2021 IAU Athlete of the Year Winners

It is our pleasure to announce that after completion the voting process the 2021 Winners of the IAU Athlete of the Year award are Camille Herron (USA) and Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU).

Camille received over 41% and Aleskandr over 51% of all votes. Both were winning convincingly the same as in 2019. Camille was already the winner in 2015, 2018 and 2019, she was second in 2017. For Aleksandr this is the second time when he won the award. The first was in 2019 and now in 2021. He was nominated for the award in 2018 as well. The runners up in both categories are listed below.

It was heartwarming to see athletes remain motivated and excel in their performance even when majority of the events were cancelled last year due to the pandemic. Camille and Aleksandr have once again proven that ultrarunners are determined, motivated and committed to giving their best in the pursuit of excellence. Congratulations to both for having won the 2021 IAU Athlete of the Year award! 

Nadeem Khan, IAU President 


Percentages of votes were as follows for all nominees:


1. Camille Herron (USA)


2. Desiree Linden (USA)


3. Irvette Van Zyl (RSA)


4. Dominika Stelmach (POL)




1. Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)


2. Andrii Tkachuk (UKR)


3. Ketema Bekele Negasa (RSA)


4. Domen Kozjek (SLO)



Camille Herron (USA)

Camille is one of the greatest ultra-distance runners. There is no surprise she was nominated and been on podium of the IAU Athlete of the Year Award in the last several years, winning in 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021 and second in 2017. She managed to improve World Best Performances on 3 main distances/time events including 12 hours within 149.130 km (92.665 miles), 100 miles with 12:42:40 and in 2019 during IAU 24 World Championship she set new World Best Performance for 24 hours within 270.116 km (167.842 miles). List of her winning event since 2015 is outstanding. This includes IAU 50 km World Championship, IAU 100 km World Championship (both in 2015), 2019 IAU 24H World championship, Comrades Marathon in 2016 and many other races. More about her you can find at http://www.camilleherron.com/

Aleksandr Sorokin (LTU)

Aleksandr is present at international level since 2014 when for the first time he participate in the IAU 100 km World Championship in Qatar. Year by year he improved his performance with main focus on 24H. He won Spartathlon in 2017, followed by bronze medal at 2018 IAU 24H European Championship in Romania and finally gold at 2019 IAU 24H World Championship in France. Year by year he improved his personal best for 24H being 260, 491 km (2016), 260,991 km (2018), twice in 2019 from 272,708 km, 278,972 km at IAU World Championship and finally he managed to set 24H World Record in 2021 to surpass legendary Yiannis Kouros with outstanding 309,399 km (192,29 miles). He made great progress in 12H as well setting world record with 177.41 km (110,26 miles). He is the first runner to break 11h on 100 miles distance as well (currently 10:51:39!).

We would like to congratulate all nominees and winners of the 2021 IAU award.


Jacek Bedkowski

IAU Director of Communication

2021 IAU Athlete of the Year Winners

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