Brian Pilcher and Jenny Hitchings were voted the Overall Male/Female US Masters Road Runners of the Year at the 2021 USATF Annual Meeting.
Hitchings won based on three very strong performances: at the Boston Marathon she ran a 2:45:32 for a jaw dropping age grade of 101.40%; a new F55-59 AR at the Buffalo Stampede 10 Mile, in a time of 1:01:15 which age grades at 99.86%; and a 1:20:24 at the Clarksburg Country Run Half Marathon for an age grade of 100.27% and a pending F55-59 AR. Age Grades greater than 100% are extremely rare and for a runner to earn two in one year is extraordinary.
Pilcher also had an exceptional year. On October 30th Brian ran the River Oaks Invitational Half Marathon in Houston. This unique event, run on a 0.95 mile loop course, had timing mats at the 8K, 10K, 12K, 15K, 10 Miles, 20K splits. In addition to breaking the M65-69 Half Marathon AR, he also broke the AR at each of the splits for a total of 7 ARs in one race! For more information on that race see PA Masters runner, Brian Pilcher, sets 7 ARs in one race!
Needless to say, Pilcher and Hitchings were also voted Road Runners of the Year in their respective divisions. In addition, Jenny was voted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame to complete the trifecta. (Brian was voted into the USATF Masters Hall of Fame in 2017).
Tom Bernhard was also named the Road Runner of the Year in the M70-74 division.
I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention the incredible year of running by Jacob Nur. Jacob finished 2nd to Brian in both the M65-69 division and Overall Male Road Runner of the Year voting. Jacob ran a 1:18:29 at the Clarksburg Country Run Half Marathon. This age grades to 96.28% and is a pending M65-69 AR. (Pilcher set the record at the
River Oaks Invitational Half Marathon with a time of 1:19:03.) Nur also ran a 1:01:00 at the Buffalo Stampede 10 Mile, which is worth an age grade of 93.53%.
His 1:01:00 would be the M65-69 10 Mile AR but was superseded by Brian’s 59:42 with his 10 Mile split at the River Oaks Invitational Half Marathon.
Note, Jacob ran a 35:42 at the Run to Feed the Hungry 10K on Thanksgiving. A performance too late for the 2021 rankings but will be included in the 2022 rankings. That performance age grades at 96.22% and is now a pending M65-69 AR, as it is under Pilchers ratified 10K AR of 36:35.