Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Home Based UK Ultra Runners of the Year

POST UPDATE: Read below before clicking this link to cast your vote

 With the plethora of incredible performances in the UK it got me thinking about what was/is the best performance of 2012 and who were the stand out athletes? In your heads some names will spring to mind straight away, especially more recent performances, and most of you will initially think of people like Ellie Greenwood and Lizzy Hawker.
   However, it seems more appropriate to consider the incredible performances from UK based runners as some of these deserve way more talk time. I think its pretty obvious that UK athlete of the year worldwide would be Lizzy Hawker (Swiss resident) and performance of the year is probably Ellie Greenwood's absurd record breaking run at Western States. But who would you say are the best male and female performances on British Soil? And who would you give the honour of 2012 male and female UltraRunner of the year?
   Below I have put my thoughts as well as a ranking list but I would love you to chime in and correct me of any omissions and oversights. I must also note that there is still time for things to change. Most noteworthy, Neil Bryant is currently 75% of the way through the preposterous 60+ day TransEurope Footrace. If he finishes this then he is definitely a contender performance of the year. We also have the Winter100 coming up in November with 4 runners aiming to be the winner of CenturionRunning's 2012 Grand Slam (4x 100 milers). Those runners are Kenneth Fancett, Allan Rumbles (@ogeerunner), Tremayne Cowdry and David Bird. Worthy of performance of the year too? There are many categories that can be added to this, like Vet categories, distance categories and international performance categories but I have kept it simple for now. Female Performance of the year, Male performance of the year. Male runner of the year and female runner of the year. Ok so here goes.

Male Performance of the year: 
1. Terry Conway; Lakeland 100 19:50 (@terryconway)
2. Craig Holgate; Thames Path 100 15:11
3. Daniel Doherty; UTSW 100 19:31 (@UltraRunDan)

Honourbale mentions-
 * Gary Morrison and Steve Thomspon; The Spine Race Joint winners
 * Jez Bragg; Fellsman in horrific conditions (@jezbragg)
 * Scott Bradley; HighlandFling 7:23
 * Neil Bryant; Hardmoors 110 22:44 (@runningneil)
 * Kevin Doyle; Cotswold 100 16:06
 * Terry Conway; West Highland Way 15:39
 * Steve Birkinshaw; Dragons Back race 200mile winner

Female Performance of the year: 
1. Debbie Martin-Consani; GUCR145 28:01 overall winner!
2. Shelli Gordon; Hardmoors 110 24:19 CR and 3rd overall
3. Mimi Anderson; Fastest Crossing of Ireland on Foot WORLD RECORD (@marvellousmimi) 

Honourbale mentions-
 * Claire Shelley; SDW 100 19:43 (@claireshelley_)
 * Mimi Anderson; Thames Path 100 18:50
 * Rachel Hill; Lakeland 100 28:47
 * Alice Hector; NDW100 20:10 and 4th Overall
 * Emily Gelder; 24hr race Katowice 148miles

Male Ultra Runner of the year: 
1. Neil Bryant; TransGC, Viking way, Trans-Europe, Trailblaze, Hardmoors 110
2. Terry Conway; Lakeland 100, WHW, Fling
3. Craig Holgate; Thames Trot, Thames Path 100

Female Ultra Runner of the year: 
1. Mimi Anderson; Viking way Ultra, Thames Path Ultra, Jungle Ultra, Fastest crossing of Ireland WR
2. Debbie Martin-Consani; GUCR145, Devil o' the highlands
3. Emily Gelder; Iau 24 hour 148miles, 100km performances 8:05 and 8:08

   So what is your verdict of these? Think Neil ahead of Terry may prove controversial and it was really hard to split! I also think 3rd place in runner of the year is wide open but I opted for Craig because his performances are so damn fast . I am sure I have missed so much and with it being so subjective their must be some difference in opinion amongst the Ultra Community. I will update the rankings if many people leave the same comments and the same rankings. What are your votes?


  1. Terry has to be Ultra Runner of the year. WHW was a Bragg record and Lakeland 100 might stay there for some years (unless he beats it). Bryant is a legend and what he does for our sport is incredible but would need a big win to make me say him over terry

  2. yeah figured that would be controversial and kind of agree. Neil Bryant did win the first Viking Way Ultra though, ok not as big but sub 30 hours over 150ish miles? Sorry numbers elude me.

  3. Terry's performances at Lakeland 100 and the West Highland Way are for me the 2 best performances of the year to date. The WHW record held by Jez Bragg has been attempted by scores of the very best Scottish, British and International athletes. It was an astoundingly accomplished run. The Lakeland record too is phenomenal so for me, he has to get performance for either one and overall ultrarunner of the year.

    Craig also won the Shires and Spires and the races you mention were his 2nd, 3rd and 4th ultras respectively. He has to take best newcomer.

    Dan Doherty's UTSW is hard to quantify as there are no backdated performances there, but it's quite possible this was right up there with Terrys wins.

    On the ladies side Mimi continues to accomplish incredible things, but again Debbie broke a long standing (Mimi's own) CR and winning overall is incredible. She also placed well at the 24hr recently.

    Neil Bryant should win ultra hard nut of the year with finishes at: Transgrancanaria, SDW100 self supported, SDW88 miles self supported (his girlfriends bike stopped them, not neil), Viking Way winner, Hardmoors 110 winner and was only stopped at UTSW by a smashed up ankle. He shouldn't have even thought about starting at Transeurope and now looks like he'll finish and PLACE. Unreal.

  4. Obviously we need to take out Ian Sharman, Nick Clark, Ellie Greenwood and Lizzy here, all living abroad and keeping the UK at the top of the international scene.

  5. Nicky Spinks , new women's Bob Graham round record. Must deserve at least an honourable mention.

  6. Great thoughts james- I agree those guys are trailblazers abroad but hopefully some of the names mentioned here are the new UK flag bearers. Steve that is a great shout regarding Nicky! I'm sure there are more non-race performances overlooked here too?

  7. Wendy Dodds, Female Performance of the year for me Dragons Back race. What a star.

  8. Terry Conway, Male Performance of the year. Lakeland 100. I was taking photo's outside Lakes Runner in Ambleside. That Guy was fresh, made it look so easy.

  9. Dobbs is a very credible addition. I think I may just plump for conway WHW as performance of the year as I know it and have never ran UTLD and it was own CR he beat as opposed to Jez's! He's probably runner of the year too? Womens field is less clear but debbie for performance of the year but possible mimi for runner of the year. My two pence

  10. Terry's the top man for me. He broke the WHW record in what were very difficult conditions (heavy rain start to finish, lots of standing water and swollen streams, slippery rocks, etc) and sliced a huge amount off the L100 record.

  11. I'm Guessing these nominations were before Steve Way's 2-53 50K road performance in the World Trophy Final in Italy.......Colin Deasy

  12. Exactly right! What a performance too. 2nd on the British all time list for a road 50km I believe. Only Don Ritchie faster in a 2:52. Couple of track runs faster but that's a different race! Steve's performances is right up their for sure

  13. Please vote for Steve Thompson, my dad, because he really deserves it and he survived a 268 mile race up and down mountains in the dark with ice, snow, rain and wind. He ran with trenchfoot,blisters, an infected toe and athlete's foot - wow how did he carry on!! Also, he inspires me, my brother and my sister to run as well and I think he is great!!

  14. When can we vote for the 2013 people and how please?