Mt Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb

· Once-in-a-lifetime raffle highlights race’s fundraising efforts

 · Rides in Italy, Arizona will reward dedication and luck

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – The 41st annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb this month will award $1500 apiece to the first male and female cyclists to race to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States. It will also offer any rider the opportunity to win one of four prizes that most cyclists will consider to be worth even more than the Hillclimb winners’ purse.

One of these prizes is lifetime free entry to the Hillclimb. Another is lifetime free entry to the Mt. Washington Century Ride, a 100-mile recreational ride held earlier in the summer on roads encircling Mt. Washington and other peaks in the Presidential Range. The other two are free cycling trips in famously scenic settings far from New Hampshire: southern Arizona and northern Italy.

Held on the third weekend in August, the Hillclimb pits more than 600 riders against the steepest all-uphill paved road they have ever ridden, the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road, which climbs 4618 feet to a finish line 6288 feet above sea level. The race also serves as the primary fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H., a non-profit educational and environmental organization that offers classes, workshops, excursions and other activities for students, schools, and community groups. (See www.tinmountain.org.)

A ONE-TIME OPPORTUNITY
This year, and this year only, Tin Mountain is tempting Hillclimb riders with the chance to enter the race every year automatically, and free, for the rest of their lives. Any Hillclimb entrant who has raised at least $500 in pledges of support for Tin Mountain will be entered in a raffle for which this guarantee of free lifetime entry is the prize. Also entered automatically are the race’s Get In Free riders, those who raise at least $850 and thus have their entry fee waived. Anyone else can enter the raffle by paying $100 for a ticket.

The conservation center is offering a similar opportunity to win lifetime free entry to the Mt. Washington Century, the other Mt. Washington-area cycling event that raises funds for Tin Mountain. All cyclists who raised at least $250 in pledges in connection with their participation in the 2013 Century ride, as well as anyone who pays $75 for a ticket, will be entered in the raffle for lifetime entry to this scenic and demanding 100-mile non-competitive ride.

All entrants in both raffles will be automatically entered in a third drawing, for which the prize is a one-week cycling trip in Arizona. Organized and led by the staff of Destination Cycling, of Marblehead, Mass., the trip includes six night and seven days of cycling and vacation in and around Tucson in February – ideal cycling weather in southern Arizona. Hotel stay, meals and a $300 air travel voucher are part of the package, as is the leadership of veteran cycling coaches.

CLASSICAL CYCLING TOUR
The other special award to Hillclimb entrants is an eight-day, seven-night cycling trip in the Piedmont region of northern Italy, organized and led by Ciclismo Classico of Arlington, Mass. From its base in the city of Torino, the tour covers an average of about 40 miles a day, with breakfast, sumptuous dinners, wine tastings, coaching clinics and four-star hotels.

Unlike the three other cycling prizes that are part of Tin Mountain’s fundraising efforts, the Italian cycling trip is not a raffle prize but a direct award to the Hillclimb entrant who raises the largest sum in pledges from all sources. Last year’s winner was Jonah Thompson, the ebullient junior rider from Albuquerque, N.M., who raised over $4000 in pledges – and who first raced the Hillclimb at the age of nine. Now 14 years old, Thompson will compete in the Hillclimb again this year.

FREE ENTRY FOR JUNIOR CYCLIST
The youngest rider entered in this year’s Hillclimb is 11-year-old Maria Goodwin of Silver Lake, N.H. Goodwin won free entry to the race courtesy of the Residence Inn Marriott of North Conway, the MWV Bicycling Club and the Tin Mountain Conservation Center. These organizations each year review entry applications from students who will be 21 years or younger on race day and select one for free entry. All junior cyclists can apply for the Hillclimb’s Junior Scholarship Program, in which four riders are chosen for reduced entry fees if they raise $175 or more in pledges.

RAFFLE ENTRY
While donations to the Tin Mountain Conservation Center are welcome any time, automatic entry into the raffles closes the day before the event. Since this year’s Century ride took place on July 20, automatic entries to the Century raffle concluded on July 19. Hillclimb entrants can continue raising funds in pledged support through Friday, August 16, in order to reach the $500 or $850 level.

Anyone can still buy tickets to either raffle at any time up to 5 p.m. on December 31, 2013. The raffle will be held, and winners announced on the Tin Mountain web site, on January 1, 2014.

Normally, cyclists wishing to enter the Hillclimb not only must sign up for it promptly in February, when registration opens, but pay an entry fee of $350. The entry fee is this high both because of the logistical complexities of staging a race on the Auto Road and because a large portion of the fee is a charitable donation to Tin Mountain. At the same time, the price hardly deters riders who are eager for the experience of pedaling up a course regarded as more difficult than the steepest climbs in the Tour de France. Each year the race fills to its limit within a few days, sometimes a few minutes, from the time registration opens on line.

To participate in the Mt. Washington Century, riders pay $100 apiece, with special rates for families and for any group of four or more. Entries are accepted until 8 a.m. the morning of the ride.

Free entry for a lifetime to either of these cycling events is a dream for countless cyclists. Race organizers and Tin Mountain staff are encouraging anyone to buy a raffle ticket as a gift for a friend or family member who is also a passionate cyclist. Lifetime entries are not transferable and may not be resold. To buy tickets for either raffle, see instructions at BikeReg.com.

STARTING TIMES
The 2013 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb will start at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 17, when the Top Notch group, or elite first wave of riders, begins the ascent. The rest of the racers depart at five-minute intervals in four consecutive waves, grouped by age. In the case of severe weather on the 17th, the race will be held instead on Sunday, August 18, with the same starting times.

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THE CLIMB TO THE CLOUDS HILLCLIMB RETURNS TO MT. WASHINGTON IN 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information, contact:
Paul Giblin, Event Director
Cell: (603) 986-1217
E-mail: cttc-eventdirector@usa.net

THE CLIMB TO THE CLOUDS HILLCLIMB RETURNS TO MT. WASHINGTON IN 2014
Subaru of America to serve as the event’s Title Sponsor

Pinkham, Notch, NH – Officials with the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire and the Mt. Washington Auto Road located in Pinkham Notch, New Hampshire, announced today that the legendary Mt. Washington Hillclimb will be returning June 26-29, 2014, due in part to the generous help from Subaru of America.

Organized and sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire, the 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb will be a 3-day motorsports festival including a 75-car competition field filled with some of the best drivers from around North America and the world as well as a contingent of rare vintage race cars.

Also known as the “Climb to the Clouds”, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb is one of America’s oldest motorsports events, first run in July, 1904, seven years before the first 500-mile race at the famous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and twelve years prior to the inaugural Pikes Peak Hillclimb in Colorado.  The Climb to the Clouds was run sporadically from 1904-1961, then not again until 1990 when it was run consistently until 2001.  Following a ten-year hiatus, the Mt. Washington Hillclimb returned in 2011 as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Mt. Washington Auto Road which first opened on August 8, 1861.

Originally referred to as the Mt. Washington Carriage Road due to the horse-drawn wagons that traversed the road to the summit of Mt. Washington in the late 1800’s, auto manufacturers believed that the Carriage Road would serve as the perfect proving ground for them to demonstrate the ability of their new “horseless carriages.” Promoted as “the greatest contest of motor vehicles ever held”, the inaugural Climb to the Clouds in 1904 included manufacturers such as Rambler, Mercedes, Oldsmobile, Stanley Steamer, Pierce and a high priced Daimler.

In the 1904 Hillclimb F.E. Stanley from Newton, Massachusetts, co-creator of the famous Stanley Steamer, drove his 6-horsepower, 800-pound steam-powered Locomobile to the summit of Mt. Washington only to be beaten by Harry Harkness from New York driving a 40-horsepower Mercedes that weighed 2,200 pounds.  Harkness posted a winning time of 24 minutes, 37 and 3/5 seconds.

Since that first year of competition, many well-known drivers have competed and won the Climb to the Clouds including “Cannonball” Baker in 1928 & 1932 and the legendary Carroll Shelby in 1956. Driving a Franklin in 1928, Baker raced to a time of 14:49.6 seconds. Carroll Shelby, driving a specially prepared Ferrari roadster in 1956, posted a record-setting run of 10:21.8 on his way to victory.

In 1961 Bill Rutan from Connecticut drove his Porsche Carerra-powered Volkswagen to another new record time of 9:13.0 that would stand for the next 29 years – until the return of the race in 1990 when Champion rally driver Tim O’Neil from nearby Franconia, NH drove his 300+ horsepower all-wheel-drive Volkswagen Rally Golf to the summit in an amazing time of just 7 minutes and 45 seconds.

Following the return of the Mt. Washington Hillclimb in 1990, the event was run annually as part of the Mt. Washington Auto Road’s summer event schedule until 2001.  During that time, several new course records were shared between 7-time Sports Car Club of America National Rally Champion Paul Choiniere from Shelburne, VT and multi-time Canadian Rally Champion Frank Sprongl from Mississauga, Ontario. Sprongl went on to set a record time of 6:41.99 in 1998 driving his 500 horsepower Audi Quattro S2 that would stand for 13 years.

In 2011, ten years after the last Mt. Washington Hillclimb was run, Subaru Rally Team USA driver and 4-time Rally America Overall Champion David Higgins, from the Isle of Man, came to Mt. Washington for the very first time.  Driving a Vermont SportsCar-prepared 2011 Subaru WRX STI all-wheel-drive rally car, Higgins set a new overall course record of 6:11.54 – smashing Sprongl’s previous record time by more than 30 seconds!

Following his record-setting run, Higgins stated “It was a very big challenge because the road was still wet in spots and would turn very slick suddenly.  With the clouds the visibility was so low I could hardly see past the hood of my car,” explained Higgins. “Our Subaru was setup perfectly for a road like this but I’ve never raced here before and it was a lot of work to try to learn the course.  It’s fantastic to have the record at such a prestigious event.”

Those racing in the 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb will be competing on the very same 7.6 mile road as the original 1904 event 110 years earlier.  Of course these days the surface has changed with nearly 87% of the road now asphalt and 13% still gravel. The 7.6 mile Auto Road is one of the ultimate challenges for driver and automobile alike.  The serpentine road is lined with trees on the lower half and dramatic drop-offs above halfway as it winds its’ way to the 6, 288 foot summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak – Mt. Washington.

The 2014 Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb will take place June 26-29, 2014 and will be organized and sanctioned by the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire – New Hampshire’s premier sports car club.  For more information regarding the Subaru Mt. Washington Hillclimb, the Mt. Washington Auto Road or the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire, visit www.climbtotheclouds.com.

# # #

ABOUT THE MT. WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD:

The Washington Auto Road is considered by many  hillclimb racers to be extremely  technical with a narrow road surface that averages just over 20 feet wide.  In addition to being very narrow with steep drop-offs that vary from side to side, the road is also incredibly steep, with an average 12% grade and gaining slightly more than 4,600 feet in total elevation change from the starting line to the finish line.  The surface of the 7.6 mile Mt. Washington Auto Road is mostly tarmac with approximately one mile of gravel and contains well over 150 turns and switchbacks as the road winds its’ way to the 6, 288 foot summit of the Northeast’s tallest peak.  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. For more information, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or call 603-466-3988.

ABOUT THE SPORTS CAR CLUB OF NEW HAMPSHIRE:

Established in 1955 by a group of longtime sports car enthusiasts from across the state of New Hampshire, the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire (SCCNH) is a non-profit 501c3 organization open to any individual who is interested in automobiles or automobile-related activities – whether they are a New Hampshire resident or not.  Driver and motor vehicle safety as well as the improvement of driving skills are the primary focus at all SCCNH events.  Throughout the past 58 years, annual SCCNH event calendars have included a variety of auto crosses, time-speed-distance (TSD) rallies, car shows, hillclimbs, time trials, ice racing and winter cross events.  These days, the Sports Car Club of New Hampshire is comprised of a broad spectrum of members from across New England with a variety of vehicles and varied interests. It’s not uncommon to see everything from a family sedan to an exotic sports car, a pick-up or a specialty car made specifically for hillclimb or road racing entered at any of the Club’s many events.  For more information regarding upcoming Sports Car Club of New Hampshire events or membership, please visit the clubs’ official web site: www.sccnh.org

ABOUT SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC.:

Subaru of America, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. of Japan. Headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., the company markets and distributes Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive vehicles, parts and accessories through a network of more than 600 dealers across the United States. All Subaru products are manufactured in zero-landfill production plants and Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is the only U.S. automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. For additional information visit www.subaru.com.

“Subaru”, “WRX STI”, all model names, and the Subaru logo are registered trademarks of the Subaru subsidiary of Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd, Japan. Other trademarks and trade names are those of their respective owners.

 

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Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb

News and updates

·         Cogburn returns to defend title
·         Mountain biker Bishop from Cannondale challenges
·         Women’s race may be Shea, may be a chance for Gohr

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – On July 18 in the Alps, 175 of the world’s greatest cyclists concluded the 18th stage of this year’s Tour de France by riding up the famously steep and switchback-riddled Alpe d’Huez. On Saturday, August 17 in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, 637 cyclists, most of them hardcore amateurs plus a pro rider or two, will race up an even steeper and more daunting road in the annual Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb. From the starting line at the base of the Auto Road, just off Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch, N.H., they’ll pedal 7.6 miles to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States, 6288 feet above sea level.

Racers will start in four waves, beginning with the Top Notch, or elite, group at 8:35 a.m. and continuing with four successive groups, sorted by age and gender, at five-minute intervals. If the weather on August 17 creates unsafe conditions on the mountain’s summit or the higher portions of the Auto Road, the race will be held instead on Sunday, August 18, with the same starting times.

The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is the principal fundraising event for the Tin Mountain Conservation Center in Albany, N.H.

THIS YEAR’S TOP RIDERS
Now in its 41st year, the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb attracts Olympians, hardcore bicycle road racers, mountain bikers, triathletes, all-around adventure athletes, tandem teams and even the occasional unicyclist. They are drawn to this grueling event by the Hillclimb’s reputation as the toughest uphill race in America, a reputation enhanced not only by the steepness of the road but also by Mt. Washington’s notorious winds and unpredictable precipitation.

Leading the field in this year’s Hillclimb is 27-year-old Cameron Cogburn, a former professional rider who reverted to amateur status in 2012 in order to concentrate on his graduate studies at M.I.T. Cogburn returns to defend the Hillclimb champion’s title he won last year, when he raced away from the rest of the field to win in 52 minutes 58 seconds, the third-fastest official time ever recorded in this race.

Whether or not Cogburn reaches the top of the Auto Road first may depend on how Jeremiah Bishop handles Mt. Washington. One of the country’s premier mountain bike racers, Bishop, 37, is a former Pan-American Games gold medalist, placed eighth in the 2006 World Mountain Bike championships, and is currently battling for the lead in the national Pro Cross Country Tour of off-road races. A member of the SHO-AIR/Cannondale team, he’ll compete in the 2013 Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb two weeks after the XCT series of races finishes on August 3.

The women’s race is harder to predict. Marti Shea, of Marblehead, Massachusetts, winner of the Hillclimb the past three years, is officially registered, but this week Shea said she has not yet decided whether she’ll compete.

Shea, 50 years old and still dominant on this course, is also a six-time winner of Newton’s Revenge, the other bike race held on the Auto Road each year in July. She missed that race this year because she was leading cycling tours in Europe. Lea Davison of Jericho, Vermont, this year’s winner of Newton’s Revenge, is racing on the XCT circuit and has not indicated that she’ll compete on the Auto Road in August.

Without Shea or Davison, the race could go to Kristen Gohr, 42, of Reading, Massachusetts, who has frequently been runner-up to Shea and finished second to Davison in this year’s Newton’s Revenge. Gohr’s time in the 2013 Newton’s Revenge, one hour 11 minutes 18 seconds, was six minutes slower than Shea’s recent times here, but it is considerably faster than the times of any of the other top women in the field who have raced this course before.

Unless a newcomer to the race can challenge Gohr, the battle for second could be between Stephanie Sydlik, 27, of Cambridge, Mass., and 18-year-old Rachel Chambers of Bolton, Conn. Sydlik placed third this month in Newton’s Revenge, in 1:18:21; Chambers finished sixth in the Hillclimb last year, in 1:20:52.

The other strongest woman in the race is veteran Margaret Thompson, 58, of Clinton, N.Y., who finished just behind Chambers in the Hillclimb last year, in 1:21:02.

The race for third is often close on the men’s side, and it should be this year. Among those likely to be chasing Cogburn and Bishop are Tim Ahearn, 39, of Woodstock, Conn., Chris Yura, 34, of Philadelphia, Pa., Gerry Clapper, 52, of Avon, Conn., and Nico Toutenhoofd, 45, of Boulder, Colo.

Ahearn, who began bike racing only three years ago, placed third in the Hillclimb in 2010 and 2011 as well as third this year in Newton’s Revenge. Yura usually finishes a minute or two behind Ahearn but last year finished ahead of him in the Hillclimb. Clapper’s times are usually close to Yura’s. Toutenhoofd’s performances are harder to predict. In 2010 he won the race outright, beating Ahearn by a minute and Yura by more; last year Ahearn, Yura and Clapper all finished ahead of Toutenhoofd.

Prominent among the younger riders entered is Jonah Thompson of Albuquerque, N.M. Just 14 years old, Thompson is already nationally known as a highly talented and competitive road and off-road bicycle racer. He first raced the Hillclimb in 2008 and has competed on the Auto Road in one or both races here every year since then. In Newton’s Revenge this year he finished 23rd overall in a time of 1:15:25.

The youngest rider entered in this year’s Hillclimb is 11-year-old Marie Goodwin of Silver Lake, N.H. Goodwin won free entry to the race courtesy of the Residence Inn Marriot of North Conway, the MWV Bicycling Club and the Tin Mountain Conservation Center.

TIN MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION CENTER
The entry fee for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is $350. Part of that fee covers the considerable logistical expense of staging the race, and part constitutes a donation to the Tin Mountain Conservation Center, which offers classes, workshops, excursions and other lessons in the workings of the natural world.

Tin Mountain maintains and protects properties for conservation, research and recreation for residents and visitors to the area. Its programs are available to students, schools, and community groups. Further information about educational programs, camps and other activities at Tin Mountain is available at www.tinmountain.org.

REGISTRATION AND RECORDS
The Hillclimb continues to be extremely popular among experienced cyclists. On-line registration for this year’s race opened on February 1st and closed ten days later.

The Hillclimb field is limited to 635 cyclists (plus or minus one or two), the maximum the Auto Road can accommodate. This year’s field includes 631 individual cyclists plus three tandem teams. Exceptional late entry is permitted each year to established professional riders.

The men’s course record, 49 minutes 24 seconds, was set in 2002 by Tom Danielson – who became the first American finisher in the 2011 Tour de France. The women’s record belongs to French cycling legend Jeannie Longo, who made the climb in 2000 in 58:14. Formerly, the women’s open record was held by Canadian cyclist Genevieve Jeanson, and former American Tour de France and Olympic rider Tyler Hamilton had recorded four finishing times faster than Cameron Cogburn’s; these two riders’ times were deleted from the official records following their admissions of having used performance-enhancing drugs during their competitive careers.

Registration for the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is managed by BikeReg.com. For a complete list of riders entered, go to https://www.bikereg.com/net/Confirmed/17625

B.U.M.P.S. COMPETITION
The Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb is one of the 11 events in the Bike Up the Mountain Point Series (B.U.M.P.S.) The series includes Mt. Ascutney in Vermont, Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts, Mt. Kearsarge in New Hampshire, Whiteface Mountain in New York State, and other uphill races. For further information see www.hillclimbseries.com.

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Treadwell and Davidson fastest to the summit at Newton’s Revenge

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – Two cyclists from Maine, Dereck Treadwell of Topsham and Eric Follen of Sanford, battled each other to the wire today in Newton’s Revenge, a bike race up New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington Auto Road, before Treadwell finally edged Follen by four seconds. Just behind them, five-time U.S. mountain bike champion Lea Davison of Jericho, Vermont, pedaled to an impressive victory in the women’s race despite never before having seen this relentlessly steep 7.6-mile course.

Treadwell, 38, a former track star at the University of Maine who subsequently began racing triathlons, had won this grueling climb in 2011, in his first serious attempt at an all-uphill bike race. Returning to the Auto Road today after two years, he seemed well in control of his pace in the early miles, positioning himself just behind Tim Ahearn of Woodstock, Conn., a frequent top finisher here, and newcomer Follen.

By the halfway mark, near treeline on the highest peak in the northeastern U.S., he had overtaken Ahearn and pulled even with Follen, and the rest of the race was a duel. As damp fog reduced visibility to 50 feet while winds swirled in 55-mph. gusts, the two men, who know each other well from road races at home, maneuvered to take the lead or to benefit from letting the other block the wind.

In the final 100 yards Treadwell held the advantage and surged to the finish in 58 minutes 14 seconds, with Follen following closely in 58:18. Ahearn was a strong third in 59:06, followed by Tim Tapply of Sherborn, Mass. In 1:01:56. All four riders are 38 years old.

“Eric is one tough dude!” Treadwell exclaimed as he wrapped a blanket around himself to ward off the wind chill at the 6288-foot summit. “I was hoping to finish in under 54 minutes, but it’s so windy today. (Fallon and Ahearn) went out hard from the start, and then it was just survival.”

Davison, 30, who three weeks earlier had placed eighth in the World Mountain Bike championship in Val diSole, Italy, started the race just behind the first half-dozen men and rode steadily and confidently the whole way to finish seventh overall, in one hour five minutes 54 seconds.

“I love this race!” said the former Middlebury College cross-country runner and skier as she finished. “I didn’t know what to expect, except that it would be a hard climb. I tried to pace myself for the first half, because I knew the second half would be windy. I want to do it again, and go for the record.”

The women’s course record, set by controversial French cycling star Jeannie Longo in 2000, is 58:14, but the current standard for women in this race is often regarded as 1:03:14, the fastest time ridden by Marti Shea of Marblehead, Mass., who has won Newton’s Revenge six times. The men’s record, 49:24, was set in 2002 by Tom Danielson of Connecticut.

Shea, touring and coaching in Europe, was absent from today’s race. “I’d like to race Marti,” Davison added. “She has this thing dialed!”

Joining Davison for congratulatory hugs afterward was her sister, Sabra, who celebrated her 28th birthday by finishing fourth among the women in 1:19:23. Ahead of her were perennial Mt. Washington contender Kristen Gohr, 42, of Reading, Mass., (second in 1:11:18) and Stefanie Sydlik, 27, of Cambridge, Mass. (third in 1:18:21).

“Oh man I love it!” said Sabra Davison of the race. “I love hillclimbs – anything that’s brutally hard and at a consistent pace.”

“This is the hardest hill in North America, say veteran cyclist Craig Gardner, who came from his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, to visit his daughter at nearby Holderness Academy and to make his second bicycle ascent of the Mt. Washington Auto Road. “I first heard about it years ago, and I’ve always wanted to do it.” Gardner finished in 1:20:45, 44th overall in the field of 194.

Jonah Thompson, 14, of Albuquerque, N.M., continued to leave his mark on Mt. Washington, where he has competed every year since the age of nine. He finished 23rd overall in 1:15:18, three minutes faster than his 2012 performance. At the other end of a career, 57-year-old Chuck Canfield of Allentown, Pennsylvania, who won the Mt. Washington Bicycle Hillclimb on this same course in 1984, was happy to finish Newton’s Revenge today in 1:33:42, eight minutes faster than his time here last year.

For their victories, Treadwell and Davison each won $1500.

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Newton’s Revenge

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – On Saturday, July 6, more than 150 exceptionally well-trained cyclists will pedal to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States. They’ll be competing in Newton’s Revenge, the first of two bike races held each summer on the historic Mt. Washington Auto Road. To reach the peak of Mt. Washington, 6288 feet above sea level, they will gain 4560 feet of altitude while battling gravity and unpredictable winds on a 7.6-mile course described by professional riders as more difficult than the most severe Alpine climbs in the Tour de France.

Newton’s Revenge was created in 2006 as a response to growing demand for opportunities to ride a bicycle up the Auto Road. More specifically, the race owes its existence to the fact that each year the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, which has been held since 1973 and comes later in the summer, could not accommodate all the cyclists who applied to enter that race. Newton’s Revenge and the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb are contested on exactly the same course, with the same organization, the same winners’ prizes — $1500 apiece to the first man and first woman to finish – and certainly the same difficulty for the riders.

“The two races are equally wonderful, and absolutely the same quality,” said Marti Shea, 50, of Marblehead, Mass., a veteran cyclist who has won Newton’s Revenge every year it has been held and has also won the Hillclimb twice. “Each is a great opportunity to ride up that mountain.”

Cyclists who still want this opportunity in 2013 can still register for Newton’s Revenge on line at https://www.bikereg.com/Net/17580/NEWTONS-REVENGE. The registration deadline is July 2. As of the beginning of this week there are 155 entries – 152 solo cyclists, two tandem teams and one unicyclist.

The start of Newton’s Revenge on July 6 takes place in four waves, beginning with the Top Notch, or elite group – professional riders (if any), Category 1 or 2 amateurs, and other cyclists whose time here in a previous year has qualified them for this group. Line up for racers is at 8:20 a.m., the Top Notch riders start at 8:40 a.m., and three other groups, arranged by age, follow at five-minute intervals. In the event that severe winds, precipitation and low temperatures on the summit make conditions dangerous, the race may be postponed to the following day, Sunday, July 7th.

For the $300 entry fee ($450 tandem), entrants get the race itself, substantial logistical support by the Auto Road company, a commemorative jersey, an ample post-race lunch provided by a popular local turkey farm, and endless stories to tell and retell, A portion of the entry fee helps to support the Mt Washington Valley Bicycling Club, whose members serve as volunteer support for Newton’s Revenge. Riders who are already registered for the Hillclimb may enter Newton’s Revenge for $150.

Newton’s Revenge attracts Olympians, hardcore bicycle road racers, mountain bikers, triathletes, all-around adventure athletes, tandem teams, and a unicyclist or two nearly every year. The top riders are typically Category 1 or 2 ranked amateurs, but from time to time the race also attracts a professional rider who is looking for an opportunity to demonstrate his or her climbing prowess.

Whether or not Marti Shea herself will continue her winning streak in Newton’s Revenge remains to be seen.  This week she is leading cycling tours in the foothills of the Italian Alps, and her coaching obligations may prevent her from getting to the White Mountains in time for the July 6 race of which she is so fond. “If I can be there, I’ll definitely be competitive,” she said in an interview while in Europe.

Besides repeatedly winning Newton’s Revenge, Shea is the defending champion in the Bike Up the Mountain Point Series, familiarly known as BUMPS, a series of 11 uphill bike races each year in New England and New York State. The series includes Newton’s Revenge and the Mt. Washington Auto Road Bicycle Hillclimb, along with races up Mt. Ascutney in Vermont, Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts, Mt. Kearsarge in New Hampshire, Whiteface Mountain in New York State, and elsewhere. For further information see www.hillclimbseries.com.

BUMPS contenders are likely to dominate the field on both the women’s and men’s side in Neweton’s Revenge. One of the men entered so far is 2012 BUMPS overall winner Timothy Ahearn of Woodstock, Conn., who has already won this year’s first BUMPS event, the Mt. Wachusett Hillclimb in Massachusetts. Others include Tim Tapply of Sherborn, Mass., who finished second in 2012; Jason deLorme of Natick, Mass., Kevin Clark of Hubbardston, Mass., and Buddy Majernik of Greensboro, Vermont. Not a BUMPS regular but certain to be among the leaders is Chris Yura of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, who placed third here last year.

One of the women who have a shot at victory, especially if Shea is absent, is Stefanie Sydlik of Cambridge, Mass., this year’s first woman to the finish at Mt. Wachusett. Another is Kelley Fitzgerald of Woburn, Mass., second in the BUMPS standings after the first two events this year.

One of the most admired contenders in the race is 14-year-old Jonah Thompson of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Already a Category 4 amateur, and one of the strongest climbers and cyclocross competitors in the United States, Thompson first raced up Mt. Washington at the age of nine. In 2012 he finished 38th overall out of 201 riders to complete the course.

The size of the field for both the Hillclimb and Newton’s Revenge is limited by the ability of the road crews and race officials to monitor the safety of all participants and by the number of vehicles that can be parked at the summit to bring cyclists back down the hill after the race.  The Hillclimb is filled to capacity every year; Newton’s Revenge typically draws between 250 and 350 riders.

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Mt. Washington Auto Road Alternative Energy Summit Gaining Momentum

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH-Given that once experimental alternative energy technologies have now become mainstream, an event with a storied history on the Northeast’s highest peak is returning as the “Mt. Washington Auto Road Alt Energy Summit”  on September 14-15, 2013. In this regard the Auto Road is continuing on its historic path as a proving and playground for new and evolving technologies.

Categories will include EV manufacturers, dealers, retailers, groups and associations, makers, inventors, developers, publications and related media, components/parts and services. Individuals and organizations with vehicles including cars, trucks motorcycles and bicycles or unique one-of-a-kind creations are also invited. An Energy Expo Exhibit area is planned, which will include vehicle manufacturers, related alternative energy businesses and historic vehicles which have ascended Mt. Washington by other than gas powered engines. Exhibits and information regarding other sustainable energy sources will also be featured, including hydro-electric, wind power, solar power and geo-thermal.

Event Director Ted Dillard has both a technical and practical understanding of alternative energy, as he both builds and rides electric motorcycles. “In the midst of the mid-’70s “Energy Crisis”, a small group of inventors and visionaries formed a unique event with the Mt. Washington Auto Road as it’s backdrop and proving ground,” Dillard observed. “As we move into the second decade of the 21st Century, we’re seeing many of those solutions become commonplace – nearly mainstream – in daily life.  This event will celebrate those pioneers, re-affirm the Mt. Washington Auto Road’s century-long commitment to responsible stewardship of public lands, and bring “Alternative Energy” solutions into the forefront of mainstream renewable energy. This event will be a landmark event in New Hampshire!” he added.

What to Expect:

  • Vendors, Dealers, and Manufacturers of Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, Plug-In Electric and Alternative Fuel     vehicles showing some of the most remarkable vehicles available today – complete with test rides.
  • Information “roundtable” discussion sessions for homeowners, backyard inventors, public administrators, fleet managers and others on Renewable Energy solutions available today, and funding opportunities and resources.
  • Supplies, components, parts and systems for Renewable Energy systems for homes, businesses and vehicles.
  • Exhibits of unique, creative and innovative solutions for energy and transportation systems offered by inventors, students, “makers”, researchers and enthusiasts.
  • The Alt Energy 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.  Awards and categories for the Summit will reward ingenuity, creativity and dedication. 

For more information about the “Alt Energy Weekend” event at the Mt. Washington Auto Road call Event Director Ted Dillard (978) 621-5178.
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Blake returns to the top and at 45, Haefeli finally wins the Run to the Clouds!

Pinkham Notch, N.H. June 15, 2013

New England’s strongest mountain runner, Eric Blake of New Britain, Conn., faced his best counterparts from the Rocky Mountains and the West Coast today and beat them to reclaim the champion’s title in the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race.  Blake, who won this 7.6-mile all-uphill race in 2006 and 2008, came back this year from four years of near misses to run up the Mt. Washington Auto Road in his fastest time ever, 59 minutes 57 seconds.

Meanwhile on the women’s side of the race, veteran mountain runner Laura Haefeli of Del Norte, Colo., finally won the internationally renowned event where she had repeatedly been a popular bridesmaid. Having finished third three times and among the top six women two other times in this climb to the 6288-foot summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States, Haefeli, now 45 years old, took an early lead and held it, taking advantage of an occasional tailwind and finishing in 1:18:05, more than five minutes ahead of her nearest competition.

Blake’s win was emphatic and gratifying. The 34-year-old coach at Central Connecticut State lined up at the start with the two men who had beaten him last year and seemed in comparably good shape this time, Joseph Gray, 29, of Renton, Washington, and Sage Canaday, 27, from Boulder, Colorado. A year ago Canaday had run away from the field to become just the sixth man ever to break one hour on Mt. Washington, while Gray was a solid second, but this time the field was reversed.

Gray, a former all-American steeplechaser with track speed to go with his mountain endurance, seized the lead at the start, opened a gap on everyone else and held it for three miles while Blake and Canaday chased him. Then Blake surged while Canaday faded.

“Maybe Joe was going to run away with it, or maybe he was going to come back to us,” said Blake afterward. “When I caught up with Joe, I just concentrated on maintaining momentum. I had seen enough second-place frustration, and I didn’t want to be second again.”

After his two previous victories, Blake had been runner-up twice here, then eighth in 2011, when he was suffering from a not-yet-diagnosed torn hamstring muscle that required surgery. Having regained enough form to place third last year, he looked even stronger today.

Half a mile from the finish he was pumping his fist with the confidence of someone who knows he will win. Better yet, he realized he had a shot at the one-hour mark that had always eluded him before.

“I had thought I’d finish in 61 minutes,” he said, “but I was going as quickly as I could.” Quickly enough so that, on top of the winner’s purse of $1000, his finishing time earned him the $500 bonus the race awards to anyone who breaks one hour without breaking the course record. The men’s course record for the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race is 56:42, set in 2004 by six-time world mountain champion Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand.

Haefeli, who five years ago broke the Mt. Washington masters (over 40) record previously held by Olympian Joan Samuelson, again collected the $300 award for the first female finisher over 40, to go along with her overall winner’s $1000. The men’s masters prize went once again to Simon Gutierrez, 47, of Colorado Springs. Gutierrez, who won this race three times between 2002 and 2005 and holds the master’s course record, placed fourth overall in 1:04:44, outkicking 38-year-old Matt Byrne of Scranton, Pennsylvania by one second.

The next woman behind Haefeli was a smiling Brandy Erholtz, of Evergreen, Colo. Erholtz, 35, had won her Mt. Washington debut here in 2008, repeated as champion in 2009, and then been third in 2010 and runner-up for the past two years. For her, however, this year’s runner-up performance was especially delightful. She is four months’ pregnant – a fact about which she has happily posted a narrative on her training blog.

Undeniably slower this year, Erholtz was still tough. Starting conservatively, she passed Regina Loicano of Gloucester, Mass., and Tin-Marie Poulin of New York City in the first mile, then withstood a determined challenge by Loicano for several miles before finishing in 1:23:48, with Loicano third in 1:24:45 and Poulin another half minute back. Abby Mahoney, 35, of Holyoke, Mass., was fifth in 1:25:49.

Justin Freeman, 36, of New Hampton, N.H., an Olympic Nordic skier and local favorite, placed eighth overall in 1:06:52 to win the Crossan Cup, which is awarded annually to the top finisher from New Hampshire. The women’s Crossan Cup winner was Larisa Dannis of Manchester, who placed seventh among all women in 1:26:59.

Top finishers:

Men:

1.  Eric Blake, 34, New Britain, Conn., 59:57
2.  Joseph Gray, 29, Renton, Wash., 1:02:46
3.  Sage Canaday, 27, Boulder, Colo., 1:03:39
4.  Simon Gutierrez, 47, Colorado Springs, Colo., 1:04:44
5.  Matthew Byrne, 38, Scranton, Pa., 1:04:45
6.  Josh Ferenc, 31, Saxtons River, Vt., 1J5:36
7.  Gabriel Rodriguez, 35, Baltimore, Md., 1:06:37
8.  Justin Freeman, 36, New Hampton, N.H., 1:06:52
9.  P:eter Maksimow, 34, Manitou Springs, Colo., 1:07:26
10.  Eric MacKnight, 24, Clifton Park, N.J., 1:07:37

Women:

1.  Laura Haefeli, 45, Del Norte, Colo., 1:18:05
2.  Brandy Erholtz, 35, Evergreen, Colo., 1:23:48
3.  Regina Loicano, 40, Gloucester, Mass., 1:24:45
4.  Tina-Marie Poulin, 40, New York, N.Y., 1:25:17
5.  Abby Mahoney, 35, Holyoke, Mass., 1:25:49
6.  Layce Alves, 33, Rockport, Mass., 1:26:33
7.  Larisa Dannis, 25, Manchester, N.H., 1:26:59
8.  Dawn Roberts, 41, West Springfield, Mass., 1:27:28
9.  Suzy West, 50, Putney, Vt., 1:28:22
10. Jennifer Brooks, 34, Gloucester, Mass., 1:28:27

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1,300 runners, 34 states, 7.6 miles all uphill

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. – This Saturday the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race will welcome 1300 runners from 34 states plus the District of Columbia and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec for the annual 7.6-mile footrace to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States. The race course, the Mt. Washington Auto Road, ascends from Route 16 to the 6288-foot summit of Mt. Washington at an average grade of 12 percent, with the additional challenge of the mountain’s notorious weather, which can include drastic temperature drops and high winds. Starting time is 9 a.m.

On Friday evening from 5-7 p.m. the race presents its annual pre-race program, which includes a pasta supper, a talk about the race, and the induction of new members into the Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. The dinner and talk take place at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

The Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race is one of the premier footraces in New England. It is also one of the most difficult mountain races anywhere in the world. The winners’ first prize is $1,000, with a bonus of $5,000 for anyone who breaks the course record. The men’s course record, set in 2004 by World Mountain Champion Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand, is 00:56:41. The women’s record, set by Ethiopian runner Shewarge Amare in 2010, is 1:08:21.

Northeast Delta Dental administers dental insurance programs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. To learn more about Northeast Delta Dental, visit www.nedelta.com and follow Northeast Delta Dental on Facebook and Twitter.

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Defending champion Sage Canaday leads men’s field; Erholtz may be top woman

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. – Top mountain runners from New England, the Rockies, and the West Coast lead the field this year in the 53rd Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race. On June 15 they’ll make their way 7.6 miles up the relentlessly steep Mt. Washington Auto Road to the summit of Mt. Washington, at 6288 feet above sea level the highest peak in the Northeast. Starting time is 9 a.m.

A year ago, observers at this historic and grueling race did a double-take when newcomer Sage Canaday of Boulder, Colo., took an early lead and never looked back, defeating an intensely competitive group of rivals, including two former World Mountain Champions and several members of the U.S. national mountain running team. This year those observers will expect to see the 27-year-old Canaday up front, and the main question will be whether his closest competition from last year can challenge him for first place this time.

The women’s field is led by Brandy Erholtz, 35, of Evergreen, Colo., who won the race in her first appearance here in 2008, won again in 2009, and has finished second twice (2010, 2012) and third once (2011) since then. As she has happily reported in her running blog, Erholtz is now four months pregnant. Although she may be slightly slower this year than last, her strength and her intelligent training keep her on top of the list of contenders.

Sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental, which provides comprehensive dental-care insurance in northern New England, the race this year welcomes its largest number of entrants ever — 1300 in all, from 34 states including Alaska and Hawaii, plus the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec. It is directed by Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises, the same organization that directs the Boston Marathon.

Canaday, a former Cornell cross-country and track runner who subsequently trained with the highly respected Hanson-Brooks Distance Project, showed last year that Mt. Washington’s severe 12-percent grade suited him well. He covered the 7.6-mile distance from the base to the summit in 58 minutes 27.58 seconds, the third-fastest time in the race’s history. Behind him were Joseph Gray of Newcastle, Wash., a former all-American steeplechaser and U.S. Mountain Running Team veteran, who finished in 1:00:33; and two-time winner (2006 and 2008) Eric Blake of New Britain, Conn., in 1:00:54. Gray’s and Blake’s times in 2012 would have won this race in most years. Gray, 29, and Blake, 34, will return this year to test their conditioning and mental toughness against Canaday’s.

Erholtz has been the steadiest female performer in the Mt. Washington Road Race women’s field for five years. She won in 2008 in 1:11:08, then lowered her time to 1:10:53 when she won in 2009. Her best time since then was last year, when she clocked 1:12:27, making her runner-up behind Kim Dobson, of Denver, Colo., who ran 1:09:25 – the second-fastest time ever recorded for the women’s field at Mt. Washington. Dobson will be absent from Mt. Washington this year, as will last year’s third-place finisher Kasie Enman of Vermont.

The uncertain variables are how fast Laura Haefeli, 44, Carolyn Stocker, 20, and Kristin Frey, 29, will finish. Haefeli, of Del Norte, Colo., the first American woman ever to win an individual medal in the World Mountain Championships, placed fourth last year at Mt. Washington, in 1:15:10, and she knows the mountain well.

Stocker set the Mt. Washington Road Race record for junior runners in 2011, lowered it to 1:18:58 with her fifth-place finish in 2012, and returns to Mt. Washington strengthened by two seasons of collegiate competition at the University of Maine. Stocker is also one of the country’s top snowshoe-racers, having won the gold medal in her age group at this year’s U.S. National Snowshoe Championship in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, placing third among all women and earning a place on the U.S. national snowshoe team that will compete next February in Sweden.

Frey will run the Auto Road for the first time, but she is familiar with steep climbs, being the premier staircase racer in the United States. A resident of Schaumburg, Ill., she has won every major stair climb race in the skyscrapers of Chicago, placed fourth in New York’s Empire State Building Run-up, and run a personal best marathon time of 3:14. In 2012 Chicago Athlete Magazine named her the Female Athlete of the Year.

Other likely top male finishers this year at Mt. Washington include Simon Gutierrez, 47, of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Matt Byrne, 38, of Scranton, Penn.; Peter Maksimow, 34, of Manitou Springs, Colo.; Ryan Bak, 30, of Bend, Ore.; and Matt Flaherty, 27, of Chicago, Ill. Gutierrez won the Race in 2002, 2003 and 2005, holds the masters (over 40) record for the course in 1:01:34, and last year set a new 44-49-years age-group record of 1:02:24. On the evening before this year’s race he will be inducted into the Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame, in a ceremony at the base of the Auto Road.

Byrne has run Mt. Washington four times, including a third-place finish in 2011, a personal best of 1:02:02 in 2008, and a 12th place finish last year, when the field was the most competitive in the Race’s history. Maksimow, a seasoned member of the U.S. Mountain Running team, is perennially strong.

Flaherty was expected to finish among the top contenders at Mt. Washington last year but was injured before the race. Having finished fourth in the Napa Valley Marathon in March and having won the American River 50-mile race in April, he comes to Mt. Washington with the strength and endurance to contend in this field. Bak won the inaugural Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon in Portland, Ore., last year and was the fourth U.S. finisher in the elite Fukuoka Marathon in Japan last winter. This year’s Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race kicks off his summer of international mountain racing.

Although she may not finish with the leaders this year, J’ne (pronounced “Janey”) Day-Lucore, 52, of Denver, Colo., will be in everyone’s sights when she returns to Mt. Washington. Day-Lucore has won Mt. Washington three times including a 1992 debut in which broke the existing women’s course record with a time of 1:11:46. Along with Simon Gutierrez, she will be inducted into the Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame the evening before the race.

The Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race attracts hundreds of hardcore road and trail runners from across New England, other regions of the country, and abroad. In fact the number of would-be entrants has long been greater than the 152-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road can accommodate. The “Run to the Clouds” is therefore filled each year partly by invitations issued to elite runners but primarily by a computer-generated lottery selection process that opens each year in February.

Runners pay an $80 participation fee. Fifty percent of all proceeds from the race will support Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin, N.H., a community-based organization that provides comprehensive health care and social services to everyone, regardless of economic status. The organization also provides a school-based oral health program.

The winners’ first prize in the race is $1,000, with a bonus of $5,000 for anyone who breaks the course record. The men’s course record, set in 2004 by six-time World Mountain Champion Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand, is 00:56:41. The women’s record, set by Ethiopian runner Shewarge Amare in 2010, is 1:08:21.

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 who have 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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Colorful Characters Climb Mt. Washington Auto Road

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH-The 3rd Annual Alton Weagle Day on the Mt. Washington Auto Road turned out to be a great success, even though the colorful characters who participated could only make it to treeline due to snow and wind. Nonetheless, the unique event was proof positive that more than 150 years after it opened, the lure of being the first to do something on the Northeast’s highest peak is as compelling today as it ever was.

Alton Group

This year’s event found an eclectic group of first ascenders lining up at 7:30 am to begin their record setting attempts. Each was inspired to march to the beat of a quite different drummer, but together they created a morning on Mt. Washington like no other.

Jesse Lyman-The Cookie Monster-

Cookie monster and cookies
Last year this intrepid firefighter hiked up in full bunker gear on an 80 degree day…this year Lyman, also a teacher at Lafayette Regional School, donned a cookie monster costume and hiked up with three of his sixth grade students (Grace Cisler of Sugar Hill, Sam Greene of Easton and Jack Sampo of Franconia) dressed as giant cookies.

Hans Bauer-Flagpole Stilts (with flags)-
Stilts
Returning to the Auto Road after making a successful ascent at last year’s event going up backwards, barefoot and jumping rope, Bauer’s flags were certainly flying this year. He made his way up the average grade of 12% in attire that included a shirt, tie and hardhat.

Anonymous-Liberty Bell Ascent-

Liberty Bell replica
This (literally) masked man wore a tricorn hat and carried up a 1/5 scale replica of the Liberty Bell, that his father had cast many years ago at the same foundry in England where the original was made. “The bell was my father’s, he loved Mt. Washington with the worst weather in the World. I think that he would have thought it fitting to honor the victims and first responders of the recent Boston bombing by walking the Bell to the top,” said the man who called himself Bill from Boston. Using crampons, he did well to make it to the 6.5 mile point before having to turn back due to ice and snow removal operations going on.

Ben Hvar- Tubemobile Descent-

tubemobile2mile
This veteran of Mt. Washington “stunts” is following last year’s ascent with a telephone booth with a rolling descent of a lower section of the road in a contraption fashioned from several brightly colored inner tubes (which he rides inside of). He said it was a sickening experience.

Part performance artist and part maker of folk art, Hvar also constructed a 4′ x 9′ flag made from Mt. Washington twigs and branches which was unveiled as part of the day’s festivities.
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Steven Caming-First to Paddle a Kayak Up Auto Road-
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This eccentric character, who also serves as Media Director for the Auto Road, followed a backwards drive up the auto road two years ago with a first ever go kart ascent last year. For a change of pace in 2013, Caming (wearing a personal flotation device and helmet) paddled a kayak that was lashed to the top of a Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center van, which became quite a blustery place to be as the winds gusted to more than 45 mph.

“We were delighted to welcome this colorful cast of characters here to make their own personal history on the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Not everyone wants to compete in a bike, car or footrace and as we see year after year, there is certainly no shortage of creative ways to go up this mountain!” observed Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center.

An awards ceremony completed the festivities and then this group of newly minted Mt. Washington record holders each went back to their regular lives, to think about what they’ll do the next time Mt. Washington’s siren song lures them back to Pinkham Notch.

For more information about Alton Weagle Day or general operations at the Mt. Washington Auto Road call (603) 466-3988 or online at www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com

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