Let me just start by saying this, from here on out I’m going to refer to the 50th Mount Washington Road Race as a “run”, not a “race” because it simply bears no resemblance to any race you could ever hope to imagine. In fact, referring to it as a run is being extremely generous since what you end up doing most of the time is flail around wildly, as you slowly creep up the very steep and very hot auto road. But, out of respect to the folks who actually know what they are doing up there, I’ll just call it a run and leave it at that.
I went into this year’s run with 6 levels of goals. #1 - start, #2 - finish, #3 - run the whole way, #4 – set a PR, #5 - Beat Chris Dunn & #6 – Beat Steve Wolfe. My rationale behind setting so many goals is that I’ve invested way too much time in this endeavor to leave completely empty handed at the end of the day if things don’t work out as planned. I figured goals 1 & 2 would be easy since I ran this twice before and knew what to expect. Goals 3 & 4 would be a bit tougher to obtain since the temperature at the start was in the mid-eighties. But, all things being equal, these both were certainly do-able. Finally, if it was a really, really good day I might be able to achieve goals 5 & 6. I’ve been back and forth with Chris at various races over the years and usually end up seeing the back side of Steve at most events. However, at
, Steve and I have gone head to head 2 times and I’ve won both. So, maybe I own him at this one? Only time would tell. Washington
Things were crazy at the start as people jockeyed for position up front and others squeezed in behind. At about 1000 runners, this race (excuse me - run) tends to be a bit crowded before, during and after the cannon (that’s right – cannon) goes off. Once we started, I kicked in to a quick sprint up to the first pitch and then grinded to a near halt that would last for the next hour and a half. Mile 1 (the shortest one) passed in 8:26 and during that time I was passed by what felt like the entire field. During my 11:42 Mile 2 I flip-flopped with Cathy Merra for a bit until finally she flipped and I flopped. By Mile 3 I settled into an un-comfortable 12:41 pace and prayed for a quick death. During Mile 4 I realized that I hadn’t seen Chris or Steve yet and (as if on cue) they both promptly blew by me before I could reach the mile marker in 13:08.
Now past halfway, Mile 5 went by in a brisk 13:20 as I caught back up to Steve again. He was clearly taunting me as he walk/ran past me during my 14:10 Mile 6. For those keeping track at home, yes - I do realize that my split times are getting slower and slower - thank you very much. During Mile 7 I put in a “surge” to catch Steve but could still only manage a 13:19 and he slowly pulled away. The final .6 miles ticked away in whopping 8:26 and I lurched across the line in 1:35:17 – 2 minutes slower than my PR and 3 ½ minutes behind Steve and Chris. Oh well, 3 out of 6 goals achieved isn’t too bad.