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Downtown Temple,NH

Sunday, June 20, 2010

One Hill Too Many

The 50th Mt Washington Road Race is in the books, and so is my running on this hill. I'm officially done with Mt Washington. Any success I may have had at sea level never materialized on the mountain. I tried. I just never figured out how to run this race well (my definition). I am not disappointed, probably more relieved than anything else. If you're a runner and you live in New England, this is a MUST DO race (once). You'll be glad you did it. It's very satisfying to say you ran up Mt Washington. After that it's up to you if you want to come back year after year. I hope the rest of you have better luck with the lottery than I did over the years. As far as I can remember, I was never actually selected in the lottery. I guess it just proves the point the lottery isn't the only way to get into this race!

I've been part of some memorable events at the Mt Washington Road Race.
2002 - My 1st year running this race (42:19). For the first (and only) time in its history, the race to the summit would not happen. Freezing rain at the summit made driving cars to the summit impossible. Without a way to get nearly 1000 runners back down, the race was shortened to 3.8 miles (half way). All runners had to run or walk back down to the base after finishing. My plan was to ONLY run this race once. Since I didn't make it to the top I had to give it another go.
2004 - After missing the lottery in 2003, I returned in 2004 to make it all the way to the summit (1:43:20) I kind of liked this race but was not in great shape. I think I might come back again. With some nasty weather at the summit, Jonathan Wyatt of NZ smashed the course record by nearly 2 minutes, finishing in 56:41 (7:28 avg pace!).
2005 - So much for one and done. I set my PR this year (1:28:46), beating my previous best by 15 minutes. Maybe this race isn't so bad. Oh, and it rained again.
2006 -I should have quit while I was ahead (1:34:00). 5+ minutes slower than the previous year. I was in better shape last year but I still had a good time. 2006 had nearly PERFECT weather, 50's, sunny and zero wind...at the summit.
2008 - I missed 2007 due to knee surgery on both knees, but was back in 2008 (1:30:42). This was my worst experience to date. I felt awful right from the start. This was the first time I started thinking how much I hate this race. No plans to return. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
2010 - So much for not coming back. This year was the 50th anniversary and was a BIG deal in NH. It just seemed like the place to be so I decided to do it again. All the cool kids were doing it so what the heck, ONE more time (1:31:50). Ok, I'm done now.

Goodbye cruel mountain.


Michael said...

Couldn't agree more. You need to do something easier. Like a 50 miler.

Dan said...

I love the title of this post. That's all I need to know.

And don't run a 50. Much like Mt Washington, you'll say once was enough, but it won't be, and you be back for more abuse.

Steve Wolfe said...

Thankfully I'm not itching to do a 50, because if I itch I HAVE to scratch!
I want to do races I actually enjoy :-)