Thursday, January 02, 2014

Rob Krar, Michele Yates Named 2013 Ultrarunners of the Year

The panel of experts at Ultrarunning Magazine had their work cut out for them in choosing the 2013 Ultrarunners of the Year. Epic performances, world records, incredible seasons - both the men's and women's field was completely stacked all year long.

In the end, it was Flagstaff, AZ's Rob Krar and Littleton, CO's Michele Yates who garnered the top prize much in thanks to their consistent placing in the world's most competitive ultras.

(Rob Krar, photo courtesy of Galen Burrell)
Rob Krar only ran his first ultra in November, 2012, but this former Butler U. track star quickly made a name for himself with both his fabulous beard and his wins at UROC, The North Face SF Championship, CR's at Leona Divide and the Moab Red Hat, a Fastest Known Time Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim at the Grand Canyon, and a close 2nd place at the Western States 100m. For those who have followed him online during a race and seen his closing speed, you know the best of Krar is likely yet to come.

Just to give you an idea of what it took to win UROY this year, here's who came in 2nd-6th in the rankings:

2. Jon Olsen, who won gold at the IAU 24-Hour World Championship and set a new AR for the 100-mile, 11:59:28, being the first American to break 12 hours.

3. Sage Canaday, with five wins this year including Lake Sonoma, Bandera, Speedgoat, Tarawera, and Cayuga Trails.

4. Tim Olson, who won Western States and had eight other top finishes in the worlds biggest ultras. Not bad for a new dad!

5. Ian Sharman, who set a new Grand Slam record in his epic battle with Nick Clark, placing no less than 4th at each event and winning Leadville just for good measure.

6. Zach Bitter, who set a new 12-hour world record (101 miles) and a new 100-mile AR (11:47) in December, as well as clocking a 5:12 at the Chicago Lakefront 50-mile, the fastest 50-miler in over 20 years.

(Michele Yates)
Michele Yates has been big on the ultra scene for years, and her trainer-toned physique is hard to miss. 2013 was an incredible seasons for her. She not only won national titles in the 50k (Bootlegger), 50m (Nueces), and 100k (Bandera), but also won the highly competitive TNF-SF, UROC, Run Rabbit Run, and an overall win at the inaugural Indiana Trail 100-mile.

Here's how 2nd-6th ranked:

2. Pam Smith, who won Western States and the American River 50m, ran the 2nd fastest 100-mile of all-time (14:11), and the fastest 50-miler of the year at Autumn Leaves 50m (6:11). You know it's a tough field is winning States and setting world class marks isn't enough!

3. Rory Bosio, who crushed the course record at UTMB, and placed top five in four other big competitions.

4. Meghan Arboghast, who at age 52 held her own with wins at Way Too Cool, Ice Age, and many top finishes. 

5. Cassie Scallon, who mastered the 50-mile this year with wins at Ice Age, Lake Sonoma, and securing a national title at Tussey Mountainback, as well as many other top 5 finishes.

6. Connie Gardner, who clocked seven wins including five 100-milers, and a 100-mile national title.

A simply outstanding year for all of these runners! Congrats all around...



  1. Interesting. Love that these athletes are honored. Speaking of which, do you know whatever happened to Bethany Hunter of Virginia? She was a young, rising star in the ultra world about 10 years ago, and seems to have disappeared.

    1. Bethany got married, had her second child just a few months ago and is living the good life. She's still running, but making room for other things!

    2. CORRECTION: her 3rd child. The first was twins! Explains why you haven't heard much lately on her running, eh?

  2. Thanks for sharing! I am completely in awe of these runners! Perhaps I'll get to see one of them this year. Now I'll know who to look for. This is only my second year on the trails. I'm still learning who the super stars are.


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