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Keep Trail Running Weird Awards 2022

As we start a new year of running, let’s begin by celebrating our 2022 trail accomplishments.

UltraSignup News

January 9th, 2023

5 min read


Keep trail running weird

At UltraSignup, we like to close the year with a ‘podium finish’ for the everyday runners. The second Annual Keep Trail Running Weird Awards is meant to honor the beautifully weird and free-spirited culture of the trail running community by recognizing five winners nominated by the community and five winners based on crunching the numbers in our database. Hundreds of nominations poured in, and we are thrilled to recognize this year’s group of amazing winners. From someone who inspires people to take up running to someone who exclusively races in Crocs—the Keep Trail Running Weird winners reveal some of the best things about our fantastic sport.

Before we get into the fun stuff, let’s start with the numbers!

Now, let’s meet this year’s winners!


29 races finished. More than 2 a month!

Chris Pabian, an obsessed (dedicated) ultrarunner from western Pennsylvania, completed 29 races in 2022!

Photo (c) John Dolovacky III


598 hours or almost 24 days spent racing.

Nate Dirvin, a proud father, school counselor, ocean lifeguard, and United States Coast Guard member who has found that through the sport of ultrarunning he can “embody the very nature of selfless service” achieved through charity efforts and motivating others to do the same—the essence of the Coast Guard’s core values!


1,750 Miles! That’s longer than Miami, Florida to Burlington, Vermont.

Mike Smith has been running ultras for 22 years and really enjoys 100-mile races!


Jesse Mory

In their first year of racing with UltraSignup, they finished 12 races!


Most DFLs (dead freakin’ last finishes)

Back-to-back champion Mike Melton! Mike, age 65, is a lifelong runner who has morphed from a really average ultrarunner into being reasonably good at timing and scoring races of all sorts, specializing in short-loop fixed-time ultras.


Yuki Chorney, 856 Votes

Whether it’s one or 100 miles, a road or a trail race, you can expect to see Yuki in a bedazzled outfit.


Jen Golbeck, 2383 Votes

She received two separate nominations. Get inspired by reading them!

  1. Even though she runs 100-mile races, she is so encouraging to people who are new or slow or just trying to run one mile. Everything she posts online makes people feel the joy of running (or at least they know that SHE feels joy in running). It makes people want to try it, and she encourages them to be kind as they start it. She tells people to run slow, that it’s ok to walk, and that whatever distance they do is great. She puts on virtual runs for people to try doing the couch to 5k, and generally makes everyone want to run and love doing it as much as she does. 
  2. Jen is the reason that I started running. Her podcasts (with husband Ingo) and social media speak inclusively about running and Jen always emphasizes that slow is good and provides ways to start. She speaks honestly about the ups and downs, and is incredibly inspirational in both what she achieves and what she overcomes. If I can be even 10% as running fit as Jen and get even half as much joy as she does from running, then I will be an extremely happy person! In 2020(?) Jen ran every road in the Florida Keys, which gave me the idea to run every road in my (much smaller) hometown. That was the goal that got me through a running slump and a lot of COVID. Basically, Jen is the reason I’m not a massive couch potato now and I know there are plenty of others who feel similarly thanks to her social media work.


Blitz the Spitz, 334 Votes

Blitz is a Japanese Spitz that loves pacing his humans and giving bad ultra-running advice to strangers online. When you’re feeling down he will try to cheer you up with some licks, some beer, or by making you chase his fluffy butt to keep you going!


Joel Gartenberg, 511 Votes

Joel runs all his 100-milers in Crocs. Most famously, Joel completed the “Crocscade Crest” in 2022 and the Javelina Jundred in a pirate costume as “Captain Croc.”


Shannon Brandl, 620 Votes

“I was going for my first 100-mile finish when I felt a pop at mile 98. I now have a titanium rod in my left femur. Thank goodness for Yeti trail runners, who rallied to help me.”

And finally… the winner of the Run the Alps trip!


Susan Oh

Susan is a runner who lives in Bend, Oregon, and resolved for 2023 to race less and fun-run way more! And this is going to be her first time in Europe!

10 thoughts on "Keep Trail Running Weird Awards 2022"

  1. Brie says:

    Congrats everyone!

  2. Andrea Loura says:

    You are all so inspiring to this newbie trail runner! Thank you and congratulations to everyone for just getting out there. 🙂

  3. Julie Payn says:

    What a fun group of people and website. Thanks for the inspiration to try running further then I do sometime.

  4. Randy Duncan says:

    Mike Smith is at 196 100 mile finishes and running the Hurt 100 this weekend. Go Mike !!!

  5. Mo says:

    Yay! Y’all deserve all the accolades for a being awesome 2022!

  6. randallphelps says:

    Congrats Blitz! You’re our (Luna and me) favorite BUA doggo!

  7. Blitz the Spitz says:

    Woof! Am amazed by all the winners! Wishing everypawdee good running for 2023! 😀 <3

  8. Claire Gadrow says:

    Susan you are going to love Europe. And Yuki, congrats my fast and fashionable friend.

  9. Michael N says:

    Wow! Y’all ignored Charlotte Corriher 2 years in a row for best dressed. The woman has hundreds of different costumes each specially made for each race they enter. I thought her win was a given this year with so many nominations.

  10. Jessie Brewer says:

    To all of the trail running weirdos, You and your stories so inspirational. Thank you for doing what you do!

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