*53rd Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race June 15, 2013 – 9:00 a.m.
*8th Newton’s Revenge July 6, 2013
(weather date July 7), starting times 8:40-8:55 a.m.
*41st Annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb August 17, 2013
(weather date August 18), starting times 8:35-8:55 a.m.
Pinkham Notch, N.H.-One day every June, upwards of a thousand runners get the opportunity to test their legs and lungs against the 7.6 miles and 12 percent average grade of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Four times each summer, a few hundred cyclists make the same trip on two wheels, twice for practice and twice in races in July and August.
The 2013 Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race will take place on Saturday, June 15. Led by some of the country’s best mountain runners, the field of well-trained endurance and multi-sport athletes will race to the 6288-foot summit of New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States.
The Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race is sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental, which has its headquarters in Concord, N.H. Entry is by lottery or, for elite athletes, by invitation. Lottery entries were selected in March.
This year the men’s field is led by defending champion Sage Canaday of Boulder, Colorado. Last year, when the race served as the U.S. National Mountain Championship, Canaday made his Mt. Washington debut by pulling away from everyone else after two miles and running one of the fastest times in the race’s history. The 2012 runner-up, Joe Grey of Newcastle, Washington, will also return this year. So will Chris Siemers, of Arvada, Colorado, who won the race in 2010 and is returning for the first time since then.
The women’s field will include Brandy Erholtz, of Evergreen, Colorado, who won the race in 2008 and 2009, then finished second the next three years. It will also include two outstanding masters runners – Laura Haefeli of Del Norte, Colorado, the first American woman ever to win an individual medal at the World Mountain Championships, and J’ne (pronounced “Janey”) Day-Lucore of Denver. Day-Lucore, who won the Mt. Washington Road Race three times in the 1990s, will be inducted into the Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame in a ceremony on Friday evening, June 14.
Other new inductees to the Hall of Fame this year include Simon Gutierrez of Colorado Springs, Colorado, another three-time Mt. Washington winner; six-time world Mountain Champion and Mt. Washington course record holder Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand; and longtime race director Bob Teschek of Newport, N.H.
Jonathan Wyatt’s course record, set in 2004, is 56:41. The women’s course record is 1:08:21, set by Shewarge Amare of Ethiopia in 2010.
Starting time on June 15 is 9 a.m.
On July 6, the Auto Road will welcome more than 200 cyclists to the 8th annual Newton’s Revenge, the first of two bike races held each summer on the Auto Road. The race attracts amateur cyclists across the northeastern United States, Quebec and Ontario, with the occasional professional cyclist coming to test his or her hill-climbing ability.
Many of the entrants in Newton’s Revenge will also be riding in the annual Practice Ride. Held this year on June 2, the practice ride enables riders to evaluate the quality of their training and, more importantly, the appropriate gearing on their bikes. The steepness of the Auto Road frequently takes newcomers by surprise, and the usual gearing for bicycle road races and many off-road races does not include a low-enough setting for the relentless grade in Newton’s Revenge. The Practice Ride is open only to riders who are already registered for Newton’s Revenge. Registration for this year’s Newton’s Revenge is still open, at www.newtonsrevenge.com.
Newton’s Revenge starts at 8:40 a.m. on July 6, when the Top Notch group – the first and fastest wave of riders — begin the climb. Three other groups, including junior riders, tandems, and others by age group, follow at five-minute intervals. Finishing times are adjusted for the gap in starting times. While the men’s race presents no clear favorite, the women’s field includes Marti Shea, of Marblehead, Mass., who won the inaugural Newton’s Revenge in 2006 and has won it every year it has been held.
The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is exactly the same race as Newton’s Revenge, but with a larger field — for two reasons. First the Hillclimb was established in 1973 and so, with a longer history, is better known. Second, it is the principal annual fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H. Registration for Newton’s Revenge opens only after the field registered for the Hillclimb has filled to its limit of 600 cyclists. Registration for the 2013 Hillclimb opens each year on February 1st; this year the field reached capacity in ten days.
The 2013 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb will take place on August 17. Riders start in five waves, beginning with the Top Notch (elite) group at 8:35 a.m. and continuing with the others at five-minute intervals.
Organizers expect this year’s field to include Jeremiah Bishop of the Cannondale racing team and currently the leader in U.S. national cross-country bicycling standings. He’ll have to contend with Cameron Cogburn, of Cambridge, Mass., who last year handily won both Newton’s Revenge and the Hillclimb. Marti Shea leads the women’s field.
The Practice Ride for the 2013 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb will be held on July 21, with riders starting up the road any time between 5 and 6 a.m. As with the Newton’s Revenge practice ride, participation is restricted to riders who are already registered for the Hillclimb. Both practice rides are also limited to a maximum of 300 riders.
Often described as more severe than the steepest climbs in the Tour de France, the Mt. Washington Auto Road has frequently been a proving ground for riders who have gone on to international competition. The men’s course record-holder for the Auto Road is Tom Danielson, who set that record in 2002, then in 2011 was the first American finisher in the Tour de France. Danielson has won both bike races up Mt. Washington.
The women’s course record-holder is legendary French cycling star Jeannie Longo. Danielson’s record for the ascent is 49 minutes 24 seconds; Longo’s is 58:14.
Weather on Mt. Washington weather can include 40- to 65-mph. gusts of wind and various kinds of precipitation. Given the occasional severity of atmospheric conditions here, either bike race may be postponed until Sunday if the Auto Road staff determine that precipitation, low temperatures or high winds have combined to make conditions on the road unsafe on Saturday.