds and sort of 'expect' to win, it's just pure maths.
It never means you appreciate the award any less, though.

@Anonymous - I wonder whether you actually ever met the guys...
Let me give you an example reg the 'wannabe john lennon' Anton Krupicka.

Since he has slovakian (guess) surname and I am slovakian, I wrote him a good hearted email some time ago, asking if he is of sk ancestry, etc..
And never got a reply.
First I got pissed off, thinking all kinds of unpleasant things, but after a while I chilled and let it be.
Maybe he was busy, or didn't want to answer, who knows.
But until I meet someone (anyone) in person, I would never pass any judgement based on digital data.
And now go grow some balls and start posting under indentity!


Billy said...

Geoff - congrats. You deserve it.

Anonymous - grow a pair and post like a man (I'm assuming here).

Bruther said...

Whoever the anonymous commenters are, talk about arrogance! If you had a sponsor paying you all you needed to live comfortably along with all the training advice, gear and nutrition one could wish for, you could never be as good as either Anton or Geoff - we know you know that due to your fear and posting anonymous comments.

Anonymous said...

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." TR