Mount Washington Hill Climb

We got incredibly lucky with a great day for a race up Mount Washington.

The race itself was brutal. The course is 7.6 miles with 4,650 feet of elevation gain and there are few places where the road flattens to offer any real recovery. I went out with the leaders for the first half mile to see how their pace felt, but it was too much for me. I settled into my sustainable pace which put me all alone in 5th place on the road. I was moving WAY slower than the fastest guys and lost a huge amount of time, 8 minutes and 20 seconds, by the finish. Francis Wangari from Kenya faded in the second half of the race. In the last 3 miles he came back into my line of sight, but I was never able to catch him. He finished 4th, 15 seconds ahead of me. My time was 1 hour, 7 minutes and 14 seconds, which doesn’t mean much to me since this is the first time I’ve run this race.

Overall I believe my race today was a representative effort of relatively poor fitness. This isn’t surprising since I’ve only been training full time for 6 weeks. I’m looking forward to building on this fitness while maintaining good energy throughout the summer.

I was very impressed by the organization and the atmosphere of the race.

There were a surprising number of spectators.

Here are 4th place finisher Francis (left) and 2nd place finisher Sage Canaday.

Unrelated to the race, I think it’s cool that there are so many ways to get to the top: drive, take the cog railway or hike/run.

I’d love to come up on the trails sometime soon.

I enjoyed meeting a bunch of runners after the race.

Here is Francis with Simon Gutierrez from Colorado, who has been winning mountain running races for decades. He’s one of my heros and it was an honor to meet him.

The most impressive person in the race to me was George, a 97 year old who completed this year’s race in just over 4 hours.

Race results are here.