Help us pick our performance of the year! We’ve narrowed it down to 16. Now it’s up to you guys!!

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Here’s how it works:

Round 1 voting will take place from Monday, December 18 through Tuesday, December 19 at Midnight. Round 2 will go from Wednesday, December 20 through Thursday December 21 at midnight. Semi-final voting will be Friday, December 22 through Monday, December 25 at Midnight. FINAL round voting will open on Tuesday, December 26 and go until Thursday, December 28 at noon. Our winner will be announced that afternoon! For more info on our match-ups read below:

FINALS

Scott Smith, after a string of marathons in hot weather, finally had himself a day in Frankfurt, Germany this October. Taking advantage of temps in the low 50s, Scott ran nearly even splits of 1:06:10/1:06:11 for a massive personal best of 2:12:21, making him the fourth-fastest U.S. marathoner of 2017.

Kellyn toed the line at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as a veteran marathoner, with two sub 2:29’s and a 6th-place at the Olympic Trials to her credit. So the next step was to try and compete up front at a World Marathon Major…which she did. In 4th place as late as 22 miles in, she ended up 8th in her first NYC Marathon.

SEMIFINALS

Scott Smith, after a string of marathons in hot weather, finally had himself a day in Frankfurt, Germany this October. Taking advantage of temps in the low 50s, Scott ran nearly even splits of 1:06:10/1:06:11 for a massive personal best of 2:12:21, making him the fourth-fastest U.S. marathoner of 2017.

A marathon debut is a big deal. Have a good one and people get their hopes up. Have a real good one and your name starts getting thrown around as an Olympic Team Contender. Faubs had a real good one. His 2:12:35 in Frankfurt was the 12th-fastest U.S. debut ever (tied with some guy named Meb) and made him the sixth-fastest American in 2017.

Kellyn traveled across the pond in April to compete in her first Virgin London Marathon. The result was another sub 2:29:00, the second of her career. Her 2:28:51 was good for 13th place overall in what was arguably the deepest field of the year in any of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

Kellyn toed the line at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as a veteran marathoner, with two sub 2:29’s and a 6th-place at the Olympic Trials to her credit. So the next step was to try and compete up front at a World Marathon Major…which she did. In 4th place as late as 22 miles in, she ended up 8th in her first NYC Marathon.

SECOND ROUND:

Scott Smith, after a string of marathons in hot weather, finally had himself a day in Frankfurt, Germany this October. Taking advantage of temps in the low 50s, Scott ran nearly even splits of 1:06:10/1:06:11 for a massive personal best of 2:12:21, making him the fourth-fastest U.S. marathoner of 2017.

The BIX 7 Mile served as the USATF 7 Mile Championships this year which meant Faubs was up against a solid domestic field in search of his first U.S. title. In the end, only Sam Chelanga could keep him from the top of the podium with Faubs finishing runner-up in 33:30 (4:42 pace) on the famously hilly course.

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A marathon debut is a big deal. Have a good one and people get their hopes up. Have a real good one and your name starts getting thrown around as an Olympic Team Contender. Faubs had a real good one. His 2:12:35 in Frankfurt was the 12th-fastest U.S. debut ever (tied with some guy named Meb) and made him the sixth-fastest American in 2017.

Steph chose to run the TCS New York City Marathon for a number of reasons, including the fact that she was born in NYC and actually lived in the Plaza Hotel the first week of her life! Before the race she shared that a top-10 finish was her goal and she finished…wait for it…10th. So the goal was met and she gained invaluable experience, running in the lead pack for 15 miles.

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Ben set a big 10,000 PR of 28:09.29 on the same night that his wife Steph ran 31:59. For Ben, not only was it a huge run but it also earned him a spot at the USATF Track and Field Championships for the 15th year in a row. Yes…he’s made the U.S. Champs 15 straight times!

Kellyn traveled across the pond in April to compete in her first Virgin London Marathon. The result was another sub 2:29:00, the second of her career. Her 2:28:51 was good for 13th place overall in what was arguably the deepest field of the year in any of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

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Kellyn toed the line at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as a veteran marathoner, with two sub 2:29’s and a 6th-place at the Olympic Trials to her credit. So the next step was to try and compete up front at a World Marathon Major…which she did. In 4th place as late as 22 miles in, she ended up 8th in her first NYC Marathon.

Faubs went to Bend, Oregon in February with one goal in mind; make the U.S. Team for the World Cross Country Championships. The incredibly deep field made that a very difficult task as did the hilly, muddy course. Ten long kilometers and two falls later, he had done it. His eight place finish earned him a spot on the team. He would go on to finish 36th at the World Championships in March.

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FIRST ROUND:

Scott Smith, after a string of marathons in hot weather, finally had himself a day in Frankfurt, Germany this October. Taking advantage of temps in the low 50s, Scott ran nearly even splits of 1:06:10/1:06:11 for a massive personal best of 2:12:21, making him the fourth-fastest U.S. marathoner of 2017.

After a rough fall to close out an otherwise stellar 2016, Kellyn returned to racing in February with a third place finish at the USATF Cross Country Championships. She earned a spot on the World Cross Country Team but declined so she could focus on preparing for the London Marathon.

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Marty Hehir came to the USATF High Performance Meet at Occidental College in May with a PB of 13:35 and left with a new best of 13:29.94. Mission accomplished! It was our team’s first sub 13:30 and Marty had to dig down deep with a sub-60 last lap to do it.

The BIX 7 Mile served as the USATF 7 Mile Championships this year which meant Faubs was up against a solid domestic field in search of his first U.S. title. In the end, only Sam Chelanga could keep him from the top of the podium with Faubs finishing runner-up in 33:30 (4:42 pace) on the famously hilly course.

VOTE NOW

A marathon debut is a big deal. Have a good one and people get their hopes up. Have a real good one and your name starts getting thrown around as an Olympic Team Contender. Faubs had a real good one. His 2:12:35 in Frankfurt was the 12th-fastest U.S. debut ever (tied with some guy named Meb) and made him the sixth-fastest American in 2017.

Marty had so many good races this year it was hard to only pick a couple for this list. His 5k PR made the cut but he also ran bests at 3k and 10k and finished runner-up at the RnR Philly Half. But we chose his 2nd place at Ottawa partially so we could use the above pic and partially because if you watch THE RACE he was totally fearless…exactly how we like to do it.

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Steph chose to run the TCS New York City Marathon for a number of reasons, including the fact that she was born in NYC and actually lived in the Plaza Hotel the first week of her life! Before the race she shared that a top-10 finish was her goal and she finished…wait for it…10th. So the goal was met and she gained invaluable experience, running in the lead pack for 15 miles.

Craig had a killer spring, crushing workouts in April and May on his way to PRs at 5,000 and 3,000 meters. The latter came at the Adrian Martinez Classic where he blew away his previous 3k best by 13 seconds when he crossed the line in 7:48.64. The time stands as the HOKA NAZ Elite team record.

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Last year one of our top performance nominees was Scott Smith running a 1:02:34 half marathon and a 28:24 10k six days apart. Well Steph made that seem weak (sorry Scott) when she finished 22nd at the World Cross Country Championships in Uganda on March 26 and came back just five days and 9,000 miles later to run a 10,000 PR of 31:59.88 at the Stanford Invitational.

What better first round matchup than Wife v Husband? Ben set a big 10,000 PR of 28:09.29 on the same night that Steph ran 31:59. For Ben, not only was it a huge run but it also earned him a spot at the USATF Track and Field Championships for the 15th year in a row. Yes…he’s made the U.S. Champs 15 straight times!

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Matt’s 2:13:42 at the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon is a very solid performance in and of itself. But the context in which he ran it is the more impressive part. After the 2016 NYC Marathon, Matt had surgery to repair a torn labrum. The result was four months with no running and more physical therapy than he’d probably care to remember. His first week over 70 miles in 2017 wasn’t until the end of May and by October he ran a 2:13 marathon. That’s pretty cool.

Kellyn traveled across the pond in April to compete in her first Virgin London Marathon. The result was another sub 2:29:00, the second of her career. Her 2:28:51 was good for 13th place overall in what was arguably the deepest field of the year in any of the Abbott World Marathon Majors.

VOTE NOW

Kellyn toed the line at the 2017 TCS New York City Marathon as a veteran marathoner, with two sub 2:29’s and a 6th-place at the Olympic Trials to her credit. So the next step was to try and compete up front at a World Marathon Major…which she did. In 4th place as late as 22 miles in, she ended up 8th in her first NYC Marathon.

Futsum only joined our team in March and two short months later he set at PR at 5,000 meters of 13:36.08 at the USATF High Performance Meet on May 18th. Less than a month later he did it again, running 13:34.84 at the Portland Track Festival on June 11. The time is the second-fastest in team history.

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In the summer of 2016, after having missed both the Olympic Marathon and Track Trials due to a lingering injury, Aaron seriously considered retirement. He decided to give it another go later that fall, moved to Flagstaff and joined our team in March of 2017. Seven months later he was 100% healthy and back to racing at a high level with his 2:13:41 (12th place, 3rd American) at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

Faubs went to Bend, Oregon in February with one goal in mind; make the U.S. Team for the World Cross Country Championships. The incredibly deep field made that a very difficult task as did the hilly, muddy course. Ten long kilometers and two falls later, he had done it. His eight place finish earned him a spot on the team. He would go on to finish 36th at the World Championships in March.

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2 thoughts on “2017 Performance of the Year

  1. Mark J Conway 4 weeks ago

    As much as you guys are all stars and credit to you all for what you have achieved so far… Can I vote for Matt Fitzgerald please? Am based in Australia, am now an avid follower of what you and the team do there and am loving everything you share (thank you!!) With Matt blogging (being the running bum) and getting his all-time P.R in Chicago … (in his mid-forties) gives hope to us age groupers the world over. I would not have tapped into all the excellent work you guys do (and the excellent workouts you share) if not for Matt, so maybe worth a vote or two? 🙂 Merry Christmas Ben and all @ the NAZ Team !

    1. NAZ Elite 4 weeks ago

      Duly noted!! We’ll make sure to give Matt a shout-out on Twitter that he got a write-in vote…he’ll love that!!