Runners, Bikers To Take Mt. Washington Auto Road Tests

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – The historic Mt. Washington Auto Road is ready and open for business, cleared of the massive amounts of snow that buried it during the winter.

The question now: Are the runners and the bicycle riders who attack it each summer – the folks with an “elevation addiction” as one race official likes to call it – ready for their next challenge?

Three athletic contests up the Mt. Washington Auto Road each summer stand as perhaps the Northeast’s most pure and supreme tests of fitness, determination and stamina.

The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, Newton’s Revenge bicycle race and Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb offer a one-a-month smorgasbord of challenges for ever-eager outdoors enthusiasts.

  • The 55th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race is set for Saturday, June 20 at 9 a.m.
  • The 10th Newton’s Revenge is Saturday, July 11 at 8:40 a.m.
  • The 43rd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 8:40 a.m.

The races each travel the all-uphill and grueling 7.6 miles of the Mt. Washington Auto Road – which celebrates its 154th birthday this year and is America’s oldest manmade attraction – from the base of the Auto Road north of Pinkham Notch on Route 16 to the 6,288-foot summit of the mountain. The road rises at an average grade of 12 percent and has a net gain of 4,650 feet.

Each race also challenges the famously unpredictable weather at Mt. Washington. The bike races have a weather postponement date on the day following the scheduled event. Only once in its history, in 2002, has the foot race been shortened because of unsafe weather on the summit.

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The bulk of the field for the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race is filled rapidly by a lottery each March and is capped at just over 1,300 runners for safety and logistical reasons. The race features some of the best mountain runners in the country and world as well as invited and elite runners who participate in endurance and other types of events.

Jonathan Wyatt of Wellington, New Zealand, and Ethiopian Shewarge Amare own the open records for the Road Race. Wyatt set the men’s record of 56 minutes and 41 seconds in 2004. Amare established the women’s standard of 1:08:20.4 in 2010.

The men’s and women’s winner each earn $1,500 and there are various other cash awards in the race. Setting the male or female record for the race pays $5,000.

More information on the race is available at http://mountwashingtonroadrace.com/.

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The runners and bikers who challenge the mountain are proud owners of an “elevation addiction,” says Jotham Oliver, spokesperson for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center. Many of them come back year after year in an attempt to cure, or more accurately satisfy, their ailment.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the major fundraiser for Tin Mountain, located in Albany, N.H, and an educational non-profit organization that offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the working of the natural world. Most of the $350 entry fee for the Hillclimb goes to support environmental programs through Tin Mountain. The cost of registration is tax deductible and some costs may be offset by fundraising.

Newton’s Revenge was added to the list of athletic events on the Auto Road in 2006 to accommodate the bicyclists who were not able to get into the Bicycle Hillclimb. The fee for Newton’s Revenge is $300. Riders who are entered in the Hillclimb may register for Newton’s Revenge for the discounted rate of $150.

There are still spots remaining in the field for each of this summer’s bike races.

The course records for both males and females are more than a decade old. The record may be set in either the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb or Newton’s Revenge. Tom Danielson set the men’s record of 49:24 in 2002 and French cyclist Jeannie Longo owns the women’s mark of 58:14, established in 2000.

The female and male winners of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge also are awarded $1,500. The bike races, too, pay $5,000 to a male or female who breaks the course record.

New this year for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the Cadence Wealth Management $750 Prime. Cadence Wealth Management will award $750 to the first male and female rider who reaches the one-mile mark of the race as long as the rider finishes the race in less than an hour and 30 minutes.

Registrations and more information on the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is available at http://www.mwarbh.org/ and on Newton’s Revenge at http://newtonsrevenge.com/.

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Mt. Washington Auto Road Opens to Summit for 154th Season

Pinkham Notch, NH  The Mt. Washington Auto Road has officially opened to the summit as of May 14 for its 154th season. The 7.6-mile, privately-owned Auto Road will be open for guided tours, as well as for guests to drive themselves by car, light truck or motorcycle (weather permitting).

mt washington auto road, mt washington, summit, drive yourself

Despite near record snowfall and colder than average temperatures this winter and spring, the Auto Road Road crew has moved swiftly from the base of the Road to the summit removing ice and snow drifts of over 20 feet in places. As recently as fifty years ago, it was considered a success if the Mt. Washington Auto Road was open to the summit by Independence Day. Updates as well as photos and video showing the intricate process of clearing the Auto Road are available at www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com.

The May 14 base-to-summit opening takes place more than a week earlier than the Memorial Day weekend opening of 2015. “We never really know what Mt. Washington will throw at us in the way of weather as we try to reach the summit every spring,” said Howie Wemyss, General Manager. “In spite of the heavy snow this winter and a cold lingering spring on the mountain, our very experienced crew has done an admirable job getting us open for the season. We’re excited to be offering this incredible experience to the public this early.”

Regular pricing for the Auto Road is set at $28 for car and driver and each additional passenger is $8. Kids ages 5-12 are just $6 while children under 5 are free. Season passes for the 2015 season are available for $150 per person providing unlimited access to the Auto Road for the passholder, vehicle and all occupants. The season pass also includes admission to the new-in-2014 Mt. Washington Observatory Museum “Extreme Mount Washington” at the summit as well to all three sunrise drives on June 21, July 26 and August30.

Guided tours are also available on the Auto Road. Guided tours offer a unique opportunity to learn the true nature and history of Mt. Washington and the Auto Road. Two-hour guided tours are available without reservation from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM (8:30 AM until 4:00 PM after Sept 27), weather permitting. Two-hour Guided Tours offer a full hour on the summit. Reservations can be made online for early morning trips leaving at 9:00 AM and 9:45 AM. Pricing for two-hour guided tours are $35 for adults while children ages 5-12 are $15 and under 5 are free. Seniors (62+) and military are $30.

New in 2015, three-hour extended guided tours have been added and are available by advance reservation to explore additional areas of the Auto Road as well as the summit. Pricing for extended guided tours are $60 per adult or child with discounts available for more than 3 in a group.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road also offers a hiker shuttle service from the top of Mt. Washington back to the AMC Pinkham Notch Camp, the Great Gulf Trailhead and the base of the Auto Road as well as one-way up trips for those hiking down. One-way up or down hiker shuttle rates are available at $30 per person.

Memorial Day weekend will mark the opening of the The Douglas A. Philbrook Red Barn Museum, adjacent to the main lodge at the base of the Auto Road. In addition to objects and memorabilia from the Auto Road’s history, you can see some of the vehicles that once made the 8-mile journey to the summit including an original 1870’s Abbot-Downing Concord Coach, a 12 passenger Mountain Wagon, a 1918 Pierce-Arrow from the fleet of the 20’s, a 1938 Ford Woodie Station Wagon and a 1963 International Travelall. Admission to the museum is free of charge.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is America’s first oldest man-made attraction. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be open daily, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. for private vehicles and 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., weather permitting for guided tours. Extended hours will become available beginning on May 23 (Memorial Day weekend). For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call 603.446.3988.

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Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb – August 15, 2015

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – Up for a mighty mountain challenge? Ready to tackle the bicycling Beast of the East?

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is looking for a few good bicyclists willing to take on the grueling 7.6-mile journey to the 6,288-foot summit of the highest peak in the Northeast. Weather conditions to be determined.

Actually the weather may have already played a bit of a role in this year’s race. The field for the Hillclimb did not fill as quickly as usual, likely at least in part to a snowy and extended winter that wreaked havoc with the training regimen of many bicyclists. The good news is an opportunity has been created for people to jump into the popular race now.

A limited number of openings remain for the 43rd edition of the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hillclimb, which is set for Saturday, Aug. 15. The field is capped at just over 600 riders. Limits on the number of riders are necessary to allow road crews and race officials to monitor the safety of all participants and also by the number of vehicles that can be parked at the summit to bring bicyclists back down from the peak after the race.

An exciting new addition to the Hillclimb this year is a race within the race: The Cadence Wealth Management $750 prime will present that amount to the first male and female rider reaching the one-mile mark of the race, as long as the rider finishes the race in less than an hour and 30 minutes. The top male and female finisher in the race each earns a $1,500 prize and a $5,000 is awarded to a racer setting a new course record.

The Hillclimb is the oldest of two bicycle races up the Mt. Washington Auto Road each summer.

Newton’s Revenge, scheduled for July 11 this year, was created in 2006 to meet the demand of racers who were unable to get into the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb.

Both races attract a topnotch field of amateur and professional riders, cover the same 7.6-mile route, have an associated practice ride (the cost of which is included in the respective registration) and are the exclusive opportunities to climb the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road via bicycle.  The Newton’s Revenge practice ride is scheduled for June 14, and the Hillclimb practice ride is scheduled for July 19.

John Kronborg Ebsen of Denmark beat two-time defending champion Cameron Cogburn of Cambridge, Mass., to win his first Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in his initial look at the course last year. Ebsen finished in a time of 52 minutes and 53 seconds, almost a minute in front of Cogburn’s 53:50. The first nine racers finished in under an hour.

Marti Shea of Marblehead, Mass., turned in a time of 1:06:01 to win a record fourth women’s title in 2014. Silke Wunderwald of Hopkinton, R.I., was second in 1:13:55 and Stefanie Sydlik of Cambridge, Mass., was third in 1:16:39.

The men’s and women’s records for the 7.6-mile trek up the hill – which can be set in either the Hillclimb or Newton’s Revenge – belongs to Tom Danielson and Jeannie Longo. Danielson, the top American in the Tour de France in 2011, set the overall mark at 49 minutes 24 seconds in 2002. Longo, the legendary French racer, established the women’s record of 58:14 in 2000.

Riders may register for this year’s Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb at https://www.bikereg.com/mwarhc. Registration is open for Newton’s Revenge at http://newtonsrevenge.com/race-details/registration/. More information on the Hillclimb, Newton’s Revenge or any of the other myriad events scheduled for the upcoming season at the Mt. Washington Auto Road is available at http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/events/.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the primary annual fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, an educational non-profit organization in Albany, N.H. Tin Mountain offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the working of the natural world. Most of the $350 entry fee for the race goes to support environmental programs through Tin Mountain. The rest covers the cost of substantial logistical support, commemorative shirt and other expenses associated with staging the event. Most of the cost of registration is tax deductible and some costs may be offset by fundraising. More information is available at www.tinmtn.org.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road begins at the base of the mountain on Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch and climbs to the 6288-foot summit at an average grade of 12 percent and a net altitude gain of 4650 feet.  The riders battle not only each other but the sheer force of gravity and Mt. Washington’s famously severe winds and unpredictable weather conditions

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Mt. Washington Auto Road Opens to Treeline for 154th Season!

Pinkham Notch, N– The Mt. Washington Auto Road will open for its 154th season on Saturday, May 2nd at 9:00am for guests to drive their own vehicles to treeline at 4,200 feet. The 4.5 mile drive to treeline provides stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks and offers a true taste of the Mt. Washington experience. Reminder vehicles CANNOT be left unattended in this parking lot, hiking from here to ski is not permitted.

Mt washington auto road, spring clearing, treeline, drive yourself

Despite near record snowfall and colder than average temperatures this winter and spring, the Road crew has moved swiftly from the base of the Road to the 6-mile point removing ice and snow drifts of over 20 feet in places. Because of these snow levels, operations to the summit are not yet possible. Updates as well as photos and video showing the intricate process of clearing the Auto Road are available at  www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com.

Mt washington auto road, spring clearing, snow

The May 2nd opening is the earliest the Auto Road has opened, even to treeline, in 10 years. “Lead by 40-year veteran Road Foreman, John Gardner, along with the rest of a very experienced road crew, we’ve been moving quickly in spite of the snow depths and cold spring weather,” said Howie Wemyss, General Manager. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer this Mt Washington experience so early in the season.”

As recently as fifty years ago, it was considered a success if the Mt. Washington Auto Road was open to the summit by Independence Day, but weather permitting, the Mt. Washington Auto Road hopes to open to the summit before Memorial Day weekend. Guided tours will also be offered at that time.

Early season pricing, in effect until Auto Road opens to the summit, is set at $28 for car and driver while passengers are free. Season passes are available for $150 per person and valid through the 2015 season during regular operating hours and allows access for the vehicle and all occupants.

First opened in 1861, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is the first and oldest man-made attraction in America. At nearly 8 miles long, it stretches to the summit of Mt. Washington at 6,288 feet, the highest peak in the Northeast.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road will be open daily during this early season from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., weather permitting. For the latest updates on Road conditions and the operating schedule, visit www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com or call 603.446.3988.

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6th Annual Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame Inauguration

March 25, 2015 Pinkham Notch, NH Formed in 2010 to recognize outstanding performers in and contributors to this footrace to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States, the Hall of Fame this year will pay tribute to the achievements in a ceremony at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday, June 20.  The ceremony will take place after the 2015 Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race which starts at 9 a.m.  The race attracts 1300 runners who will make their way up the 154-year-old Auto Road.

The 2015 Mount Washington Hall of Fame inductees: 

Eric Blake is a 3-time winner of the race, taking the top spot in 2006, 2008, and 2013.  He owns the state record for CT (59:57) and NY (61:07) and is one of only eight people to have ever run under sixty minutes.  No one has run more times under 1:02 than Eric who has done so eight times.  Eric currently works as the head men’s and women’s Track & Field/Cross-Country coach at Central Connecticut State University.  He resides in West Hartford CT.  Eric notes that his most memorable moment at Mt Washington was his win and sub-60 minute effort in 2013.  “I had my wife and a lot of friends and family there watching so it was a pretty special day”.  Eric is still at the top of his game and “feel(s) I can run faster and still want a few more wins!”  Tops among Eric’s many accomplishments beyond the Mt Washington road race are his world record for a marathon on a treadmill (2:21) and being a scoring member of the 2010 USA Mountain running team which took home a silver medal at the World championships.

Eleonora Mendonca had three consecutive wins from 1976-1978.  She set the course record in 1977 and again in 1978.  She and Hall of Famer Chris Maisto are the only women to have set course records multiple times.  She recalls “I could not pass the opportunity to do a different type of race – only one hill.  I could not forget the incredible view as I approached the summit…The beauty carried me on”.  She was inducted into the Cambridge Sports Union Hall of Fame in 2000.  The CSU website notes “Ellie joined Cambridge Sports Union in 1974 and had an immediate impact on the women’s running scene in greater Boston by being a top finisher in road, track and cross-country races”.  Her biggest accomplishment was to qualify (for Brazil) at the Los Angles Olympic Games where she ran in the first women’s marathon.  Eleonora is retired and currently living on Cape Cod. 

Eric Morse is possibly the most prolific runner to not have an overall win at Mt Washington He has the Vermont state record for this race with his 1:01:09 from 1999.   He is tied for the third most top 10 finishes with fourteen and is also tied for fourth with ten top five finishes.  He ranks 14th in all-time earnings at Mt Washington taking home $4,200.  He scored on course record setting teams (Central Mass Striders) an amazing nine times, setting course records five times on the open squad and four times on the masters.  He has finished the race sixteen times, including three times as runner-up.  Eric was inducted into athletic Hall of Fame at Harwood High School (Moretown, VT) in 2010 as “one of the most successful athletes in Harwood cross-country and track-and-field history. As a junior, he won four Vermont state championships…as a senior, Eric won two state championships… (and) was a member of the first hockey team at Harwood”.  His most memorable moment at Mt Washington was the “halfway race” of 2002 where he finished in second place, 10 seconds out of the win.  His many accomplishments outside of Mt Washington include being a 7-time member of the USA Mountain running team.  He has quite a range of ability from a sub-4 minute mile to a 1:03 half-marathon.  Eric is a graphic designer residing in Berlin, VT.  In recent years he has excelled at racing with his West Highland Terrier “Murdoch”.  They have won nearly every race they’ve entered and can boast personal bests of 4:59 for the mile and 16:44 for 5km. 

Peter Watson – Peter, who passed away in 2012, ran the race 23 times from 1988-2011. He was the supreme organizer of Team Gloucester (TG), which annually accounts for an impressive number of runners in the field.  He created the Mt. Washington Practice Run in Rockport, where he lived, and he organized it year after year. He publicized the race every way possible, from the newspapers he published to the word-of-mouth network that extended from him to thousands of people in many directions, but especially around Cape Ann, Mass.  He dedicated large amounts of time and energy to promoting the race to all.  He inspired, encouraged and led Team Gloucester to form as an official club.  Each year he would email every runner he knew when the lottery would open.  To get more runners past the lottery he offered to provide volunteers.  Peter always organized and planned who would volunteer and supervised to make sure it was done well.  He kept detailed records of each TG member’s races up the Mountain and compared times to previous year.  He cajoled runners into competing on behalf of TG and generally orchestrated everything they did relative to the Mountain race.  He is the reason for the strong TG women’s presence at the mountain to this day.

The Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame recognizes athletic performance at the MWRR or efforts to assist the Race or promote it.  Consideration is given to athletes, advocates, race staff members or volunteers.   Inductees are chosen by a vote of the Hall of Fame committee from a longer list of nominees compiled by December 31 of the preceding year.

The Saturday afternoon Hall of Fame induction will precede the race’s award ceremony.  The induction ceremony will start at 1 p.m. in the large tent at the base of the Auto Road, on Route 16 just north of Pinkham Notch.

The public is invited.

Regularly updated information about the Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame is available any time on the new website at: http://mwrrhalloffame.com/

Other HOF sites include:  Facebook (facebook.com/mwrrhof), Twitter  (twitter.com/mwrrrecords) and the Records/Hall of Fame blog (mtwashingtonrecords.blogspot.com ).  For other information about the race, visit www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com.

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Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race lottery open through March 17

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – March 16, 2015 Time is running short for runners planning to sign up for the lottery for this summer’s 55th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race. Registration for the lottery is open until midnight on March 17. The on-line lottery selects the bulk of the field for the grueling and historic all-uphill footrace.  Runners may enter the lottery by visiting the race web site, www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com.

The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race stands as the premier mountain-running event in the eastern U.S. and attracts top American and international mountain runners along with a variety of world-class athletes from seasoned marathoners to track and cross-country runners, Nordic skiers, snowshoe racers, triathletes and others.

Joseph Gray and Shannon Payne, both of Colorado Springs, Colo., were first-time winners of the race in 2014. Gray had challenged for the top spot several times before and won his first in a time of 59 minutes, nine seconds. Payne won in 1:10:12 in her first attempt at the race.

Since the number of serious athletes wanting to run this race is much greater than the 153-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road can accommodate, the “Run to the Clouds” is filled each year partly by invitations issued to elite mountain runners but primarily by a computer-generated random selection process open to all comers.

Registration for the lottery closes on Tuesday, March 17, at11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

The race will take place on Saturday, June 20, with a starting time of 9 a.m.

Through the race web site, a runner may register individually or as part of a team. In the latter case the team’s captain registers the team as a unit, and the lottery then either accepts or rejects the entire team. The entry fee is $80 per person, plus a $5 fee to register for the lottery itself.   Registrants enter their credit card numbers on line; the $80 fee is charged to the cards of all accepted applicants. Those not accepted are charged only the $5 lottery fee.

Runners whose recent performances indicate that they may be contenders for top places, or whose past participation in the race has contributed particularly to the event’s charisma, can bypass the lottery and enter the race as invited runners. Entry is also guaranteed for runners who have completed the six other races in the New England “Mountain Goat” race series. All previous winners of the race overall may enter automatically, and the previous year’s age-group winners (individual and teams) are entitled to bypass the lottery.

The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race begins at the Auto Road base on Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch and climbs to the 6288-foot summit at an average grade of 12 percent and a net altitude gain of 4650 feet.  The runners battle not only each other but the sheer force of gravity and Mt. Washington’s famously severe winds.

Former six-time World Mountain Champion Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand holds the men’s course record at Mt. Washington: 56 minutes 41 seconds, set in 2004.  The women’s record was set in 2010 by the young Ethiopian runner Shewarge Amare, who made the ascent in one hour eight minutes 21seconds.

Based in Concord, NH, Northeast Delta Dental has sponsored the race up the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road since 2001. The health company’s CEO, Tom Raffio, has run the race in a personal best of one hour 50 minutes and 51 seconds. In 2012, Northeast Delta Dental increased its already strong support for the event, making it officially the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race.

Fifty percent of all proceeds from the race will be donated to the Coos County Family Health Services. Based in nearby Berlin, NH, this community-based organization provides innovative, personalized, comprehensive health care and social services to everyone, regardless of economic status.

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Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race raises more than $16,000 for Coos County Family Health Services

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH More than $16,000 was raised and recently donated to Coos County Family Health Services (CCFHS) as a result of  the 2014 Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, which took place in June on the Mount Washington Auto Road. More than 1,300 dedicated runners came together to face the immense challenge of running up the northeast’s highest peak on one of the toughest eight mile courses in the racing world. While it was a day marked by genuine athletic achievement, thanks to Northeast Delta Dental and the Auto Road, the benefits will be felt long into the future in the local community.

northeast delta dental road race, mt washington

(L to R) Loretta Morrissette, RDH; President of the Board of Directors, Robert Pelchat; Chief Executive Officer, Adele Woods, all of Coos County Family Health Services; receive a check for $16,096 from General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, Howie Wemyss and Events Director of the Mt. Washington Auto Road, Kimberly Hoyt.

“We very much appreciate the annual support from the Mt. Washington Auto Road and the proceeds of the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race.” noted Adele Woods, CEO of CCFHS. “We use the proceeds to support 4-5 dental clinics per year, for which we contract with the Molar Express, a mobile dental clinic sponsored by the North Country Health Consortium.”

Coos County Family Health Services serves approximately 15,000 area residents annually. By addressing dental care needs in the clinic rather than in a hospital emergency room it helps defray enormous expenses for patients. This community-based organization provides personalized, comprehensive general and oral healthcare and social services to everyone, regardless of economic status.

Northeast Delta Dental, the region’s most trusted name in dental insurance benefits, has been the primary sponsor of the Mount Washington Road Race since 2001. Since 1995, the Northeast Delta Dental Foundation has donated nearly $50,000 to support the CCFHS school-based oral health education program, fluoride rinse, and preventive dental services. The center’s status as the new beneficiary of the race is a reminder of the Auto Road’s and Northeast Delta Dental’s extensive ties to the region, and to the race’s commitment to the well-being of the larger community.

“This is a wonderful event for the participants and the organization it supports. Our sponsorship of this race and support of Coos County Family Health Services is all a part of Northeast Delta Dental’s commitment to oral health and well-being of North Country residents. Like the Mt Washington Auto Road, we pride ourselves in being a part of this community and look forward to our collaborative and beneficial efforts in the future,” said Kathleen B. Walker, director of marketing & communications at Northeast Delta Dental.

For more information and complete results of the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, visit www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com. For more information about the Coos County Family Health Services organization visit www.coosfamilyhealth.org.

Delta Dental Plans of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, jointly do business as Northeast Delta Dental, headquartered in Concord, N.H., with sales offices in Saco, Maine, and Burlington, Vt.  Northeast Delta Dental administers dental insurance programs for organizations of all sizes and for individuals and families with no access to employer-sponsored dental benefits.

To learn more about Northeast Delta Dental, visit www.nedelta.com and follow Northeast Delta Dental on Facebook and Twitter.

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NEW PROPANE-POWERED MT. WASHINGTON SNOWCOACH BLAZES THE WAY FOR A CLEANER, MORE DURABLE FUTURE

Pinkham Notch, NH The newest Mt. Washington SnowCoach at Great Glen Trails and the Mt. Washington Auto Road is slated to be more energy efficient and even more durable in the challenging terrain conditions found on Mount Washington.

Mount Washington SnowCoaches ... Comfortable Winter Tours Above the Clouds!

Wrapped in a sleek new custom graphic, the latest of three Mt.Washington SnowCoaches has been converted to propane and fitted with a more aggressive track system making it more reliable in extreme terrain conditions. Propane, or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), is a safe, clean-burning, high-energy alternative fuel; and when used in place of petroleum-based fuels, reduces tailpipe emissions. The clean-burning characteristics of propane also allow the engine to have increased service life.

“The propane conversion is just another step towards becoming more environmentally conscious at Great Glen and the Auto Road”, stated Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center. “Two other coaches used for guided tours in the summer have already been converted and more are planned for 2015.”

Additional upgrades to the Mt. Washington SnowCoaches have also taken place to the unique, all-wheel drive track system which enable the 9-passenger vehicles to travel on the snow-covered Auto Road during the snowy winter months. New Dominator® track systems have been designed by American Track Truck of Chassell, Michigan which are lighter and provide better floatation, dramatically increasing traction and stability even in the deepest snow. The frame of each track is fabricated from T-1 grade steel providing superior strength with minimal weight. The new tracks are easy to install and weigh approximately 170 lbs each compared to the prior tracks which weighed 700 lbs each.

“We are really excited about these upgrades to the SnowCoach program”, noted Nate Harvey, Great Glen Trails manager. “Our tour schedule will be more consistent for guests, passengers will get a softer, more comfortable ride, and our mechanics may actually enjoy a day or two off once in a while”. Dominator® tracks are practically maintenance free, allowing convenient and reliable operation in even the worst weather conditions and most challenging environments.

Guided winter tours aboard the Mt. Washington SnowCoaches are approximately 1¼ hour long and depart daily from December through March from the Great Glen Trails base lodge at the base of Mt. Washington on a first come, first served basis. Operating hours are approximately 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 pm (8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. early in the season), depending on weather and snow conditions. The cost for the winter sightseeing experience is $49 for adults and $30 for children ages 5-12. Advance reservations are not available due to unpredictable weather and snow conditions.

The Mt. Washington SnowCoaches climb to about 4,200 feet, otherwise known as treeline, which is approximately two-thirds the way to the 6,288-foot summit. Upon arrival to the turnaround point, passengers are allowed to exit the SnowCoach to experience the weather and snow conditions which Mount Washington is so famous for. Guests can take up to 15 minutes outside the SnowCoach for photos and videos before the climbing back onboard for the journey back to the base.

The SnowCoach is available as  a stand-alone tour or as part of the Trails Total Ticket, which offers complete access to everything available at Great Glen Trails for one discounted price. The Trails Total Ticket includes a trail pass for XC skiing and snowshoeing; cross country ski and snowshoe rentals; all-day access to snowtubing and a tour on the Mt. Washington SnowCoach.

Additional info can be found by visiting www.snowcoachnh.com or by calling (603) 466-3988.

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MT. WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD PRESENTS “ALT ENERGY SUMMIT” SEPTEMBER 13-14, 2014

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH— The Mt. Washington Auto Road continues its long tradition of supporting automotive innovation and environmental responsibility with the 39th year of the Alt Energy Summit, on September 13 and 14, 2014. Free to the general public, the event is expected to be one of the largest single gatherings of alternative energy vehicles in the country and beyond.

Alternative Energy Weekend, NH

As a kickoff event for the New England celebrations of National Drive Electric Week, the Alt Energy Summit, led by New Hampshire Electric Co-op as the presenting sponsor, will feature major manufacturers, electric vehicle associations, industry suppliers and individual “makers” and inventors as the Auto Road continues as a proving ground and playground for new and evolving technologies.

“The Mt. Washington Auto Road has seen the evolution of transportation play out on its eight mile path to the summit.”  remarked Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. “Considering that the first motor vehicle to ever go up was a steam powered Stanley Locomobile in 1899, it seems very appropriate that we showcase how alternative energy technologies have evolved since then.”

Among those manufacturers, builders and organizations planning to attend are: The New England Electric Auto Association; Bill Buchholz, with his Dirigo front wheel drive, 90 mpg diesel tadpole trike; the MIT EVT team with their electric Porsche and latest electric motorcycle; Olin College’s REVO Team; Zoombikes’  electric bikes; Robert Worobey of Black Sparrow Industries, back with his unique, 3-wheeled board, the Tribey; Ben Rich, Cross-Country EV adventurer and KickgasTV, to show off his Zero Motorcycle ride; Smart Energy of New England’s David Belanger, showcasing their line of solar electric, solar thermal, pellet boilers and wind generation.

Additional organizations in attendance will include: Outrider USA’s Kevin Breslend to show off their line of three-wheeled electric/pedal power vehicles; Chargepoint’s John Gilbrook will be there to answer questions about charging stations and infrastructure; The ALT E Store to explain what you need to know about renewable energy systems and supplies; Foxfire Energy will be teamed up with SolarFest to display their Off-Grid Solar Generator trailer; Dragonfly Aerials; The Maine Chapter of the Nat’l Electric Drag Racing Assn. with an electric motorcycle and Cobra drag car; and The Granite State Clean Cities Coalition‘s Dolores Rebolledo hosting a presentation on Community-based Charge Stations, and spreading the word on municipal renewable energy solutions.

Alternative energy summit, mt washington auto road

Presenting Sponsor, NH Electric Co-op, represented by Gary LeMay, will be on hand to answer NH renewable and sustainable energy questions. And “Stage” sponsor, Twin State Ford will display an assortment of the latest Electric and Hybrid vehicles available for purchase.

Presentations and workshops will also be available on both days. On Saturday at 2:30, join Dave Olivera of the New England Electric Auto Association, Ben Rich, longtime EV owner and cross-country electric motorcycle rider, Tim Letourneau of Twin State Ford and Mike Mercer of Banks Chevrolet will discuss the ins and outs of  “Real-life Electric Vehicle Ownership”. At 4:00 PM a workshop led by John Gilbrook, of Chargepoint and Carl Vogel, national Board member of the EAA and president of the NY EAA chapter, on “Community-Sponsored Charging Stations will be presented. Saturday evening at 6:00 PM there will be an under-the-stars screening of two soon-to-be-classic EV films “KickGas” and “Charged”.

On Sunday morning at 10 AM, EV builder and author Ted Dillard and independent PV Solar installer Bevan Walker will be joined by the ALT E store’s Jocelyn Angel and Mike Marchilli to do a hands-on DIY workshop called “DIY Off-Grid Solar EV Charging”.

What to Expect:

  • Saturday morning is our first look at the field of participants.  At 10AM we’ll have The Alt Energy Parade and Drive to the Summit – watch and cheer on our “Alt Energy contestants” as they make history on Mt. Washington.  Everything from home-built electric bikes, cars and motorcycles to the sleekest high-performance plug-in vehicles on the road today will be on hand.  Watch for some truly unusual solutions there as well, including some top-secret “unmanned transportation” research projects currently in development.
  • Mid-morning until noon, join us on the mountain to see the vehicles in action.  There will be ad-hoc gatherings along the route as well as the summit where you can check in on our participants.
  • By early afternoon, the main field will be full of vehicles, exhibitors and participants with cars, bikes and motorcycles, as well as other interesting inventions for you to check out… and possibly even try out.
  • Saturday afternoon and evening look for our speakers and panel discussions, impromptu home-brew music, and in the evening screenings of KickGas and Charged movies under the stars.
  • We’ll wrap up with the hands-on DIY solar charging station workshop on Sunday morning, and informal summit bids again throughout the day with a mid-afternoon wrap-up and send-off.
  • Throughout the weekend: Expect a thrilling look at the future of transportation, a hands-on show of what is here now, along with a peak at some of the history of alternative transportation on the Mount Washington Auto Road:  the first Alt energy vehicle to ever ascend the Mt. Washington Auto Road—the original, steam powered Stanley Locomobile that made the trip from Newton, Massachusetts to the summit of the mountain in 1899.

For more information about or to register for the “Mt. Washington Auto Road Alt Energy Summit” event at the Mt. Washington Auto Road, visit www.altenergysummit.org, email Event Director Ted Dillard at ted@altenergysummit.com, or call at (978) 621-5178.

Links:

Mt Washington Alt Energy Summit: www.altenergysummit.org

National Drive Electric Week: https://driveelectricweek.org

New Hampshire Electric Co-op: http://www.nhec.com

Mt Washington Auto Road (main site): http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com

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42nd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H – Cameron Cogburn, 28, of Arlington, Mass., confirmed this week that he will return to compete for a third victory in as many years, in the 42nd Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. Meanwhile, 51-year-old Marti Shea of Marblehead, Mass., hopes to become the first woman to win this all-uphill bike race four times.

Cogburn and Shea lead a field of 636 cyclists who will pedal up the Mt. Washington Auto Road this Saturday, August 16, in an ascent that elite cyclists have called more difficult than the steepest climbs in the Tour de France. They’ll begin the 7.6-mile course at the foot of the Auto Road, off Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch, and finish at the 6288-foot summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States.

Cogburn, who won this race in his first attempt in 2012 and then repeated his winning performance in 2013, was uncertain earlier this summer whether or not he would return to defend his title. While most entrants in the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb are amateur riders, Cogburn competes professionally, as a member of Team SmartStop. For the first part of  this month, his team obligations took him to Colorado, where he was riding in the U.S. Cycling Pro Challenge, and he returned to the east just three days ago.

If Cogburn feels any fatigue after last week’s Rocky Mountain racing, one other pro in Saturday’s field could challenge him for the victory. That rider is David “Tinker” Juarez of Whittier, California, a former U.S. national mountain biking champion and Olympic cyclist who, now 53 years old, routinely outpaces younger riders.

The other strongest rider in the men’s field is probably Eric Follen, 39, of Sanford, Maine. Follen finished second behind Cogburn last month in Newton’s Revenge, the other annual bike race held on the same course. Another contender for one of the top spots will be the 2010 Hillclimb winner Nico Toutenhoofd, 45, of Boulder, Colo.

Two women who have a chance of staying on Shea’s wheel for at least part of the climb are Silke Wunderwald and Stephanie Sydlik. Wunderwald, 42, of Hopkinton, R.I., won this race last year in Shea’s absence, and Sydlik, 29, of Cambridge, Mass., was second.

One of the most inspiring riders in this year’s event is Greg Bullock of New Egypt, N.J. An avid cyclist for three decades, Bullock developed such pain in his knees that he had to stop riding at the age of 52. After undergoing bi-lateral replacement surgery, he worked his way back into bicycling. This Saturday he’ll pursue one of his major comeback goals: to complete the Mt. Washington ascent.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb serves each year as the primary fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H. The Center offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the workings of the natural world. Information about educational programs, camps and other activities at Tin Mountain is available at www.tinmountain.org.

The race is the seventh of 10 in the regional B.U.M.P.S. – Bike Up the Mountain Points Series – competition. Saturday’s field includes the two cyclists currently in first and second place in the standings for the B.U.M.P.S. season championship: Chris Yura, 35, of Bryn Mawr, Pa., and Erik Vandendries, 49, of Chestnut Hill, Mass. More information at www.hillclimbseries.com.

– JUAREZ AND OTHER CHALLENGERS –

Tinker Juarez is a legend in the mountain biking and road racing world. He represented the United States in mountain biking in the Olympics in 1996 and 2000. In 2006 he finished third in the 3,000-mile Race Across America in a time of 10 days, 22 hours and 21 minutes.

A member of the Cannondale racing team, Juarez competed in the Hillclimb three straight years from 2010 to 2012, improving his time each year. In 2010 he was runnerup to Nico Tootenhoufd, and then in 2011 his time of 56:14 earned him second place behind former world mountain biking champion Ned Overend of Durango, Colo. In the 2012 Hillclimb, won by Cogburn, Juarez placed fifth in his fastest time yet, 55:10.

Cogburn’s winning time in the Hillclimb last year was 50:48, his best time in four races up the mountain — two Newton Revenges and two Hillclimbs. The undefeated champion he has said he thinks he can break the course record held by Tour de France rider Tom Danielson of East Lyme, Conn.

Danielson set the record by winning the 2002 Hillclimb in 49 minutes 24 seconds. He also won in 2003, then won the 2010 Newton’s Revenge in a time just eight seconds slower than his own record. Cogburn was shooting for Danielson’s mark in July but was slowed when his bicycle chain came off early in the race and he had to stop and refasten it, eventually winning in 53:12.

Jeannie Longo of France holds the women’s record for the Mt. Washington Auto Road, of 58:14, which she established in 2000. The course record may be set in either Newton’s Revenge or the Hillclimb.

The clock may be Marti Shea’s biggest challenge this year. Besides having already won the Hillclimb three times, she has also won Newton’s Revenge every one of the seven years she has raced in it, from its inaugural year in 2006 until 2013, when commitments to coaching and leading bike tours in Europe caused her to miss both races. (In 2007, Newton’s Revenge and the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb were both canceled because of dangerous weather conditions on the mountain.)

Shea, who set her personal best time for the Auto Road in the 2012 Hillclimb – 1:03:14 – has said her goals this Saturday are to break 65 minutes again and to become the only woman ever to win the Hillclimb four times. The only woman besides Shea to win this race three times is Aimee Vasse, the champion in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

The only man to win the Hillclimb four times is Tyler Hamilton, coincidentally also of Marblehead, Mass. Hamilton’s performances, however, are marked with an asterisk; in 2011 he admitted having used performance-enhancing drugs in his professional career. His times are no longer considered official for record-keeping purposes.

Results in last month’s Newton’s Revenge suggest that Shea may have the lead to herself on Saturday. She won the July race in one hour, five minutes and 53 seconds (1:05:53), nearly six minutes ahead of runnerup Wunderwald. To have a chance of repeating as the Hillclimb champion, Wunderwald will likely have to improve on her time in the 2013 race, 1:09:56.

– PEDALING STRONGLY WITH NEW KNEES –

For Greg Bullock, winning is not a priority in the conventional sense.

“I’m not racing to the top of Mt. Washington,” Bullock said recently. “I’m getting to the top. Crossing the finish line is a win in my book, no matter how many people finish ahead of me. As long as I cross the line, I win.”

– COMPETING FOR POINTS –

When Chris Yura finished fourth in Newton’s Revenge last month, his time of 58:25 earned him 112 points in the overall Bike Up Mountains Point Series. (As winner of the race, Cogburn earned 120, but he does not actively compete in the series.) Erik Vandendries earned 106 by finishing fifth, four minutes behind Yura. They stand 1-2 in the season competition, at 503 and 486 points, with the Hillclimb and three more races to go.

Marti Shea is currently second in the women’s B.U.M.P.S. standings, having raced only three of the six races so far, but will overtake the current leader, Alexa Gubinski, this weekend. (Gubinski is not entered in the Hillclimb and in any case would be unlikely to beat Shea.)

– FIVE WAVES TO START –

The race starts Saturday in five waves, beginning at 8:35 a.m. with the Top Notch (elite) group and continuing at five-minute intervals with four more successive waves of riders sorted by age. The race fills its quota of more than 600 riders in short order each year after registration opens in February.

The Mt. Washington summit is known for its sometimes nasty and unforgiving weather conditions. If conditions do not allow the race to be held on Saturday, it will take place on Sunday with the same 8:35 starting time.

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