The Joshbys 2017: Friends & Family Winners

** EDIT: I thought I pushed PUBLISH a couple of days ago. I did not. So here you are. **

I have been doing The Joshbys now for 12 years. I laugh that this has lasted this long, because — I started it as a tongue in cheek way of labeling my favorite siblings. But, I get asked about it every year around November and December. Especially when a friend felt slighted from the previous year.

But, as the years have gone by the meaning has changed — slightly. Sure, there’s still a tongue in cheekness to it, but really this is a way for me to acknowledge the people in my life — family and friends. I grew up with the belief that you show gratitude for the people in your life and celebrate them often. That’s really what The Joshbys are about. And, that’s what they’ll always be about.

Anyways, earlier this week, I released the list of nominees for the family and friends category, and now here are the winners.

So without any further adieu, the winners …

Friend Category 2017

Best Friend of the Year
David Stuart
Dave is the friend of all friends. He’s always willing to hang out, go get food or even run to Walmart on a Friday or Saturday night. You won’t find a friend as loyal, understanding and encouraging as Dave. 

New Friend of the Year
Lizzi Ashby
Lizzi has reminded me of the importance to fight for what you want in life, and the need to constantly challenge the limits of your comfort zone. I have become a better person because of her example and friendship.

Inspiring Friend of the Year
Robert Merriman
I have known Robert for over 3-4 years now and you seriously can’t find a better, kinder friend than him. He is right there encouraging and helping others along life or the trails. With his current fight with cancer his example of courage, fearlessness and faith has been inspiring to those know and love him. Keep fighting Robert! #FightLikeRobert

Cyber Friend of the Year
Spencer Myers
There are many times I sit at my computer and just laugh out loud from the exchanges me and Spencer have on social media. He’s a genuinely funny guy. Everyone should follow him.

Running Friend of the Year
Zack Winters
I have had some awesome adventures with Zack — whether it was finishing the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer, beasting through the Tmp Elk Run or running The Haunted Half — I’ve been truly inspired by Zack. He’s a great kid with great ambitions and goals. I see so much of myself in him and can’t wait to see where he goes in life.

New Running Friend of the Year
Russell Hutchings
I am in awe of Russell and his passion to run. Not just for pure records and PRs, but with his dad and the AIIA team. This kid has a heart of gold and is always looking for ways to serve others. I can’t wait to see him tackle Squaw Peak 50 in 2018 along with the many other goals he has set out. Keep it Little Man!

Out of State Friend
Jill Gabica
I sadly give Jill this award. Last year she wasn’t even eligible. But, after moving to Boise in June my weekend running buddy is gone. We still had many awesome adventures — namely Jackpot — and we have many more planned in 2018 — again, mainly Jackpot (possibly others). I’ve always valued and cherished Jill’s friendship — from Chuck to now.

Friend Mom of the Year
Amanda Bjarnson
Um, Amanda is a total badass (it’s true, I gave her a Joshby for it). She ran pregnant pretty much right up to the time she popped. And, she’s already itching to get back out there. I have the utmost respect to not just pregnant runners, but mother runners — how they balance their running with a family amazes me. It also really reiterates the fact that guys would make horrible mothers.

Friend Dad of the Year
Blu Robinson
Ever since I met Blu back in 2015 I have looked up to him not just as a friend, but especially a dad. His frankness, sensibility, insight and sense of humor is something I hope I can pull off when I become a Dad someday.

Friend Kid of the Year
Miles Bjarnson
This wasn’t very hard, I practically named this kid. I just hope Amanda knows that when I have a kid, one of them will be using this name as well (my wife won’t have a choice in the matter). May I suggest Fartlek for their next child?

Friend Couple of the Year
Blu & Marissa Robinson
This was a very difficult category for the committee to award, because there are so many great couples deserving of this award. But, this is very deserving to the Robinsons. Not only is Blu deserving of Dad of the Year, but — and, I am sure Blu would echo this — he wouldn’t be deserving of that without Marissa. Not only are the Robinsons a great couple and team for their family, but the community around them as well with Addict II Athlete and their work. I am a better person because of their dedication to each other and the team.

And, here is the family category …

Family Category 2017

Family Member of the Year
Tatum Rex Snow Minson
This was a difficult category, but the award once again goes to Tatum. How can it not when the kid is always excited to see me with an enthusiastic “WALLA!” yell? That can’t be beat. I love this kid. He makes me smile and my day better every time I see him.

New Member of the Year
Eliza R. Stallings
Sure, she was the only one eligible in this category, but she would have won it anyways. This kid is cute and her personality keeps getting bigger and bigger. I will always remember getting news of her birth. I just DNF’d my first race and as I was heading back to my car I turned on my phone and got numerous texts and pictures announcing her birth. She redeemed what could have easily been a horrible day.

Family Baby of the Year
Tatum Rex Snow Minson
As mentioned above, this kid has my heart. All of my nieces and nephews do, but we’ve had a special bond since he was born not yet two years ago. His loving, caring and funny personality is ever endearing and makes me excited to be a dad one day.

Family Kid of the Year
Maya Faith Hansen
It’s hard to believe that this kid is 9 years old. I remember the day she was born. I made the trip along with my mom to Seattle and waited all night in a small hospital waiting room watching Elmo movies. Fast forward 9 years later this kid has grown into a smart, sweet and goal orientated young woman who loves running and has done a couple 5K races with me. Something we’re planning on doing again this year.

Cousin of the Year
Mariathy Valavanis
The best part of my 15 day trip to Europe was meeting my family in Greece after years of online correspondence. I couldn’t have asked for a better trip being able to meet my family, especially my cousin Mariathy. I loved the time our family was able to spend with her and my other cousins and it was much harder to leave, but I promised her that I will come back to run the Athens Marathon with her soon-to-be husband in 2019! 

Family Mother of the Year
Jessica Stallings
After many years waiting to become a mother, that reality came to fruition this year with Eliza’s birth. Jess is such a great mother and I love seeing Jess in the role she’s yearned for, for years. I am beyond happy for her and Scott. 

Family Father of the Year
Scott Stallings
Just like Jess, Scott has waited years for this role. And, Scott is such a great dad to Eliza. I love watching his social media feed of him and Eliza — it’s no wonder she’s a happy kid. Scott is very deserving of this award.

Sibling of the Year
Jenny Minson
I have a special bond with each of my siblings. But, this past year I have really bonded with Jenny — it helps she mothers Tatum. But, Jenny has one of the biggest hearts and takes after my Mom in that regard. She has been a great example to me on doing the right thing when the moment arises.

Sibling In-Law of the Year
Kelli Hansen
I get along with my in-laws, but Kelli and I just have a very special bond. Being practically the same age helps a lot, but we really bonded during our European vacation. I am excited for Kelli and Ben and what 2018 will bring them and our family. 

Congratulations to all the winners of The Joshby Awards. Again, this is really a celebration about YOU and the impact you’ve made in my life. I feel so blessed and lucky to have so many amazing people in my life.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Here’s to a great 2018!