I see lots of this type of thing going on in the U.S. scene, with friendly polls and banter about who put in the best performance of the year and who deserves the 'ultra runner of the year', but I have yet to see a Canadian specific poll so here it is!
In a very slight effort to get a few Canadian trail demons a bit more notoriety, I'd like to propose a poll. Male and Female Ultra TRAIL performance of the year, and runner of the year. I'll start with performance of the year and want to be sure I don't miss anyone, so I'll leave it open to comment for a few days first. Here's what I've got so far. I'll narrow it down to five a side for the vote but please let me know if I've missed anyone?
-Has to be of an ultra distance
-Has to be on TRAILS
-Has to be either born in Canada OR currently resides in Canada and represents 'The Maple Leaf' when they run
-Has to have been run in 2009
-Has to have won the race in question
-Can't be a staged race
-Most runners are multiple race winners. I've chosen what I consider to be the most impressive run by that individual in 2009. Full results for each will be listed in the 'ultra runner of the year poll'. If you feel one of their other races was more impressive than please say so...Hiedt's KK CR comes to mind, I'll have to ask his take on his best race?
Candidates, Performance Of The Year, Female
-Tracy Garneau: 1st - HURT 100 Miler, Hawaii
-Tamsin Anstey: 1st - Mountain Masochist 50 Miler, Virginia
-Denise McHale: 1st - C.R. Elk-Beaver 100k, B.C.
-Jen Segger: 1st - C.R. Bridle Trails 50k, Washington
-Ellie Greenwood: 1st - C.R. Stormy 50 Miler, B.C.
-Monica Sholz: 1st - Arkansas Traveler 100miler, Arkansas
-Lorie Alexander: 1st - Scorched Sole 50 Miler, BC
-Sue Lucas: 1st - Sulpher Springs 100 Miler, Ontario (Cdn ACU 100 Mile Champ!)
-Ryne Melcher: 1st - Mt Si 50 Miler, Washington
-Aaron Heidt: 1st - C.R. Chuckanut 50k, Washington
-Chris Downie: 1st - C.R. Sinister Seven 90 Miler, Alberta
-David Papineau: 1st - C.R. Scorced Sole 50k, B.C.
-Taylor Murphy: 1st - C.R. Run For The Toad 50k, Ontario
-Hassan Lotfi-Pour(Sammy): 1st - Stormy 50 Miler, B.C.
-Bruce Grant: 1st - Scorced Sole 50 Miler, B.C.
-Adam Hill: 1st - C.R. Laurel Highlands 50k, Ontario
-Glen Redpath: 1st - C.R. Haliburton 100 Miler, Ontario
-Derrick Spafford: 1st - Finger Lakes 50 Miler, New York
-Gary Robbins: 1st - C.R. Diez Vista 50k, BC (I'm just throwing my name in here but I won't put it to the poll cause it won't be fair considering it's my own damn blog! Plus I truly feel there are numerous more impressive runs on this list anyways)
Plenty of great runners missed out due to either injury or simply not winning outright. Special mention for sure to Nicola Gildersleeve and Darin Bentley, who each put in some great races in 09 and will always be in the mix with the top runners Canada has to offer on trails!
On a side note, Nicola wrote a great article for the local North Shore News about our Mountain Masochist experience in early Nov, here's the link.
I'll put this to a poll on the weekend, so please let me know if I've overlooked anyone, and my sincerest apologies if I have!!