Press release from yesterday:
50th Mt. Washington Road Race
Mt. Washington Auto Road
June 19, 2010 – 10 a.m.
· Governor Lynch proclaims June 19 “Mt. Washington Road Race Day”
· Senator Sheehan hails all-uphill race as longtime New Hampshire tradition
June 4, 2010 -- Pinkham Notch, N.H.
The highest public official in New Hampshire has put the Granite State’s official stamp on the footrace to the state’s highest point. In celebration of the 50th running of the Mt. Washington Road Race, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch has proclaimed this year’s race date – June 19 – to be Mt. Washington Road Race Day.
The state’s oldest foot race is a grueling 7.6-mile climb up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, from Pinkham Notch to
the summit of Mt. Washington -- at 6288 feet the highest point in the northeastern United States. This year, as in three years previously, it is serving as the U.S.A. National Mountain Running Championships. The top six American men and four American women to cross the finish line at the summit this month will become the U.S. team for the World Mountain Running Championships, to be held in Slovenia in September.
Recognizing the race’s unique features and its privileged position in the sport of running, Gov. Lynch declared, “I do hereby proclaim June 19, 2010, as Mt. Washington Road Race Day in New Hampshire and urge all citizens to support the race.”
Similarly, in Washington, New Hampshire’s Senator Jeanne Shaheen has issued an official statement in support of the race, citing it as “a longtime New Hampshire tradition and one that puts New Hampshire on an international stage.” The race was first held in 1936, again in 1937, 1938, 1961 and 1962, and has been held each year since 1966, making the 2010 race the 50th running of this storied event.
As Gov. Lynch’s proclamation notes, “the race has hosted some of the greatest runners in the U.S. and the world.” In recent years the all-uphill grind on windswept Mt. Washington has attracted such remarkable athletes as World Mountain Running Champions Jonathan Wyatt and Melissa Moon of New Zealand and Anna Pichrtova of the Czech Republic, former Boston Marathon winners Jacqueline Gareau of Canada and Joan Benoit Samuelson of Maine, U.S. Olympic marathoner Cathy O’Brien, New Zealand Olympian Derek Froude, elite Kenyan runners such as Daniel Kihara and Andrew Masai, and top mountain runners from France, Poland, Sweden, Colombia, Tunisia and elsewhere.
Much of the race’s support for several years now has come from Northeast Delta Dental. Based in Concord, N.H., and administering dental benefits of over 700,000 people in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, Northeast Delta Dental underwrites the race’s cash prizes and related expenses. The Mt. Washington Auto Road company makes the privately-owned road available for the race and provides extensive logistical support.
La Sportiva, manufacturers of high-performance trail and mountain running shoes, offers a bonus of $5000 to anyone setting a new men’s or women’s course record. New England Runner magazine offers a $2000 bonus to any man or woman who breaks the existing masters record (age 40 or older).
Given its status as the sole qualifying race for this year’s national team, the Mt. Washington Road Race has attracted more elite competitors than ever before. The field includes reigning champions Rickey Gates and Brandy Erholtz, both from Colorado, as well as former two-time winner Eric Blake of Connecticut, Joe Gray of Washington state (3rd last year), former U.S. Mountain Running Champions Nicole Hunt of Montana and Paul Low of Virginia, Mt. Washington women’s masters course record-holder Laura Haefeli of Colorado, English mountain-runner Martin Cox, and many other strong contenders.
Starting time on June 19 is 10 a.m.
Further information about Northeast Delta Dental is available at http://www.nedelta.com/
For New England Runner: www.nerunner.com For La Sportiva: http://www.sportiva.com/
For the Mt. Washington Auto Road: http://www.mtwashingtonautoroad.com/.
For other information about the race, visit http://www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com/