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.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment


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.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment


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.


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

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

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.


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.


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.”


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.)


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.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Shea & Cogburn unbeaten at Newton’s Revenge

July 4, 2014 – PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. Marti Shea of Marblehead, Mass., has competed six times in Newton’s Revenge, a 7.6-mile bicycle race up the Mt. Washington Auto Road in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and six times she has won. Cameron Cogburn of Arlington, Mass., has raced in Newton’s Revenge just once, in 2012, when he won the men’s division of this all-uphill race handily. Having each been absent from the race in 2013, Shea and Cogburn will return to try to keep their undefeated records intact when the 2014 Newton’s Revenge hits the Auto Road on Saturday, July 12. The first riders of the day take off at 8:40 a.m.

Newton’s Revenge is the sibling race to the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, which is contested each August. The 41st Hillclimb is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 16. In case severe weather should make the course unmanageable on race day, the weather postponement date for each race is the next day: Sunday, July 13 for Newton’s Revenge and Sunday, Aug. 17 for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Hillclimb.

The entry fee for Newton’s Revenge is $300, of which a portion supports the activities of the Mt. Washington Valley Bicycling Club.  Riders who are already registered for the Hillclimb may enter Newton’s Revenge for $150.  On-line registration for Newton’s Revenge closes at noon on July 10, but last-minute entrants can still register in person on Friday evening, July 11, at the Mt. Washington Auto Road.  Registration for the Hillclimb is closed. Since winning the 2012 Newton’s Revenge, Cogburn, now 28, went on to win the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb the following month. He missed Newton’s Revenge in 2013 but then successfully defended his Hillclimb title later last summer by riding up the Auto Road in the second-fastest time ever recorded on this course, 50 minutes 48 seconds.   An unabashed fan of these steep bicycle challenges up the Auto Road, he said recently of Mt. Washington, “It’s in a league of its own,” he said. “Definitely, there’s nothing like it. It’s basically as pure an athletic race as it gets, I think.”

Besides having won Newton’s Revenge six times, Shea, now 51, won the Hillclimb three straight years from 2010 to 2012. In her 2012 Hillclimb victory, she put up her best time ever – and the second best of any woman ever on the mountain, 1:03:14. Jeannie Longo of France holds the women’s record of 58:14, which she set in 2000.

Coaching and bicycle tour guiding duties in Europe kept Shea away from the Mt. Washington races in 2013. This year she is entered in both races.

Last year’s Newton Revenge winners, Lea Davison of Jericho, Vt., and Dereck Treadwell of Topsham, Maine, have not entered this year. However, Silke Wunderwald, 42, of Hopkinton, R.I., and Eric Follen, 39, of Sanford, Maine, will be among those looking to challenge Shea and Cogburn.

Wunderwald won the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb last year in a time of 1:09:56. Follen turned in a 58:18 in Newton’s Revenge to finish four seconds behind Treadwell.

Cogburn plans to take a shot at the Mt. Washington record  – which can be set in either Newton’s Revenge or the Hillclimb – held by Tour de France racer Tom Danielson of East Lyme, Conn. Danielson conquered the Hillclimb in 2002 in a time of 49 minutes, 24 seconds.

Cogburn has improved his times on the mountain by large chunks each time out. He won Newton’s Revenge in 55:29 in his 2012 debut, clocked 52:28 for the Hillclimb the next month, and made the ascent in 50:48 in the Hillclimb last year.

Cogburn was off his bike for the first two weeks of June because of tendinitis and is hoping that doesn’t affect his shot at a win or the record.

“The weather has to cooperate, too,” he said. Mt. Washington’s summit is famous for high winds, clouds and drastic temperature drops.

Record or no record, Cogburn, a professional racer with Team Smartstop who is taking a break from his PhD studies at MIT, loves the challenge of the races up the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

“I always look forward to it,” he said. “I would say it’s the hardest hour, or however long it takes you to go up it, possible. From a racing perspective, it’s perhaps the quintessential climb. It’s so steep and so long. If you go over your limit, you can crack.”

Going out too hard, too early, can be a problem.

“Basically, you go over your lactic threshold for too long, you’re done,” Cogburn said. “On the perfect ride up there, you’re right on the edge, one you know you can hold for 50 minutes or more. You’re kind of playing a game of chicken with yourself. You can have a perfect ride, but it’s very hard. You don’t want to go over that edge. You’ve really got to be focused.”

One of the most focused cyclists in the field will be 15-year-old Mt. Washington veteran Jonah Thompson of Albuquerque, N.M., who was nine years old the first time he competed in this race. Thompson finished last year’s Newton’s Revenge in 1:15:25, placing 23rd overall in the field of 170 finishers.

Bicycle racing began on Mt. Washington in 1973 with the Mount Washington Invitational Hillclimb sanctioned by the Amateur Bicycle League of America. In 2006, responding to the excess demand for entry to the Hillclimb, the Mt. Washington Auto Road company created Newton’s Revenge as an additional bike race on the same course.  While the newer race precedes the Hillclimb by several weeks, registration for Newton’s Revenge opens only after the Hillclimb has reached its capacity of 600 riders.

In 2007, the Mt. Washington Auto Road management and race organizers were forced to cancel that year’s Newton’s Revenge on account of horrible weather.  Fog, severe winds gusting to 72 mph. and temperatures hovering around freezing hammered the mountain on race day morning, and the following day’s weather was just as bad.  In an impressive display of bad luck, nearly identical conditions the weekend of the Hillclimb canceled that race as well. Since then, both races have taken place as scheduled.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge are two of ten events in the Bike Up the Mountain Point Series, familiarly known as B.U.M.P.S. The series includes Mt. Ascutney in Vermont, Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts, Whiteface Mountain in New York State, and other uphill races. For further information see www.hillclimbseries.com.

Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Payne and Gray take top honors in the 2014 Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race

PINKHAM NOTCH NH – Veteran mountain runner Joseph Gray had tried and come so close each of the last three years.

Shannon Payne, a newcomer to running the hills, was giving the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race her first shot.

The two runners from Colorado Springs, Colorado, broke through in a major way on Saturday and won the men’s and women’s titles at the 54th running of this grueling all-uphill race in impressive fashion on a decent, but windy and chilly, day for racing.

Temperatures were in the high 40s at the base at the 9 a.m. starting time, and at the summit it was in the mid-30s, with winds gusting from 20 to 35 miles per hour.

Gray, 30, looked strong from the start and pulled away from defending champion and three-time winner Eric Blake of West Hartford, Connecticut, just past the halfway mark of the 7.6-mile trek up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the highest peak in the Northeast.

Gray finished in a time of 59 minutes and nine seconds. Blake, 35, the cross country and track and field coach at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, finished in 1:00:01, four seconds slower than his winning time last year.

Payne, 28, had run her first mountain race at the Black Canyon Ascent in Colorado only last month. She was a little wary of the Mt. Washington course when she got her first look at it on Friday by car on a tour conducted by 2012 winner Sage Canaday.

“Driving up, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this looks brutal,’” Payne said. “People run up this? All the way?”

She did. And fast.

She turned in a time of one hour, ten minutes and 12 seconds to edge Valentina Belotti, 34, of Italy by more than a minute and a half.

Both Payne and Gray turned in the fifth fastest times ever in their respective races, and each collected $1,000 for the win. Gray got an extra $500 for breaking an hour.

It was the first time since 2010 and only the second time since 1997 – when Craig Fram of Plaistow, N.H., and Cathy O’Brien of Durham, N.H. were victorious – that both the male and female races crowned a first-time winner.

Gray lined up his fist pump even before he got to the finish line and then let it go, wearing a huge smile, as he broke the tape.

He was fourth in his Northeast Delta Dental debut in 2008, third in 2009 and 2010 and runnerup in each of the last two years.

This year’s race was all his.

“It was tough,” said Blake, who won this race in 2006 and 2008 as well as last year. “I had been running real well and was in good shape. Joe’s strong. He took off pretty hard and I couldn’t stay with him after the first half. He put on a little surge and broke me.”

Last year, Gray, who has been splitting his time between Washington State and Colorado Springs, led Blake for much of the race but could not hold him off and had to settle for second.

“Today I felt pretty good and pretty comfortable,” Gray said. “Eric’s a very experienced runner,  and I knew if I was running with him that late in the race, we must be on a pace to run a solid race. . . . Eric never drops off. He’s always testing you. He pushes you. It makes you nervous to have him behind you.”

Gray kept him there this time.

Canaday, 28 of Boulder, Colorado, was third in 1:01:30. Two newcomers to the race, Zach Miller, 25, of Manitou Springs, Colorado, and Ryan Bak, 32, of Bend, Oregon, were fourth and fifth.

Belotti, 34, and her husband, Emanuele Manzi, 36, are both world class runners and were at the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race for the first time.

Manzi finished eighth in 1:06:27.

“We don’t have any races like this in the Alps,” Manzi said. “It’s different from our mountains, very steep. It’s a fantastic race.”

Brandy Erholtz, who won the race in 2008 and 2009, was third on the women’s side in 1:15:38.
Kasie Enman, 34, of Huntington, Vt., and the World Mountain Trophy winner in 2011, was fourth in 1:17:12.

Denise Sandahl, 33, of Bow, N.H., was fifth overall in 1:17:21 in her first Mt. Washington and won the Crossan Award as the first female from the state.

Larissa Dannis, 26, of Strafford, last year’s top New Hampshire runner, was a spot behind Sandahl in sixth. Dannis finished in 1:22:00, beating her time from last year by almost five minutes. Diana Davis was the third place female from New Hampshire in 1:24:39 and was eighth overall.

Justin Freeman, 37, of New Hampton was the top New Hampshire male for the third time and second year in a row. His time was 1:06:29 and he turned back a New Hampshire challenge from Brandon Newbould, 32, of Nottingham, N.H., near the finish. Newbould was 11th in 1:07:07.

Kris Freeman, 33, of Thornton, Justin’s brother and a 2014 Sochi Olympian in cross country skiing, was 15th overall and the third New Hampshire male in 1:09:28 .

The day’s events also included the induction of Fram and three-time Mt. Washington winner Dave Dunham into the race’s Hall of Fame. Dunham, running out of Lowell and then Londonderry, won the race in 1988, 1989 and 1994.

He beat Hall of Famer Bob Hodge of Lowell by one second in 1989 in a time of 1:02:59. In 1988, he was the first to finish the race in a time of less than 61 minutes with a 1:00:50.

Fram, 55 now, was 19th last year in a time of 1:09:52 and Dunham, 50, was 22nd in 1:10:44.

Neither runner ran this year. Both runners hold several age group records.

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 23-year-old Ethiopian runner Shewarge Amare, who made the ascent in one hour eight minutes 21 seconds.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Past two years’ male winners Blake and Canaday take on Joe Gray

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race has seen a couple of race-to-the-wire finishes in recent years, but more often the eventual winner has broken away from the field somewhere on the windswept upper slopes of the highest peak in the northeastern United States and finished all alone in front. Next Saturday’s 54th edition of this all-uphill footrace could well be the scene for close finishes, as three well-matched men battle each other for the third time in as many years and a two-time women’s Mt. Washington champion faces a challenge from a former world mountain running champion.

In the men’s race, defending champion Eric Blake of West Hartford, Connecticut, and 2012 winner Sage Canaday of Boulder, Colorado, will have to match their best-ever Mt. Washington performances if they expect to hold off Joe Gray of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Gray, who finished second here in both 2012 and 2013, was the top American male last fall at the World Mountain Championships in Poland and placed fourth in the USATF cross-country national championships in February.

Having won the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race in 2006 and again in 2008, in one of the closest finishes ever, Blake won again last year by running his personal best time for the course last year, 59 minutes 57 seconds. Canaday’s winning time of 58:27 in 2012 was the third-fastest ever recorded in this race, and his third place finish here last year came one week after he won a major 50-kilometer trail race. Canaday and Blake are two of only seven people ever to run up the up the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road in under one hour; Gray could become the eighth this year.

Brandy Erholtz of Evergreen, Colorado, winner of the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race in 2008 and 2009, was a particularly impressive runnerup in 2013; four months pregnant at the time, she beat all other women in the field except fellow Coloradan Laura Haefeli. Haefeli recently withdrew from this year’s race and so will not be on hand to defend her title.

Another recent withdrawal is that of Morgan Arritola of Idaho. Arritola, who placed third in the 2012 World Mountain Running Championships and won the U.S. National Mountain Championship a year later, was a possible co-favorite in what would have been her Mt. Washington debut.

Erholtz must still contend with Valentina Belotti, who won the women’s World Mountain Running Association championship in Italy in 2009 and was runnerup in that race in 2010 and 2012. Belotti will be running up Mt. Washington for the first time.

While the men’s field looks like a three-way race, two newcomers may break up the favored trio. Belotti’s countryman Emanuele Manzi will bring considerable mountain-running experience to his Mt. Washington debut. A protégé of Italian mountain running legend Marco de Gasperi, Manzi run on the Italian national team in six World Championships.

The other strongest threats from first-time competitors here come from Ryan Bak of Bend, Oregon, and Zach Miller of Manitou Springs. Colorado. Bak, who expected to compete at Mt. Washington in both of the last two years but had to withdraw each time, has run a 2:14:17 marathon – a time resembling the marathon bests of several previous Mt. Washington winners. Miller, a member of the Nike Trail Elite Team, won the 2013 JFK 50 Miler and has set course records in several other ultramarathons this year.

As usual, nobody can ignore Simon Gutierrez, of Colorado Springs. Winner of this race in 2002, 2003 and 2005, Gutierrez holds the course record for masters (over 40) runners, a time of 1:01:34, which he ran in 2008. Gutierrez placed fifth in 2005 and last year was fourth after Blake, Gray and Canaday.

For that fourth place finish in 2013, Gutierrez had to outduel Matt Byrne, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, in the final 50 yards. Byrne, who claims several top-five finishes, returns to Mt. Washington for another attempt.

Two or three other women are possible dark horses in this year’s race. One is Kasie Enman, of Huntington, Vermont, who in 2011 became the first American woman to win the World Mountain Running Championship, and who placed third at Mt. Washington in 2011 and 2012.   Enman woud be a co-favorite with Erholtz and Belotti, except that her mountain running strength is greater on uneven terrain than on an all-uphill grade.

Another contender may be Carolyn Stocker, of Westfield, Mass. In 2011, at the age of 18, Stocker placed seventh here, breaking the course record for juniors (19 and under).  She lowered that record while placing fifth in 2012. Having missed the race last year because of an injury, she returns with deeper experience in mountain running, two more seasons of competing in cross-country and track at the University of Maine, and superior winter conditioning from snowshoe racing.

An intriguing unknown in this year’s race is how well Shannon Payne, of Boulder, Colorado, will fare against the rest of the field on Mt. Washington’s 12 percent grade. A late entry into the race, Payne beat Erholtz by four minutes recently at the Black Canyon Ascent in Colorado and came close to the course record set there by two-time Mt. Washington champion Lisa Dobson (who will not be in next Saturday’s race).

Each year’s race includes prizes for the first male and female New Hampshire finishers.  This year’s men’s race is a copy of the past several, as brothers Justin Freeman, of New Hampton NH, and Kris Freeman of Thornton will bring their Olympic Nordic skiing strength to the race again. Last year brother Justin won the prize while placing eighth overall.

The women’s race for first Granite Stater will be exciting, as it pits last year’s winner Larisa Dannis, of Strafford, against Diana Davisof Exeter and Abbey Woods of Laconia.

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 23-year-old Ethiopian runner Shewarge Amare, who made the ascent in one hour eight minutes 21 seconds.

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 for their oral health programs. Based in nearby Berlin, NH, this community-based organization provides innovative, personalized, comprehensive health care and social services to everyone, regardless of economic status.

Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Three Races up Mt. Washington this Summer

Pinkham Notch NH - The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race is the well-known footrace up the 7.6-mile Auto Road, to the summit of Mt. Washington.  It is held every year on the third Saturday in June.

Newton’s Revenge, held annually in early July, is the first of two bicycle races on the same 7.6-mile course.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is a bike race identical to Newton’s Revenge except that it is the older event, and it is the primary annual fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in nearby Albany, New Hampshire.

Registration for the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race and for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb in August is now closed.  Cyclists who wish to compete in Newton’s Revenge can still register for that event at www.newtonsrevenge.com.

The 2014 Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Raceon June 21 features the country’s best mountain runners, elite runners from abroad, and many other endurance and multi-sport athletes.  Numbering upwards of 1300 in all, they 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. Starting time is 9 a.m.


On July 12, 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.

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.


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.

The 2014 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb will take place on August 16. Riders start in five waves, beginning with the Top Notch group at 8:35 a.m. and continuing with the others at five-minute intervals.

Tagged , , | Leave a comment