Joe Gray and Kim Dobson Win 56th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race; Jim Johnson and Amber Ferreira top New Hampshire Finishers

Gray wins 3rd consecutive Mt Washington; Dobson remains undefeated with her 4th win.

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. – Under sunny, cloudless skies with almost no wind, Joe Gray (Colorado Springs, CO) and Kim Dobson (Eagle, CO) continued their recent dominance of the 56th running of the Northeast Delta Dental Road Race winning this year’s race.

Gray took the lead about a quarter mile in to the race and never relinquished the lead as he finished in 58:17, just 2 seconds slower than his 58:15 in 2015, which is the fastest an American runner has ever run on the Auto Road course.

“I came in a little bit tired this year with my recent training but I was very happy to be so close to my American Record that I set at last year’s race.” said Gray. “The weather today made it a little harder. You could feel the heat out there.”

Dobson overtook eventual second place finisher, Kim Nedeau of Leverett, MA about a half mile into the race on her way to a 1:09:34 result, which was also 10 th place overall in the race. Dobson’s 4th win in four attempts ties her with Anna Pichrtova who accomplished the feat in her first four attempts as well. Dobson was within 8 seconds of her personal best of 1:09:25 that she ran in 2012.

“I was pretty nervous at the start but I felt good about my fitness. I ran conservatively to the halfway mark and then felt good so I kept pushing it. I feel really fortunate to be able to do this race. I had an injury this Winter and so every time I am able to get to the start line, it is a such a blessing. Winning the race makes that extra special,” noted Dobson.

Rounding out the top ten for the men were:

2nd : Eric Blake, West Hartford, CT – 59:49

3rd : Tomasso Vaccina, Italy – 1:01:41

4th : Francesco Puppi, Italy – 1:03:59

5th : Jim Johnson, East Madison, NH – 1:07:27

6th : Simon Gutierrez, Colorado Springs, CO – 1:07:46

7th : Brandon Newbould, Nottingham, NH – 1:09:10

8th : Drew Best, Amherst, MA – 1:09:19

9th : Greg Krathwohl, Ipswich, MA – 1:09:49

10th : CJ Hitz, Colorado Springs, CO – 1:10:40

Rounding out the top ten for the women were:

2nd : Kim Nedeau, Leverett, MA – 1:13:51

3rd : Shannon Payne, Franktown, CO – 1:16:10

4th : Amber Ferrreira, Concord, NH – 1:19:30

5th : Kasie Enman, Huntington, VT – 1:20:09

6th – Layce Alves, Gloucester, MA – 1:24:09

7th : Regina Loicano, Gloucester, MA – 1:24:38

8th : Christin Doneski, Hopkinton, NH – 1:26:34

9th : Laura Brustolon, Littleton, MA – 1:26:48

10th : Jennifer Brooks, Gloucester, MA – 1:27:45

The top New Hampshire finisher is awarded the Crossan Cup each year in memory of Gary Crossan who won the race four times. This year’s winners were Jim Johnson of East Madison, NH and Amber Ferreira of Concord, NH. Johnson finished fifth overall while Ferreira was the 5th woman. Both had phenomenal races on the mountain today. Johnson in particular wasn’t sure of how his performance would go but was very happy with the results.

“Today felt really good to win the Crossan Cup for the first time. After a rough race last week, I wasn’t sure how today would go. But then I ended up being within two seconds of my personal best here at Mt. Washington. I went out very easy at first and then I put my head down and tried to stay within my pace. Once I got to halfway, I ran with Simon Gutierrez until around mile 6 and just having him near me helped to push me to today’s finish.” said Johnson.

In other milestone news, 96 year old George Etzweiler finished his ninth Mount Washington race in a time of 3:23:15. Etzweiler noted during the awards that he has started incorporating some strength training into his training regime and looks forward to returning next year.

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Complete information about the race is provided at the race website, www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com.

Complete results are available at:
http://www.coolrunning.com/results/16/nh/Jun18_56thNo_set2.shtml

Half of all proceeds from the race are donated to the Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin.

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 821,000 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.

The race has donated more than $60,000 to the dental programs of the 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 at facebook.com/mountwashingtonroadrace.

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, N.H., 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.

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Gray and Dobson Look to Repeat at the 56th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race

PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. – Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race defending champions, Joseph Gray and Kim Dobson, are both coming off strong weekends at two different mountain races in Colorado. They look to carry this momentum into this weekend’s race, which takes place on Saturday, June 18th, at the Mount Washington Auto Road.

Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo.) just won the Vail 10k Spring Runoff Race, a mountain/trail race that takes place as part of the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, Colo. Dobson (Grand Junction, Colo.), who is undefeated at Mt. Washington, just set a new course record at the Mount Evans Ascent in Colorado, a 14-mile road race to the 14,284-foot summit of Mount Evans.

Gray turned heads last year at Mt. Washington with his 58:15 win, which is the second fastest time ever on the mountain, behind the 56:41 course record of Jonathan Wyatt.  Testing Gray’s fitness will be three runners- former winner, Eric Blake (West Hartford, Conn.), who has beaten Gray at Mt. Washington, along with two Italian runners, Tommaso Vaccina and Francesco Puppi, who finished first and third last year at the World Long Distance Challenge in Zermatt, Switzerland. Vaccina and Puppi are both excellent climbers who look to challenge both Gray and Blake on the never-ending 12 percent grade of the Auto Road. Besides those four, eyes will also be on three-time winner, Simon Gutierrez (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who looks to break the 50+ age division record this year.

On the women’s side, Dobson has three wins in three attempts and is coming in to this year’s race fitter than ever. Challenging Dobson will be 36-year-old Kim Nedeau of Leverett, Mass., Amber Ferreira of Concord, N.H., Mary Baldwin of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Carolyn Stocker of Westfield, Mass.  Former race winners Brandy Erholtz of Evergreen, Colo., Shannon Payne of Colorado Springs, CO, and 2011 World Mountain Running Champion, Kasie Enman of Huntington, Vt. are also strong contenders.  Both Enman and Payne are coming off of long layoffs but still both are fierce competitors. Erholtz is expecting her second child in November but is still considered a strong contender for a top 10 finish. She finished second in 2013 when she was expecting her first child.

Other highlights in the 1300 runner field will be 96-year-old George Etzweiler (State College, Penn.,) looking for his ninth finish.  George will be doing the race with his 70-year-old son, Larry.  George is also being inducted into this year’s Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place just before awards at the base of the mountain.

Complete information about the race is provided at the race website, www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com.  The race will start at 9 AM at the base of the Auto Road.

Half of all proceeds from the race will be donated to the Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin.

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 821,000 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.
The race has donated more than $60,000 to the dental programs of the 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 at facebook.com/mountwashingtonroadrace.

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, N.H., 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.

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Gray and Dobson Look to Repeat at 56th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH – Joseph Gray and Kim Dobson will be looking to repeat their 2015 performances at the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, which takes place this year on Saturday June 18th at the Mount Washington Auto Road.

mt washington road race, northeast delta dental, road race, mt washington

Gray, of Colorado Springs, CO, has won the race the last two years, including his phenomenal time of 58:15 in 2015 which is the second fastest time ever on the mountain, just behind the course record of Jonathan Wyatt, who ran a 56:41 in 2004.  His main competition will come from three runners- one a former winner, Eric Blake, of West Hartford, CT, who has dueled with Gray many times on the mountain.  His other two big rivals will be two Italian runners who finished first and third last year at the World Long Distance Challenge in Zermatt, Switzerland, Tommaso Vaccina and Francesco Puppi.  Although this will be the first time at Washington for both runners, they are both excellent climbers in the tradition of so many powerful Italian mountain runners.  Other strong contenders in the men’s field include the ageless former winner, Simon Gutierrez of Colorado Springs, CO, Brandon Newbould of Nottingham, NH, and Daniel Princic of Reading, MA.  Gutierrez turned 50 this year and looks to set a new age division record.

On the women’s side, Dobson looks to continue her undefeated streak. She has three wins in three attempts and has broken 1:10 in her fastest ascent time on the mountain.  Dobson will be challenged by Kim Nedeau of Leverett, MA, Denise Sandahl of Bow, NH, Amber Ferreira of Concord, NH, Mary Baldwin of Colorado Springs, CO and Carolyn Stocker of Westfield, MA.  Former race winners Brandy Erholtz of Evergreen, CO, Shannon Payne of Colorado Springs, CO, and 2011 World Mountain Running Champion, Kasie Enman of Huntington, VT are also strong contenders.  Both Enman and Payne are coming off of long layoffs but still both are fierce competitors. Erholtz is expecting her second child in November but is still considered a strong contender for a top 10 finish. She finished second in 2013 when she was expecting her first child.

Although not competing for a top spot, 96-year-old George Etzweiler of State College, PA will be running the race again, looking for his 9th finish.  George gets to celebrate Father’s Day weekend with his son Larry, who is also running the race and is 70 years old. George is also being inducted into this year’s Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame Ceremony will take place just before awards at the base of the mountain.

Complete information about the race is provided at the race website, www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com.  The race will start at 9 AM at the base of the Auto Road.

Fifty percent of all proceeds from the race will be donated to the Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin.

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 800,000 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.

The race has donated over $50,000 to the dental programs of 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.

To learn more about the Mount Washington Road Race, visit www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/mountwashingtonroadrace.

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.

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Francis Darrah, George Etzweiler and Cathy Hodgdon to be Inducted into the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame

May 6, 2016 – 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 Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame this year will pay tribute to the achievements of three great runners in a ceremony at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday, June 18.  The ceremony will take place after the 2016 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 155-year-old Auto Road.
mt washington auto road, northeast delta dental mount washington road race, running race

The 2016 Mount Washington Hall of Fame inductees:

Francis Darrah – won the race in two of the first three years it was held (1936 & 1938).  He broke his own course record in 1938 running a 1:15:28. He is one of only nine people who have ever held the course record at Mt Washington.  He is also one of the three men in the history of the race to set the course record multiple times, the others being Hall of Fame members Bob Hodge and Gary Crossan.

George Etzweiler – is the oldest finisher (at age 95 in 2015), and has finished eight times between the age of 85 and 95.  All of his times rank between 7th and 34th for runners 80 years old or older.  He is the only runner over age 88 to finish the race.  He currently owns eight single-age records (85,86,87,89,91,92,93,95).  He also holds the 85-89 Age Group Record (AGR) (2:33:20), 90-94 AGR (2:48:25) and 95+ (3:28:41) AGR.

Cathy Hodgdon – had three consecutive wins from 1980-1982.  Her three times averaged 1:24:07.  Cathy holds the single age record for age 22 with her 1:22:57 in 1981.  That record is the second oldest women’s record in existence. In 1980 she set the 20-24 AGR (1:26:24) which she lowered in 1981 (1:22:57) and lowered again in 1982 (1:22:10).

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 website at: mwrrhalloffame.com

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

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Racer Selection Registration for the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race Ends March 15th

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH – March 15th is the last day for runners to register for the Racer Selection Process for this summer’s 56th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race.

Each year the race attracts almost double the number of entrants than the 155-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road can accommodate. The field is partially filled by invitations issued to elite mountain runners but mainly by a computer-generated random selection process open to all comers. All applicants who enter the registration process will be notified on March 18th as to whether or not they have gained the opportunity to run the 7.6 grueling miles to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States.

Information about the race and how to register is provided here: www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com/racer-selection.

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

Fifty percent of all proceeds from the race will be donated to the Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin.

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 800,000 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.

The race has donated over $50,000 to the dental programs of 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.

To learn more about the Mount Washington Road Race, visit www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/mountwashingtonroadrace.

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.

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Racer Selection Registration for the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race to Open February 18

Runners from Across the Country and New England look to enter 56th Running of Storied Mountain Race.

PINKHAM NOTCH, NH – On February 18, runners hoping to compete in this summer’s Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race can begin to register online for the Racer Selection Process that determines the field for the all-uphill footrace. The window for registration will close on March 15, at 11:59 p.m. EST.  For all information about the race and how to register click here.

Each year the race attracts almost double the number of entrants than the 155-year-old Mt. Washington Auto Road can accommodate. The field is partially filled by invitations issued to elite mountain runners but mainly by a computer-generated random selection process open to all candidates. All applicants who enter the registration process will be notified on March 18, as to whether or not they have gained the opportunity to run the 7.6 grueling miles to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States.

mt washington road race, northeast delta dental, road race, mt washington

The 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.

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Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race Raises More than $18,000

PINKHAM NOTCH – This year’s Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race was record-setting on more than one count.  Not only did 95-year-old George Etzweiler become the oldest person to complete the 7.6-mile course, the event generated a record-setting donation of more than $18,000 to support the dental needs of area residents.

The event, which took place June 20, 2015 on the Mt. Washington Auto Road, features a challenging run up the Northeast’s highest peak, and draws more than 1,000 runners each year from across the world.

northeast delta dental, mt washington road race, foot race,

Mt. Washington Auto Road and Northeast Delta Dental present recording setting donation check to Coos County Family Health Services, to support dental health initiatives in the North Country, through funds raised from the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race. Pictured from left to right: Ken Gordon, CEO of Coos County Family Health Service; Robert Pelchat, Board President of Coos County Family Health Services; Crystal Carroll, Community Relations Manager of Northeast Delta Dental; Howie Wemyss, General Manager of Mt. Washington Auto; Kimberly Hoyt, Event Director of Mt. Washington Auto Road. Photo Credit: “Dan Houde/Mt. Washington Auto Road”

Since 2012, the Mt. Washington Auto Road and Northeast Delta Dental have donated more than $60,000 in proceeds from the event to support the oral health program at Coos County Family Health Services (CCFHS).

“I love being in a position to make a substantial donation like this to a local organization that will put it to such good use as you folks do,” said Howie Wemyss, General Manager of the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

“Words can’t express our gratitude for this donation,” said Ken Gordon, Chief Operating Officer at CCFHS.  “We’ll put the funds to good use providing dental care for North Country residents who would otherwise go without.”

“We plan to use the proceeds from the event to support our “Dental Public Service Day” clinics, which we offer 4 – 5 times per year in collaboration the North Country Health Consortium,” said Loretta Morrissette, CCFHS Dental Hygienist.  “Patients can avoid the emergency room…and gain a new smile and confidence.”

“We are proud to partner with the Mt. Washington Auto Road to present this challenge to athletes and raise important funds for oral health care services in the North Country.  Having access to quality oral health care through Coos County Family Health Services and the North Country Health Consortium will allow residents in these rural communities achieve optimal oral and overall health, said Director of Marketing & Communications at Northeast Delta Dental, Kathleen Walker.

Coos County Family Health Services provides personalized, comprehensive health care and social services to everyone, regardless of economic status.  To learn more, contact them at 752-2040 or on the web at www.coosfamilyhealth.org.

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95-Year-Old Completes Grueling Mount Washington Road Race

George Etzweiler finishes the uphill race in 3:28:41
Alison Wade Runners World.com

At Saturday’s Mount Washington Road Race, 95-year-old George Etzweiler became the oldest person to complete the 7.6-mile course when he crossed the finish line in 3:28:41.

mt washington auto road, northeast delta dental mount washington road race, running race

George Etzweiler, left, makes his trek uphill during Saturday’s Mount Washington Road Race. Photo by Dan Houde/Mt. Washington Auto Road

The race’s organizers bill the event as having only a single hill, but it’s a tough one. The course has an elevation gain of 4,727 feet and has an average grade of 12 percent.

Etzweiler, of State College, Pennsylvania, broke his own record, which he established two years ago when he completed the course at the age of 93 in 3:15. He missed last year’s event because of a case of bronchitis.

“It seems to me that that hill gets steeper each year,” Etzweiler told Runner’s World Newswire on the phone while vacationing in New Hampshire after the race. “I had a tough time, and my time was slower than I had hoped for.”

Despite the slower time, Etzweiler is already talking about improving.

“If I’m this healthy next year, I’ll give it another try and hope I can get more training in and get the time down to 3:15,” he said.

The Mount Washington Road Race’s website lists an official time limit on the course of 3:02, but organizers have relaxed that requirement for older runners in recent years and have kept the clock running.

Etzweiler expects that he’ll run three additional races this year, though none as challenging as Mount Washington. Etzweiler trains for Mount Washington and his other races by running up Tussey Mountain, near his home, three times a week.

This year’s race marked Etzweiler’s 10th time completing the Mount Washington Road Race. He first ran it at his son’s urging in 1989 when he was 69 years old. He’s won his age group six out of the 10 years he’s run, though in recent years he’s been the only runner in the “90 and over” category.

Etzweiler, who worked as an electrical engineering professor at Penn State University for 37 years, said he never ran a mile without stopping until he was 49 years old. He was overweight prior to taking up running and found that he was having trouble staying awake in the afternoons.

At the urging of friends who had read Kenneth Cooper’s book, Aerobics, Etzweiler began running.

The new fitness regimen helped him drop his weight by 15 to 20 pounds, and he has been able to maintain his weight loss ever since. (He even lost a few additional pounds four years ago when he became a vegan.)

Etzweiler hopes to break his age record several more times before he hangs up his running shoes.

“My plan is to run it until I’m 100, and when I cross the finish line I’m going to drop dead,” Etzweiler said. “That would make a splash.”

 

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Joe Gray doubles up with 2nd fastest time at Mt. Washington

55th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race 

·        Joe Gray doubles up with 2nd fastest time at Mt. Washington

·        Kim Dobson returns to the mountain with a bang

·        Colorado runners shine again

·        Freeman, Sandahl repeat as first New Hampshire finishers 

 

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – June 20, 2015

Joe Gray did it again – and he did it in dominating fashion.

The mountain-running standout from Colorado Springs crushed it in the 55th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race on Saturday, setting an American record for the race on the way to a repeat title. His time of 58 minutes and 15 seconds was the second fastest in the history of the race.

 

Gray and Kim Dobson, who made a triumphant return to the mountain, led another Colorado assault on New Hampshire and the grueling 7.6-mile, all-uphill Mt. Washington Auto Road course.

 

Both runners are 31 and both cruised to triumphs on a glorious, sun-splashed day on the highest peak in the Northeast. Temperatures were in the low 40s and climbing and there was not a lot of wind when the first runners reached the peak and finish line at about 10 a.m.

Gray, of Colorado Springs, Colo., finished nearly three minutes ahead of his nearest competitor, fellow Coloradan Andy Wacker, and had no one to push him for most of the race.

Dobson was almost four minutes in front of Brandy Erholtz, a two-time winner of the race.

“Joe left me at about the two-mile mark and after that it was almost like a time trial for both of us,” said Wacker, who was running his first Mount Washington Road Race. “It was incredible he was able to do that time running by himself.”

Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand owns the course record of 56:41, set in 2004.

Gray was excited about his win and his time, but was hoping to take a shot at Wyatt’s mark, too.

“I wasn’t focused on my pace well enough to get the overall mark,” he said. “But I’m definitely very, very happy with the day. I’ve had an up and down season so far. I came back and wanted to defend my title and run a better time than last year.”

He did both – convincingly.

He’s the first repeat winner of the race since Simon Gutierrez, who was sixth Saturday at age 49 in 1:04:02, won in 2002 and 2003.

After a series of runnerup and third-place finishes, Gray won his first Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race last year in a time of 59:09. Gray is one of eight runners who has completed the race in under an hour, and the only one to do it twice.

Wacker, 26 of Boulder, finished second in 1:00:59 and was well in front of Zach Miller, 26, of Manitou Springs, Colo., in 1:03:15. Luca Cagnati, 25, of Italy was fourth in 1:03:40.

Dobson won this race in 2011 and 2012. She was entered for the first time since then. Dobson broke away early as well and finished in 1:11:39. Erholtz, who won the race in 2008 and 2009, finished in 1:15:34.

Dobson’s time fit between her winning times of 1:09:25 in 2009 and 1:12:11 in 2011.

“Some days you hit it right,” she said. “I remember in 2009 getting to the first mile and thinking it didn’t feel like a hill. Some days you feel spunky and some days you feel average. Today it felt like a hill. I guess it should.”

Laura Haefeli, 47 of Del Norte, Colo., who won the 2013 race, was third in 1:17. Katie Misuraca, 34, of Gloucester, Mass., was fourth in 1:17:37.

For the second year in a row and fourth time in the last five years, Colorado runners won both the men’s and women’s races. In addition, runners from Colorado swept the top three positions for both men and women Saturday. Colorado men grabbed six of the seven top spots in the race.

George Etzweiler of State College, Pa., was the final of 1,052 finishers in the race in 3:28:41. He’s 95 years old and was making a comeback. Etzweiler was unable to compete last year because of illness.

Justin Freeman, 38, of New Hampton was eighth overall in 1:05:55 and was the first finisher from New Hampshire for the third straight year and fourth time in the last five.

Freeman took nearly 30 seconds off his personal best mark in the race.

“It was a perfect day,” Freeman said. “I decided to run with no shirt. It was fairly warm at the bottom. There was a bit of a headwind near the top, but it was certainly not as windy as some years.”

Denise Sandahl, 34, of Bow was fifth overall in 1:18:42 in the women’s race for the second consecutive year and also repeated as the top New Hampshire woman. Sandahl was hoping to better her 1:17:21 of a year ago.

“My time was a little disappointing,” she said. “But I’ll take the fifth place and being the first from New Hampshire. I had fun. But it was painful fun.”

              —————

As part of the day’s festivities, four runners – Eric Blake, Eleonora Mendonca of Massachusetts, Eric Morse of Vermont and the late Peter Watson of Massachusetts – were inducted into the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame during the post-race celebration.

Blake of West Hartford, Conn., is the head men’s and women’s track & field/cross country coach at Central Connecticut State University and won the race in 2006, 2008 and 2013. He was excited about a chance to challenge Gray and the field again Saturday, but was a late scratch because of injury.

Mendonca, who is retired and living on Cape Cod, won the race three straight times from 1976-78; Morse has been among the Top 10 finishers in the race 14 times and three times has been the runnerup; and Watson, who died in 2012, ran Mount Washington 23 times from 1988-2011. He was the organizer of Team Gloucester, which regularly sends an impressive number of runners to the race.

                     —————-

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 Mount 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.

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 800,000 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.

Fifty-percent of all proceeds from the race will be donated to Coos County Family Health Services for their oral health programs. 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.

Posted in Mt. Washington Road Race, running race | Tagged , | Comments Off on Joe Gray doubles up with 2nd fastest time at Mt. Washington

Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race

Mt. Washington Auto Road
Saturday, June 20, 2015 – 9:00 a.m.

·        2014 winner Joe Gray of Colorado Springs shoots for a rare repeat

·        Hall of Famer Eric Blake, defending champ Shannon Payne sidelined

·        Former champs Gutierrez, Gates back to try again

·        Dobson, Erholtz, Haefeli aim to continue Colorado streak of success

Pinkham Notch, N.H. – June 17, 2015

Joe Gray of Colorado Springs, Colo., looks to do something no overall winner of the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race has done in more than a decade in this Saturday’s  55th running of the grueling 7.6-mile foot race up the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

Gray, 31, grabbed his first Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race title last year after several near misses and will attempt to become the first repeat winner of the race since Simon Gutierrez doubled up in 2002 and 2003.

On the women’s side, a trio of runners and former winners from Colorado – Kim Dobson, Brandy Erholtz and Laura Haefeli – aim to continue that state’s dominance at the front of the pack. Shannon Payne of Colorado Springs won last year’s race, but is out with an injury. A runner from Colorado has led the women to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast each of the last four years and six of the last seven.

Storylines are plentiful for the race that features some 1,300 runners of all abilities – including many of the best mountain runners in the country as well as an international flavor – ready to tackle the changing and challenging terrain and weather conditions of Mount Washington. The race kicks off at 9 a.m. at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

Can Gray, 31, who pulled away from defending champion and three-time winner Eric Blake in the second half of last year’s race, capture another win?

With Blake on the sidelines – he had to withdraw late because of an injury and will be inducted into the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame after the race – who will step up to challenge Gray?

Perhaps Rickey Gates, 34, another Coloradoan and a late entry? Gates will race in his first Mount Washington since 2012. He won the race in 2009 and 2011.

Eight different runners have finished the race in under one hour, including Gates and Gray.

Gray won last year in a time of 59:09, 52 seconds in front of Blake. Gates clocked in at 59:58 in his 2009 victory.

In addition, the last three winners have broken the one-hour mark. It is the first time in history that three consecutive winners have been under an hour and only once before had two races in a row been won in under that mark.

As for other contenders, how about Zach Miller, 26, of Manitou Springs, Colo.? He was fourth in a time of 1:02:56 last year in his Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race debut.

Gutierrez, 49, and out of Colorado Springs, is a three-time Mount Washington winner and finished sixth last year and is entered. Peter Maksimow, 36, of Manitou Springs, was seventh last year and is back and he and Gutierrez will try to help maintain their state’s mountain running supremacy in New Hampshire. Five of the top seven male finishers in last year’s race were from Colorado.

Gray had finished runner-up in the two races prior to his win and was third a couple of times and fourth once before that.

“You knew there was going to be a year he eventually was going to win it,” Blake said. “Joe’s tough to beat. He has a good combination of both strength and speed. He has solid track times and has run some good half marathons and marathons on the road and he’s a good climber, too.”

Newcomers on the men’s side include Luca Cagnati of Italy, a member of the 2014 Italian Mountain Running Team, and Andy Wacker of Boulder, Colo. Wacker was third behind the second-place Gray in the Vail Pass Half marathon earlier this month and second to Gray the next day in a 10K, also at Vail.

On the local side, can Justin Freeman, 38, of New Hampton, N.H., three-peat? He’s won the Crossan Cup as the top men’s finisher from New Hampshire on the men’s side the last two years and three of the last four. He’s been in the top 10 overall each of the three times he has won it. One of his rivals for Crossan honors is his brother, Kris, 34. Kris was tops from NH in 2010 and was third last year.

The winners of five of the last seven Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race women’s races are in the field, setting up what should be an interesting race.

Erholtz (2008 and 2009) and Dobson (2011 and 2012) each won consecutive races and Haefeli won in 2013. Erholtz owns the fastest times of the threesome with a 1:10:53 in 2009 and 1:11:08 in 2008. They are the fifth and sixth fastest times in race history.

Dobson’s best is a 1:12:11 from 2011, the 10th fastest time ever in the race. Haefeli won in 2013 in 1:18:05.

Erholtz was third last year behind Payne and Italy’s Valentina Bellotti in 1:15:38.

Denise Sandahl, 34, of Bow, N.H. and Larisa Dannis, 27, of Mill Valley, Calif. aim to move up after finishing fifth and sixth last year. They are also the last two winners of the women’s Crossan Cup.

Sandahl was nine seconds out of fourth place with a time of 1:17:21 last year in her first Mount Washington race. Dannis was running out of Manchester, N.H., two years ago when she was the first New Hampshire finisher and seventh overall in 1:26:59.

Dannis has become a force in long distance running. She won the 50-Mile Road Championship last year and was second in the Western States 100-Mile Race.

Amber Ferreira, 33, of Concord, N.H., is a world class triathlete, and another contender for a top spot. She was seventh in the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race in 2010.

Other New England runners looking for top 10 spots include Abbey Gosling Wood of Laconia, N.H.; Abby Mahoney of Holyoke, Mass.; Ashley Krause of Easthampton, Mass.; and Regina Loicano of Gloucester, Mass.

On another note, George Etzweiler of State College, Pa., is entered again. Etzweiler, 95, was a late scratch from last year’s event because of illness. His son Larry, 69, is also signed up.

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 Mount 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.

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 800,000 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.

Fifty-percent of all proceeds from the race will be donated to Coos County Family Health Services for their oral health programs. 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.

 

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