News & Media Releases
PINKHAM NOTCH, NH - On February 15, Racer Selection Registration opens for runners hoping to compete in this summer’s Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race. The window for registration is shorter this year and will close on March 1st, at 11:59 p.m. EST. All information about the race and how to register is available at http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/mount-washington-road-race.
Each year the race attracts almost double the number of entrants than the 156-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road can accommodate. A small portion of the field is filled by invitations issued to elite mountain runners. The rest are done by a computer-generated random selection process open to all candidates. All applicants who enter the registration process will be notified on March 3rd, as to whether or not they have gained the opportunity to run the race to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States.
The grueling 7.6-mile race begins at the base of the Auto Road in Pinkham Notch and climbs 4,650 feet to the summit of the 6,288-foot mountain. With an average grade of 12-percent, the race is often referred to as “the Beast of the East” among mountain running circles. On top of the challenging climb, racers have to deal with the potential of experiencing the mountain’s notoriously bad weather. With average highs at the summit in June around 50 degrees Fahrenheit and the potential for hurricane force winds, the winding road to the summit can leave runners continuously fighting headwinds as they ascend to the top of the Auto Road.
Because of these challenges, the race attracts top American and international mountain runners, Olympians and seasoned road and track athletes to take on the race with “Only One Hill.” The men’s course record is held by former Olympian and six-time World Mountain Running Champion, Jonathan Wyatt, of New Zealand who completed the course in 56 minutes and 41 seconds in 2004. The women’s course record was set in 2010 by Ethiopian, Shewarge Amare, who made the ascent in one-hour, eight-minutes and 21 seconds.
Northeast Delta Dental has sponsored the race up the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road since 2001. The dental insurance company, headquartered in Concord, N.H., with sales offices in Saco, Maine, and Burlington, Vt., provides dental benefits to more than 810,000 people in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, including individuals and families, and organizations of all sizes. Northeast Delta Dental’s President & CEO, Tom Raffio, has run the race in a personal best of 1:50:51. In 2012, Northeast Delta Dental increased its already strong support for the event, making it officially the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race.
Since 2012, the race has donated more than $80,000 to the dental programs of Coos County Family Health Services. Based in nearby Berlin, N.H., this community-based organization provides innovative, personalized, comprehensive health care and social services to everyone, regardless of economic status.
To learn more about the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, visit www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com or on Facebook.
First opened in 1861 as the Mt. Washington Carriage Road, the Mt. Washington Auto Road is the country’s oldest manmade attraction. Located on Rt. 16 in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire, just north of the Mt. Washington Valley and minutes south of Gorham, the Auto Road has a long and winding history, much like its 7.6 mile trip up to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.