2014 American Runners of the Year (Ultra)

photo credit: Ian Corless

photo credit: Ian Corless

Sage Canaday

Wow, this was a tough one. First, here is an overview of Sage in 2014:

  • Carlsbad Marathon (2nd place – 2:22:15)
  • Tarawera Ultra Marathon in New Zealand (1st place):
  • Lake Sonoma 50 miler (3rd place)
  • Transvulcania 45-miler (3rd place)
  • The North Face Endurance Challenge 50km Costa Rica (1st place)
  • Mt. Washington (3rd place)
  • Speedgoat 50km (1st place)
  • Pikes Peak Ascent (1st place)
  • The Rut 50km (2nd place)
  • Les Templiers 46 miler (4th place)
  • The North Face 50-miler (1st place)

    That is ten podiums in one year! Not only that, his one miss – Les Templiers – was by less than two minutes. Sage showed tremendous versatility in 2014, and his final win at The North Face was over an unprecedented elite field. While Sage didn’t test the waters at 100 miles, he regularly took on the best runners in the world.

    Why was this a tough decision? There was a fella named ** Rob Krar ** that won Western States, Leadville and Run Rabbit Run (yes, I realize Rob is Canadian, but he lives in the U.S., works in the U.S. and is married to an American). In the end, I was impressed with Sage’s travel schedule, as well as the number of races he participated in. Not only that, after hundreds of miles of racing throughout the year, he was able to beat the best at The North Face.


    Magdalena Boulet

    This was another tough decision. While there were realistically two men to choose from, picking the top women finalists was not as easy. In the end, I decided Magda was the best overall pick. Here’s how she managed to stay busy in 2014:

  • Way Too Cool 50k (1st place)
  • Cayuga Trails 50 (1st place)
  • Overlook Endurance Runs 50k (1st place)
  • Flagline Trail Fest 50k (2nd place)
  • The North Face 50-miler (1st place)

    Magda didn’t race a ton, and several of her races were *cough* relatively short. However, she showed that she can compete with the best. Keep in mind, she is still relatively new to ultras. I’m looking forward to her 2015 schdedule. I hope she competes in some of the more competitive races, and maybe, we will even see her make the jump to hundred milers.

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    2014 American Runners of the Year (Non-Ultra)

    Meb Keflezighi

    Meb Keflezighi

    After winning Boston, Meb could have called it a year and rode off into the sunset. It was one of the biggest wins by an American in decades.

    However, don’t forget, he also won U.S. Half Marathon Championships in January (1:01.23). Then, later in the year, he was very competitive at the NYC Marathon where he finished fourth, only one minute and a few seconds off the podium.

    Meb is 39, yet he continues to show us that age is just a number. I hope he has a great 2015, and I look forward to him racing U.S. Olympic Trials in February 2016.


    Molly Huddle

    Molly Huddle showed some impressive range in 2014. In March, she ran 1:09:04 at the NYC Half Marathon, which placed her third overall. In June, she ran 31:37 at the New York Mini 10k – this broke Mary Decker Slaney’s American (all women’s) 10k record that had stood for three decades. In early July, she ran a 4:26.84 mile. Apparently, it was just a warmup. One week later, she crushed the American record (her own record) at 5,000m. On the fast Monaco track, she ran 14:42.64.

    Molly Huddle will be back at the NYC Half Marathon in 2015. After that? She is eyeing the 10,000m at World Championships. It will be an interesting year, as Molly decides whether to go for the 5,000m or 10,000m in Rio.

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    2014: In Pictures

    I’m going to do a series of 2014 reviews that will include runner of the year (American), runner of the year (International), performance of the year (American), performance of the year (International), running shoe of the year and running accessory of the year. Today, I’m starting out with some of my favorite images of the year.


    Shalane went right to the front in Boston and held it for as long as she could. Before the race, she had made it clear that winning on her home turf was her personal mission. She didn’t win, but I think anyone who watched her can appreciate the heart she ran with that day.


    Meb was hardly an afterthought in people’s pre-race Boston Marathon predictions. He was up against an exceptional field and his mid-race move was not taken seriously. However, as the miles faded away, it became clear that the chasers were running out of real estate. It was going to be close, and I’m nearly certain that every person watching that race was on their feet and shouting at their screen.


    Timothy Olson’s “A” race for 2014 was Hardrock. It was the one he trained for. It was the one that all the other races led to. However, it just wasn’t his day – not by a long stretch. At one point, he stopped for a rest on a pile of garbage. However, he got back up, kept moving and finished in just over 30 hours.


    This is my favorite image from 2014. Tòfol Castanyer and Iker Karrera ran most of UTMB within a stone’s throw of each other. After more than twenty hours of running, they decided they might as well finish it up together too.


    The NYC Marathon had an amazing field, but all of the athletes were humbled by the strong winds. Gebre Gebremariam finished third, and then, he stepped back onto the course to offer up a high-five to Meb as he cruised by in fourth. The comradery was inspiring on a day when everyone had to work a little bit harder.

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    Must Love Jogs: The Beer Edition


    This is the first annual Must Love Jogs beer edition. Many runners – particularly trail runners – are known for their love of beer.

    Matt Flaherty

    Rob Krar

    Sage Canaday

    While I don’t drink much during the season, I definitely enjoy a nice brew now and again. My (current) favorites include:

    X Double Indian Pale Ale (Middle Ages Brewing Company)

    471 Small Batch IPA (Breckenridge Brewery)

    Hi-Res (Six Point Brewery)

    I know what you’re thinking. Trail running. Skinny corduroys. Tattoos. He must be a hipster. I prefer to think of myself as a hopster.

    P.S. Beer sponsors, call me maybe.

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    The News

    This weekend was all about cross Country. Foot Locker National Championships went as most people expected. Anna Rohrer dominated the girls’ race and finished in 17:13. Grant Fisher repeated as champion in the boys’ race and took the win in 15:03. I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll reiterate it today. Grant Fisher is the future of middle distance running in the United States – there is no doubt about it.

    Notably, all 40 participants in the boys’ race were juniors or seniors. The girls’ race was a different story, as seven girls were either freshmen or sophomores. In fact, the race included two freshmen from Montana – Annie Hill (8th overall) and Bryn Morley (26th overall). Keep an eye on them in the future!

    Foot Locker Cross Country Championships Results: Boys/Girls

    USATF Club XC Championships were also this weekend. Don’t be fooled by the “club” moniker. The races included a slew of elites from across the country. Laura Thweatt won the women’s race (6k) in 19:14.41. Ryan Hill took the men’s race (10k) in 29:07.03.

    Twelve women ran under 20 minutes in the 6k race and twenty men ran under 30 minutes in the 10k race.

    USATF National Club XC Championships Results: Men’s/Women’s

    My Upcoming Races

    Registration for the CNY Springtime 10k opens today! It’s only $15 (plus a $2.50 service fee). There aren’t many races left at that price!

    My Training

    It was an “off” week. I only managed 35 miles and I wasn’t feeling very well. Winter is here and the sun hasn’t been out in ages – I don’t think it’s done much for my motivation. Hopefully, this will be a better week.

    Keep Running!

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    Altra Superior 2.0 Review

    If you recall, last April I reviewed the Altra Superior 1.5. The Superior 1.5 was the first zero-drop shoe I tried, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the comfortable fit and wide toe box, and I thought the shoe was excellent quality. However, I thought it was too heavy to be a performance trail shoe…

    I think Altra saw my blog, because they made a few tweaks, and the Superior 2.0 is rather awesome.


    First, make sure you size up at least a half size! The Superior 2.0 definitely runs small. I almost always wear a size 10 and my toes were bumping up against the front of the shoe. I think a 10.5 would do the trick.

    Second, the toe box isn’t quite as wide as other Altra models. This was a little disappointing to me because the wide toe box is my favorite Altra feature. However, switching from a thicker sock to a thinner sock did the trick.


    Third, I’m guessing the reason that the shoe is a tiny bit narrower than other models was to cut down on weight. I thought the Superior 1.5 was a little heavy for racing (11.5 ounces for size 10) but the 2.0 is perfection (9.4 ounces for size 10). That is exactly what I’m looking for in a trail racer.

    The shoe has a 15mm forefoot and a 15mm heel – zero drop (Altra claims 21mm, but it isn’t quite that much). There is a removable rock plate, as well as a gaiter trap.

    The shoe has a sticky sole that provides an awesome grip. In addition, the lugs (and lug height) are perfect for soft trails, hard trails, muddy trails, loose stone, etc.


    The upper is seamless and super comfortable. Altra, if you are listening, I’d love for you to make this shoe with a Gore-Tex option – that is the one thing I find lacking in your line. I understand that would add a little weight and cost, but it would be worth it! Finally, I think this shoe has a great design. It comes in a couple of color options, and they are great.



    - seamless upper
    – great quality
    – sticky sole with excellent lugs
    – weight – 9.4 ounces is perfect for trails
    – cost – these are $110 – and you can use coupon code RUNBLOG10 at Running Warehouse to get 10% off


    - these definitely run small – do not order your usual size
    – the toe box is not as wide as other Altra models – if you really want a wider toe box, go with the Superior 1.5 or the Lone Peak 2.0

    Here are some other reviews of the Superior 2.0:

    Believe in the Run

    Sam Winebaum


    The Ginger Runner

    Wholistic Running

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    Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow


    I’m declaring the unofficial start to winter. There was a pretty decent storm yesterday that dropped over a foot of snow. Goodbye, grass. Goodbye, sidewalks. Goodbye, trails.

    I took this picture near downtown (no filter). It is an average road about six hours after it completely stopped snowing. Some roads are a bit clearer and some (believe it or not) are much worse.

    Today’s post includes eight helpful tips for running in the snow:

    1) Get the right shoes. During winter, I use a pair with Gore-Tex. It makes all the difference!
    2) Expect it to slow you down. Running in the snow is a tough workout, and it will use muscles and stabilizers that you didn’t even know you had.
    3) Dress warmly. With snow, slush, wind and ice, you can get cold rather quickly.
    4) Be extra cautious of cars. Drivers are the worst. They are watching their phones, meals, kids, etc. They are probably not watching the road, and they are definitely not watching you!
    5) If you start to fall, aim for a snow bank.
    6) If you do fall, gracefully get up and continue on.


    Umm, I said gracefully.

    7) pavement > powder > slush > ice
    8) Remember that the snow and ice and wind will end – it always does!

    What advice do you have for running in winter?

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