Awards Party

Sean Andrish Wins Runner of the Year HonorsAmy Sproston won the female runner of the year award for the second time in a row. Among her accomplishments were wins at both MMT and BRR. Her BRR win was the second fastest female time on the course.


Sean Andrish won the male runner of the year award for the third time. He had several impressive performances during 2009 including wins at Laurel Highlands and Hellgate.


Kirstin Corris and Jen Jacobs win most improvedSee all award results. (Photos on this page from top: Sean Andrish (runner of the year) with Alan Gowen, Kirstin Corris and Jen Jacobs (most improved), Martha Nelson (rookie), Wendy Marszalek (receiving James Moore Award from James), and a group of revelers including party organizer Pam Gowen (second from right).)


Other award winners included a second win in a row for Vicki Kendall for her 28 hour finish at MMT and a rookie of the year award for Martha Nelson who shattered the course record at the Women's Half Marathon in September.


Martha Nelson, rookie of the yearKarsten Brown was the most improved male while Kirstin Corris and Jen Jacobs shared the female version of that award.  Gary Knipling's 100 mile finish at Superior 100 was the male performance of the year.  The ambassador was Mike Bur.


Mike Bailey got the "Next year I'm Not Doing Anything Stupid" Award for his course navigation skills. Wendy Marszalek won the James Moore Award for her generous community service.


Wendy Marszalek receives James Moore Award from JamesAnd, oh by the way, there was a party. It was a great one with good food and ample "refreshments." A special thanks to Pam Gowen who organized it all. Assisting her were Mike Bur, Brian McNeill, Linda Wack, Quatro Hubbard, Alan Gowen, and several others.


There are party pictures on the Flickr site.


More information: Party Photos | 2009 award results | Updated list of prior awards | Accomplishments of this years nominees



Thank you to all who worked so hard to put together such a fun party, and many congratulations to the award winners!

Hello VHTRCers,

Thanks so much for the award--it means a lot to me!  I wish I could have been there, but took advantage of a snow-free weekend in Portland to get in some quality miles on the roads and trails.  I'm getting back on the trails little by little after a several month struggle with some irritated ankle tendons.  

There is no west coast equivalent to the VHTRC....I miss you guys!! 

Oh wow, I won an award? I had no idea I was even up for anything! If I'd known I'd been dubbed the VHTRC's Most Improved Male, maybe I would've shown up to claim my award in person-- and to give the following acceptance speech...

[cacophony of applause]

Thank you. Thank you all. Yes, thank you.

[applause continues]

No, please, you're too kind. Thank you.

[applause finally dies down after a minute or two]

Wow, thank you so much. First of all, I'd like to thank the Academy for recognizing my total awesomeness. Too long has my awesomeness gone unheralded, but at last my Legend is being told.

I'd like to thank my coach and inspiration: Me. I could never have won this award without your wholly improvised training regimen and your inspiringly lazy idea to dump speedwork entirely in favor of more long, slow trail runs. You are a genius, Me.

I'd like to thank the lax work ethic and Djarum clove cigarettes that made improvement possible. It's been six years, Djarums, and I still miss you.

I'd like to thank Andrish and Woods for going off course at Capon Valley last year, thereby influencing me to run in complete terror of being caught by my betters and allowing me to do what I never imagined I'd ever do-- win an ultra.

I'd like to thank the many runners who came through the Woodstock Tower aid station at MMT looking like total crap back when I was the aid station captain years ago. Seeing your emotionless, weary faces year after year eventually motivated me to push myself to new levels of masochism.

No, don't play me off, damnit, I'm not done!

I'd like to thank those who gave me advice and encouragement when I first entered the world of ultras long ago, particularly Anstr, Scott Mills, and Eric Clifton. I still draw upon lessons learned from these guys.

I'd like to offer very sincere thanks to anyone and everyone who was involved with BRR, MMT, Catherine's, The Ring, and SMUT last year. I'm terribly appreciative of all the efforts that went into these events, and I'm grateful for all the help, encouragement, positivity, refills, beer, and ham sandwiches.

Finally, I'd like to thank the Signal Knob Trail, through which all things are possible!