World 100km champions named International Association of Ultrarunners athletes of the year

British ultra runner Ellie Greenwood has been voted the female IAU (International Association of Ultrarunners) athlete of the year for 2014.

Last year the Scottish-born, Canada-based athlete became the first British woman to win the prestigious Comrades Marathon and the 35-year-old went on to claim victory at the IAU 100km World Championships in Doha, Qatar, in November.

Men’s winner in Doha, American Max King, has been named the male IAU athlete of the year.

“I am delighted to have been named IAU female athlete of the year,” Greenwood told British Athletics.

“Having achieved some race results in 2014 which I was personally very happy with, it is an honour to have this recognised by an organisation such as the IAU.”

She added: “I hope it encourages more British runners to try their hand at ultra running and the award has certainly given me extra motivation going into 2015.”

Athletes who claimed podium places at the major IAU championships in 2014 were automatically shortlisted for the awards. Following the vote by IAU member federations and council members, Greenwood was a clear winner with 46.1% of the votes ahead of USA’s Traci Falbo and Szilvia Lubics of Hungary. King received 33.3% of votes for the men’s award, beating Yoshikazu Hara of Japan and Sweden’s Jonas Buud.

The award gives recognition to Greenwood’s achievements in 2014, after she struggled with injury in 2013.

“When I was coming back from injury I realised that I would have to be patient and listen to my body,” she told AW after her Comrades Marathon win. “I was eager to get back into running right away – too eager – and I knew that could put me in a position of risking more injury.

“Nevertheless, I did set a goal with a sensible time-frame to keep me motivated and for me this was the Comrades.”

You can read more about Greenwood in a How They Train feature here.