THANKS FOR VOTING!! WE WILL REVEAL THE WINNER AT OUR ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5th.
Read about the final four nominees:
Lauren Hagans wins the Grandma’s Marathon in her debut
Debut marathons are always a big deal. They’re an especially big deal for someone who never thought she’d be a marathoner. A middle distance star in college, Lauren has PBs of 2:02 for 800 meters, 4:09 for 1500 meters and 8:47 for 3,000. In 2021, she finally tried a half marathon and ran 1:09:46–not bad! She decided to give the marathon a go for the first time at Grandma’s–a race where her NAZ Elite teammate Kellyn Taylor owns the course record. Lauren ran patiently for much of the race, before eventually moving into the lead just past 20 miles–a lead she would not relinquish. Running nearly dead even splits of 1:12:58 and 1:12:57, her 2:25:55 was the fourth-fastest women’s U.S. debut marathon of all-time.
Krissy Gear Wins the USATF Steeplechase Title
In the summer of 2021, HOKA NAZ Elite made a concerted effort to expand its roster so that it could be a bigger force on the track. Over the next two years, the team signed Alex Masai, Katie Wasserman, Wesley Kiptoo, Olin Hacker, Abby Nichols, Adrian Wildschutt and Arkansas standout Krissy Gear. Krissy crushed it in the 2023 indoor season, setting PBs at 800, 1k, and the mile. Outdoors she decided to run the steeplechase at the USATF Championships where she faced off against 10-time USA champion Emma Coburn. As Coburn tightened the screws with 1k to go, Krissy fell all the way back to sixth place at one point before making her own move with 600 meters left. By the end of the backstretch on the final lap, she trailed only Coburn, and on the final straight she moved into the lead, capping off a 66-second last lap by breaking the tape and becoming the U.S. champion in a blazing time of 9:12.81.
Adrian Wildschutt runs 13:02 for 5,000 meters (another National Record)
At the KBC Night of Athletics in Heusden, Belgium, meet organizers placed both Adrian Wildschutt and Olin Hacker in the “B” heat of the men’s 5,000 meters. Rather than mope about it, they made the most of it, running away from everyone in the race by 25 seconds to go 1-2 in 13:02.46 and 13:09.94. Adrian’s time smashed our team record and the South African national record, and automatically qualified him for next year’s Olympic Games in Paris. All told, Adrian set three national records this season: 3,000 (7:39.25), 5,000 (13:02.46) and 10,000 (27:23.10).
Sorry- no video of this one but check out the results HERE.
Wesley wins Falmouth and ties Course Record
Falmouth is one of America’s oldest and most prestigious races, with a list of winners that includes names like Lynn Jennings, Khalid Khannouchi, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson and Frank Shorter…among many others. At this year’s Falmouth, Wesley didn’t mess around. He went straight to the front, establishing a three-second lead by the mile. He hit 5k in 13:38 and led by 12 seconds. At 10k, which he crossed in a ridiculously fast 27:34, the lead was 21 seconds. Wesley crossed the line in 31:08 (for 7 miles), tying the 19-year-old course record set by all-time great road racer Gilbert Okari. It was a road racing masterpiece.