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Trail Runner of The Year: First

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It’s here – we are crowning the inaugural champions for the Trail Runner of the Year awards, voted by you the fans. These two athletes are generational talents, when you see their name on the start list it’s hard to bet against them… what, it’s true! True to form, both of these athletes had a 2022 full of competitive wins and course records – we can’t wait to see where 2023 takes them. If you have missed any of the inaugural TROY awards coverage you can catch up here: second, thirdfourthfifthsixthseventheighthninth and tenth.


In first position, our champions, Salomon’s Courtney Dauwalter and Nnormal’s Kilian Jornet.

Our champion - Courtney Dauwalter put together a record setting 2022

What can’t she do? A seemingly rhetorical question that we ask ourselves. Fast courses, long courses, multi-day pushes Courtney seems to be able to do it all, generally with her sense of humor intact. The Leadville, Colorado based athlete had some early season efforts that included the annual Salomon team camp but really opened up her race season at the Madeira Island Ultra-Trail kicking off her course record campaign. After a win and a course record at MIUT (dipping well under the fifteen hour mark), Courtney finished tenth at Zegama-Aizkorri a race that most would consider outside of her wheel house. Her season then turned to the long and mountainous again with wins and incredible course record performances at both the Hardrock 100-mile and Le Grand Raid De La Réunion (where she finished at incredible fourth overall). Courtney just recently set a course record and locked in her golden ticket for the Western States Endurance Run at the Bandera 100-kilometer – which means we’ve set our watches for a course record watch in June.

FT: What was your personal highlight from 2022?

CD: The variety of adventures I got to experience in 2022 was a huge highlight. The races were scenic and tough, running an ultra with my mom was incredibly special, and we fit in a multi-day project on some of the most beautiful trails in the mountains of Colorado. We made so many memories this year with people we love and we feel very lucky for that.

FT: What was a struggle or something you learned in 2022?

CD: I love that in ultrarunning there will always be new challenges and problems to solve, especially during longer efforts. This year I was reminded many times of this and that there is almost always a solution if you just keep working at it.

FT: What are you looking forward to in 2023?

CD: Looking forward to more shared moments with family and friends.

The GOAT, Kilian Jornet not only launched his own company he also showed he's no where near finished with ultrarunning

When Kilian announced he was leaving his long time sponsor at the end of 2021 and starting his own company at the start of the 2022 many of wondered what that would mean for his trail and ultrarunning. It turns out, it hasn’t slowed him down yet. While juggling fatherhood, his foundation, and a new company he also set out on a very interesting race season that featured both competitive short mountain races on the Golden Trail Series and two iconic 100-mile races. The Spanish athlete who makes his home in Norway opened his season with some smaller local events before taking the win and the course record at the iconic Zegama-Aizkorri. From there things really got crazy – winning and setting the course record at the Hardrock 100-mile race in July, a month later finishing fourth in the incredibly competitive short and fast Sierre-Zinal, and then putting the icing on the cake two weeks later breaking twenty hours at UTMB taking the win and establishing a new course record in the process. Which start lines will we see Kilian at in 2023, only time will tell, but we know he’ll keep us on our toes.

FT: What was your personal highlight from 2022?

KJ: What I’m the most happy about is I was able to compete at a vert high level in two short and two long distance competitive races.

FT: What was a struggle or something you learned in 2022?

KJ: I struggled to give everything when things went bad, to keep on when all signs were to stop at races like Sierre-Zinal and UTMB. I learned a lot about physiology, about training better and about taking nutrition more seriously.

FT: What are you looking forward to in 2023?

KJ: To have fun and keep learning.


Year after year Kilian and Courtney wow us with their running talents and this year was no exception. While we can’t predict the future we can say with some certainty that these two will shining on and off the trail. Congratulations to you both!

The Final Standings

Women: (1) Courtney Dauwalter, (2) Katie Schide, (3) Allie McLaughlin, (4) Nienke Brinkman, (5) Ruth Croft, (6) Marianne Hogan, (7) Blandine L’hirondel, (8) Abby Hall, (9) Annie Hughes and (10) Camille Bruyas.

Men: (1) Kilian Jornet, (2) Adam Peterman, (3) Jim Walmsley, (4) Mathieu Blanchard, (5) Dakota Jones, (5) Rémi Bonnet, (6) Petter Engdahl, (7) Jonathan Albon, (8) Françios D’Haene and (10) Tom Evans.

Keep exploring

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Trail Runner of The Year: Second

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Trail Runner of The Year: Third

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Trail Runner of The Year: Fourth

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