Who are the Top 20 Most Inspirational Ultra Runners for 2020?


By far my most popular blog each year has been the Top 20 Most Inspirational Ultra Runners of the Year. This year will be the third annual installment and – of course — markedly different from previous versions.

This year, major races like Western States, Hardrock, UTMB and countless others were canceled due to the worldwide pandemic. There were some notable races early in the year and more recently others have been held, like Javelina Jundred this past weekend.

In the meantime, runners challenged themselves with Fastest Known Times (FKTs) and other pursuits. Expect for this year’s list to reflect those who inspired in other ways than from atop the podium at historically significant races. Those on the list may have set amazing FKTs, used their social media platforms to advocate for change or inspired the ultra running community in other creative ways.


I appreciate the support of XX2i for sponsoring this year’s list. As a special treat for RunSpirited followers, XX2i is offering 40 percent off any sunglasses. Use this link for the special discount.

My personal favorite pair of XX2i sunglasses is the USA1, Performance Sunglasses, Black Onyx, Red Flash Lenses. They are incredibly comfortable, never slip down and the vented lenses keep fog away during those early morning runs or treks that turn from sun to rain. And just because the days are shorter now, doesn’t mean that we should let our guard down from the harmful rays of the sun.

Who are you voting for?

For the next several weeks, I’ll be taking recommendations for this year’s list of the 20 most inspiring ultra runners. You can email me your suggestions or hit me up on any of my social media platforms, all from my contact page.

In the meantime, check out my previous annual lists from last year and the first installment in 2018.

Look for the 2020 list to publish on or about Nov. 30. Until then, stay healthy, enjoy your running and find joy.

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