The 2014 JOTY Awards
Good evening ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for joining us this evening as we present our JRunner Of The Year (that’s what JOTY stands for; betcha didn’t know that) awards for the 2014 running year. We’re honoring the top 11 this year, because we had a tie for 10th place. Sweet. The more, the merrier.
And so, passing right by the joke-monologue phase of this evening’s events, I present you with the undisputed heavyweight (figuratively speaking) champion of the world, Joel Mandel, who repeats as JOTY champion!
Congratulations Joel, please walk this way to be presented with your award, and be sure to congratulate your fellow awardees as well. Don’t let success get to your head. Stage left is the exit. This should be familiar to you by now.
Like last year’s edition, I will include the awards, the awardee’s name, the points (s)he earned, and some highlights. I hope that the award names themselves will encapsulate why each awardee received the award (s)he did. I tried to include elements of the runners’ accomplishments in the past year, along with a dash (my puns are always intended) of their personalities.
The Muhammad Ali Floats Like a Butterfly, Stings Like a Bee Award: Joel Mandel, 79 points. Highlights: Winning the JOTY two years in a row; placing 1st in 3 of the 10 annual JRunners “By the Numbers” categories: https://www.jrunnersclub.org/jrunners-2014-by-the-numbers/; being the life of the party at the relay.
The Fred Devito If If Doesn’t Challenge You, It Doesn’t Change You Award: Mordechai Ovits, 65 points. Highlight: Utter domination of his peers in every race in which he participated. He took 1st in 5 races, and completely destroyed the competition in his two relay legs.
The Ann Trason It Hurts Up to a Point and Then it Doesn’t Get Any Worse Award: Elik Hirsch, 62 points. Highlights: Pick one. His 1st 50-miler? His 2nd 100-miler? His 6 marathons? His 2 marathons on 2 consecutive days (Iridium Level Maniac!)? Have at it.
The Haruki Murakami If You’re Young and Talented, It’s Like You Have Wings Award: Efraim Shaw, 61 points. Highlight: Let’s look at his resume: 5th place in the Central Park Half, which had 975 participants; 3rd place, Hook Mountain Half, on a bloody knee; 1st in the Tenafly 5k; 1st in the Peasantman Half Ironman, 2nd in the Poconos Half Ironman, 4th in the Richard’s Run 5k (hmf, pedestrian), 1st in the Toga Duathlon. He recently moved to Brooklyn, and he’s going to take over.
The Mad Max Road Warrior Award: Rebecca Schwartz, 53 points. Highlight: Closing out the year with 3 marathons and 1 50k within 2.5 months, and she’s thirsty for more (but January is a road race wasteland – anybody got any ideas?).
The Judd Apatow This is 40 Award: Adam Orlow, 50 points. Highlights: Finishing his 20th lifetime marathon; winning his first ever road race at the L’Chaim 5k in Queens.
The Woody Allen 90% of Success is Showing Up Award: Martin Bodek, 47 points. Highlights: Continued his lifetime streak of participating in every single JRunners race; ran his first 60k; completed his 22nd marathon, set a new relay leg2 record.
The Metallica Obey Your Master, Your Life Burns Faster Award: Scott Smith, 45 points. Highlights: earning JRunners their single (Masters) club point in the annual standings, saving us from the cellar; 6 half-marathons.
The Showtime Winner and Still Champion Award: Connie Fried, 39 points. Highlight: Connie was JRunners’ first ever repeat champion when she returned to the Health Awareness 5k and claimed victory once again – this, after running a punishing 25k trail race the day prior.
The Slim Shady Guess Who’s Back, Back Again? Award: Yossi Pancer, 38 points. Yossi recovered physically from a leg ailment and returned to form, placing 1st among his peers at 3 separate races, with excellent times. He still won’t change his glory-days Facebook pic, though.
The Cake He’s Going the Distance, He’s Going for Speed Award: Dov Gertzulin, 38 points. Highlight: Beating all 30 JRunners comers with his blistering 2:56:56 at NYCM. Oh, and he started 2015 by welcoming a new baby, Emily Willow. Mazel tov!
The Let’s Give These Guys a Round of Applause for Dedicating Themselves to the Continued Nurturing of the JRunners Club, and Keeping Things Humming Along, Despite Various Hurdles that Would Buckle those Less Determined Award: Matt Katz, Saul Rosenblum, Yaakov Bressler, Hershy Mandel, Connie Fried, and members of the board, 1,000,000 points. Highlights: Relay, 5k, streaker challenge, 2,015 in 2015 challenge, weekly Brooklyn runs, with more to come.
And there you have it folks. We had a very successful 2014, and we’re looking forward to a runderful™ 2015.
Beat Reporter, JRunnersClub.org
BDE, Stuart Orlando ben O. Ray Scott