Minnesota Running Data Center Runners of the Year

2023 Races reports:

What is Minnesota Runner of the Year?

From 1986-2019, USATF Minnesota recognized Minnesota Runners of the Year for the best runners by gender and age divisions each year.
  • Records were compiled 1986-2005 by Jack Moran,  2006-2019 by Mike Setter, canceled during 2020 pandemic, and restarted 2021 by Tom Ruen.
  • How does it work?
    1. Runners compete as open and within 5 year age divisions for runners 35 and older.
      • Only runners with a Minnesota address are evaluated, whether permanent or temporary residence. Race result information determine residency.
      • Up to 5 distances can score total points per runner. If more than 5 distances are run, the lowest distance scores are ignored.
      • Open runners assign points for the top-20 performances by distance.
      • Age divisions assign points for the top-10 performances by distance.
      • If there are fewer qualifying performances for a distance and division, the highest points will be reduced to that number.
        • New 2022: Runners with a qualifying time at a given distance will always earn at least 1 point. (This is designed to motivate all runners to try to meet the qualifying time.)
        • New 2022: The top time will always get at least half-top points for a given distance (and 10 for marathon), even if fewer runners have qualifiers. If 3 open runners qualify at a distance, their points will be scored as 10,9,8, while 3 age division qualified finishers would get 5,4,3 points. (This makes uncommon distances more valuable, even if rivals don't show up.)
      • If a runner has 2 or more qualifying times at a distance scores, the faster time while score, while the lower times blocks others from scoring at that ranking.
      • If there is a tie in the score, both runners will be recognized as Co-Runners of the Year.
    2.  Sex vs scoring categories
      Sex All Gender
      (M)ale Yes -
      (F)emale Yes Yes
      or Non-binary
      Yes -
      - -

      Scoring categories (new 2022): There are 2 sex-based categories for competition, All-gender and Female.

      • Runners of any sex or gender, who make the all-gender open or age division standards, are eligible to score points and win the All-Gender Runner of the Year divisions.
      • Only biological females who register as female will qualify for female competition.
      • Gender nonconforming runners  (transgender and nonbinary) are encouraged to register in races as nonbinary (N) where available.
        • While trans-identified males may be allowed to register at some events as female, but if their biological sex is publicly verified as male, they will be (retroactively) reclassified as "U" and removed from competition and historic records.
      • Race results without sex specified are labeled as "U" (Unknown) and are not eligible for any rankings.
    3. Gender Identity versus biological sex
      • Many races don't clarify whether registration is based on biology or identity. I have 4 classes of gender/sex and initially map Male-to-Male, Female-to-Female, Unknown (prefer to not specify)-to-Unknown, and Nonbinary-to-Nonconforming.
      • Any runner may be temporarily moved to the Unknown Sex category, until biological sex is verified.
      • Runners can be restored to Male, Female upon validation, or choose to be moved to Nonconforming if they are comfortable with that.
    4. Division transitions
      • Runners who have a birthday that crosses a 5 year division will have their events scored at two different divisions. The age you are on race-day determines your division.
      • Runners may choose to strategize to get in more events before or after a birthday depending on where they hope to be more competitive.
    5. Early results
      • (Unofficial) early race results may be added if I have reason to believe they will be submitted, but these must be considered provisional and may be removed later.
    6. State Records
      • Runners who make their open or age division standards are eligible to break single year state records. Runners age 4-17, or 90 and older can make state records without making the standard.
  • What are the standards?
    • Time standards define the slowest time by sex, age division and distance to qualify.
      • The 2021 standards are based loosely on 2015 Age grading for the youngest age within a division. The percentages go down gradually with age to allow for fewer participants.
      • NOTE: The least common distances have somewhat easier age-graded standards.
      • New 2021: Net or Chip times (if available) are used for finishing order and qualifiers.
        • NOTE: Starting behind the start line shouldn't be used as a strategy against rivals, but seen for safety reasons for older runners so they don't need to line up near the very front.
      • Minors: Runners under 18 can score if they make the (difficult) open standard. Since this is an adult competition, there are no (easier) standards below age 18.
  • Which distances?
    1. Top time performances are give points for up to 12 distances:
      • 1-mile, 5k, (8k=5-mile), 10k, 12k, [15k, 10-mile], 20k, half marathon, 25k, [30k, 20-mile], and marathon.
      • The 1-mile distance was added in 2008.
      • 8k and 5-mile races are scored together. This means a slight time-disadvantage for 5-mile courses.
      • Two pairs of distances (15k/10M) and (30k/20M) are scored separately BUT if a runner does both distances, only the higher will score.
  • How to help?
    • Runners: Submit consistent spelling for your name AND city on all race applications during a year. This will make it easier to to identify you as a single individual between difference events and distances.
    • Runners: Ask race directors if their course is certified and if so, request submission if it wasn't submitted in past years!
    • Race directors: Include a statement about course certification to help runners know, and give the course number you plan to use.
    • Errors happen. Tell me by email, tomruen@gmail.com, if something is missing or wrong and I'll help look into it!
      • A most common error is wearing the wrong bib, like if a 50-something father accidentally swaps his bib with a speedy 20-something son, results may appear to be a qualifier that is inaccurate and will be removed once identified.
      • Courses may be mis-marked and run somewhat short, which may invalidate the entire race, unless a very small adjustment time factor is determined to make it fair for MNROY scoring. (Accidental long courses will NOT be adjusted.)
  • Which races?
    1. Only Road races (road and hard surface trails) can be scored.
    2. Courses must be certified. For active Minnesota Certified Courses see: www.run-minnesota.org/mnroy/mncourses.htm
    3. Race Directors must be willing to submit a form verifying course and event quality information and email results.
    4. Past year submissions can help you identify which races will likely be submitted, as well as which races have the most qualifiers
    5. Races submitted are used to recognize new Single Age Minnesota State Records for Minnesota and non-Minnesota runners.
    6. Places to search for upcoming races. (Listed events don't gurantee courses will be certified nor that results will be submitted.)
      1. https://www.raceberryjam.com/mdraschedule.php Jack Moran's Raceberry Jam.
      2. https://www.run-minnesota.org/events/ Run-Minnesota
      3. https://minnesota.usatf.org/about/usatf-minnesota-team-circuit USATF-Minneasota Team Circuit events road courses are certified and will have the best competition.
      4. Event organizers and timers
      5. National calendars for Minnesota

Historical Archives by Mike Setter: (Archived from mnroy.com)

 Site Map | Men |  Women | All | Explanation of Scoring
Winners 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Races 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Qualifiers 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

Past MNROY races by year

Raceberry archives by Jack Moran

Standards 1994-2000, 2001-2005

1998-2005 MNROY winners

Male Winners 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Female Winners 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

Raceberry race archives by year

2023 Letter to Race Directors
Minnesota has a long history of recording long-distance running results, including state age records.

We need your help to continue that tradition. Your efforts not only validate extraordinary performances of the competitors, but also reflect upon the success of your event.



  • Please remember to have at least two independent timers in place at the Finish and record the winner's time with both.
  • Fill out the documentation form


  • Email the documentation form.
  • Email results in a CSV (comma-delimited) file (or other text file)
    • Results need to contain (at a minimum) last name, first name, age, gender, city, state, gun time, and  chip time if available. Bib numbers are also valuable.


  • tomruen@gmail.com, 763-432-3122
  • Tom Ruen
  • 4859 East Upland Crest
  • Columbia Heights, MN 55421-2028