Things could not get bigger for this race. It was the 50th running of the race. It was the only qualifier for the World Mountain Championships. The elite athletes were coming out of the wood words to run this. Going in I was confident I was in shape and ready for a solid race. The race climbs 4650 feet over 7.6 miles up to the top of Mt Washington on the mostly paved road at an average 15% grade... actually 11.58%.
I flew out Thursday morning and stayed with Marc and Jane Chauvin in North Conway, only 20 minutes drive from the base of Mt. Washington. Marc is an accomplished mountain climber and guide who has been all over the world. He is blessed man with his beautiful wife Jane. They were amazing hosts who made me feel welcome and at home.
On Friday, I ran up Black Cap to the summit at 2400 feet or so, thanks to Marc’s suggestion. Granted it was only 1.3 miles up but the view was tremendous and offered a panorama of the White Mountains. It was an easy laidback day. Then Saturday...
It was warm out 75 or so at the start of the race. This was expected. I went out with the leaders. Everyone looked decent. The air was silent yet pounded with the consist roar of heavy breathing, mimicking the pounding hearts. A few flies joined the race. I planned on maintaining pace yet it seemed that everyone else sped up. In reality, I was slowing down, and maintaining. I felt good just unable to go with the first pack, or the second pack for that matter. I plugged away hitting mostly 9 minute mile pace.
In the last 2 miles I finally felt good and felt like the race was starting. I passed a few runners and was able to finish in 1:09:44 in 25th place. This was an average of 9:11 per mile. The winners averaged 8 minute miles.
Stuff to think about… I’m fit but need a lot more training and base under me. This is a good place to be. I’ve got 2 months until Pikes Peak. 2 months to prepare to run well.