Cast Your Ballots!

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Headshot of Corrine Malcolm, Editor-in-Chief at Freetrail

By: Corrine Malcolm

Freetrail Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Trail Society podcast.

This is not so much a plea as it is a reminder – cast your ballots – voting closes at noon PST, today Tuesday, December 20th!

Launching Trail Runner of The Year has been a major undertaking, but we felt it was mission critical to give our sport a global award recognizing the incredible professional athletes who give us goosebumps every weekend as they lay it on the line. TROY started as a dream, and was quickly brought into reality by the incredible not-so-behind-the-scenes skills of our Freetrail Fantasy captain, Travis Loncar. We’ve learned a lot in this first iteration, some of which we will be sharing with you all very soon, and we have high hopes that TROY will become an annual staple that improves with each edition. You have been an outstanding voting public as you cast your ballots for a distance agnostic, global, TROY – top ten men and women of 2022.

Looking down at the river crossing at mile 78 of the 2022 Western State Endurances Race.
PC: Ryan Thrower

As I myself worked to cast my ballot, combing through results I got to remember and relive of so many wild performances from the past twelve months. Moments of awe with what these athletes put together, stunned by results (or back to back performances) and some that I had missed completely. I think I reformatted my ballot four of five times before finally hitting “submit picks” … or maybe I can sneak one more tweak in as I question myself even now, “did I get it right?”

Kloof Neck Corner has historically been the place to be in the morning of the 100km at UTCT - this year sunset from the corner was all time.
PC: Jared Paisley

Friend bias, distance bias, geographical bias, recency bias – trying to dig into the nitty gritty as I compared apples to oranges, is there a right answer? Truthfully, maybe not, but a thoughtful exercise in a sport that fails the popularity contest metric of “would I like to have a beer with this person?” because everyone is so dang nice. But try I did – a ballot not perfect, but a ballot that reflects my view of the season and athletes throwing down from vertical kilometers to 330-kilometer vision quests. A ballot that reflects our sport, trail, broad and beautiful… and a little bit weird. I hope your ballot brought you pause, excitement, and awe. And if you’re wondering if you got it right, know that reflecting and voting at all was the goal all along. So here’s to TROY 2022, may the odds be ever in your favor.

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