The USA Track & Field Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council has named the 2018 USATF Mountain Runners of the year, Trail Runners of the Year, Ultra Runners of the Year, and Contributor of the Year. Over sixty nominees were considered in the selection process and represent a talented and accomplished pool of athletes. The honorees range in age from 27 to 55 and represent seven states – Colorado, Arizona, Vermont, Texas, Oregon, Alaska, Virginia, Oklahoma, and California.
“One of the highlights of the USATF MUT program is recognizing outstanding performances that culminate in the runner of the year and contributor of the year awards,” said Nancy Hobbs, chairperson of USATF’s MUT council. “The nomination and selection process allows us to reflect on the incredible efforts these athletes have posted throughout the year and the many wonderful memories they have provided to supporters and fans of our sport.”
The following individuals will be recognized at the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, when the MUT council convenes on November 30, and December 1.
Mountain Runners of the Year:
Women’s Open: Addie Bracy, 32, Longmont, CO (7th place & top American at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships)
Lyndon Ellefson Memorial Mountain Runner of the Year: Joe Gray, 34, Colorado Springs, CO (USATF Mountain Running Champion, 4th place & top American at the World Mountain Running Championships)
Women’s Master: Suzy West, 55, Brattleboro, VT (7th place, World Masters Mountain Running Championships ages 55-59)
Men’s Master: Chris Grauch, 46, Boulder, CO (USATF Masters Mountain Running Champion, Top American at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships ages 45-49)
Sub-Ultra Trail Runners of the Year:
Men’s Open: Joe Gray, 34, Colorado Springs, CO (USATF Half Marathon Trail Champion and USATF 30 km Trail Champion)
Women’s Open: Ashley Brasovan, 27, Westminster, CO (USATF 30 km Trail Champion and new course record)
Men’s Master: Chris Grauch, 46, Boulder, CO (USATF Masters 30 km Trail Champion)
Women’s Master: Brandy Erholtz, 41, Dillon, CO (USATF Masters Half Marathon Trail Champion)
Ultra Trail Runners of the Year:
Women’s Open: Courtney Dauwalter, 33, Golden, CO (1st place Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, 1st place Tahoe 200 Mile and 1st place Sean O’Brien 50 Mile)
Men’s Open: Mario Mendoza, 31, Bend, OR (6th place & top American at the Trail World Championships and USATF 100 km Trail Champion)
Women’s Master: Colleen Jay, 42, Helotes, TX (USATF Masters 100 km Trail Champion)
Men’s Master: David Johnston, 48, Willow, AK (1st place Iditarod Trail 350 Mile and 1st place Sustina 100 Mile)
Ultra Road Runners of the Year:
Ted Corbitt Memorial Ultra Runner of the Year (Open & Master): Olivier Leblond, 46, Arlington, VA (USATF 24 Hour Champion and 48 Hour American Record Holder – 262.18 miles)
Ruth Anderson Memorial Ultra Runner of the Year: Camille Herron, 36, Oklahoma City, OK (1st place and world best at the Tunnel Hill 100 Mile and American Record for 50 miles on the track – 5:59)
Women’s Master: Caroline Boller, 43, Solvang, CA (11th place and top American at the IAU 100 km World Championships)
Contributor of the Year:
Jamil Coury has been selected as the USA Track & Field Mountain, Ultra and Trail (MUT) Contributor of the Year. His whimsical and informative video show, Mountain Outhouse, has garnered a healthy following of runners and non runners alike and his patronage of the sport of MUT running is widespread. He providesweekly updates on the mountain, ultra, and trail running scene covering big and small races, highlighting men and women, and adding a special blend of humor to the show. Based in Arizona, Coury is the owner of Aravaipa Running where, for many years, he has organized a series of iconic running events such as Javelina Jundred, Desert Solstice, and Across the Years. Coury is also a versatile top-notch runner himself having run the 2015 Barkley Marathons where he finished 4 loops in 56 hours and last man standing, the 2013 Hardrock 100 where he came back from 109th place at mile 42 to finish in 14th place after 6 hours of down time, and the 2014 Barkley Fun Run finish in just under 40 hours.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track & field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. The Mountain Ultra Trail (MUT) Council falls under the long distance running division with USATF. The American Trail Running Association (ATRA) is a member organization of USATF and ATRA Executive Director Nancy Hobbs is the USATF MUT Council chairperson and ATRA Director of Marketing Richard Bolt is a member of the council and MUT executive committee.