Friday, May 20, 2016

Only one hill - Chapter 2 the 1960s

4th Mt Washington Road Race
August 13, 1961
Sunday 1:30 PM
79 Finishers.
The weather conditions for the revived race, returning after 23 years of dormancy, featured 60 degrees temperatures at the base and 34 degrees at the summit.  Winds just under 60 MPH blew up sand from the road and mixed with clouds and fog to make the skies very dark at the finish line.   Gusts of up to 90 miles per hour rattled the runners and finish line crew. Jock Semple took over as the race director on this 100th anniversary of the opening of the Carriage Road.  The race was co-sponsored by the Berlin Athletic Boosters and the Mt Washington Centennial Committee. 

At the start Semple noted, “President Kennedy wanted men to be fit, not dead, so please quit at the halfway house if you are in tough shape.”  Bagpiper Bob Cummings played before the start and sent the runners off.  All 79 finishers came in under the 2:15 time limit.  The top five all finished under the 1938 course record of Francis Darrah.

This was the first year that runners did not have to, in Semple’s words, “negotiate the dozens of steps at the top.”   John Kelley, who Semple called “the wing footed school teacher from Mystic CT”, broke from Larry Damon, the National Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and New England 10-mile champion, to win by one and a half minutes.  Kelley was, among his many accomplishments, the 1957 BAA marathon champion, and Damon was an Olympian on the U.S. ski team in 1956 and 1960. 

Billy Squires wrote in his article Run to the Clouds, which appeared in the Distance Running Log, “Three weeks before …I was called on the phone by Jock Semple…about a mountain run 8 ¼ miles up a dirt road to the summit of famous Mt Washington.  I thought this was a joke at first, but soon he explained that 25 years ago they held a race and…this year wanted a renewal of the race.”  Squires added, “I have always had a desire for a challenge.  In track competition there are many, but here was a real test of human fortitude.”  He trained with teammates Jerry Harvey and Ken Mueller, who drove the five hours from Boston the day before.  The group camped out at the base and had a typical early 1960’s athletes breakfast “oatmeal, soft boiled eggs, two orders of toast, and tea.”   Squires and his teammates applied Vaseline “for protection against the cold and wind.”  At the halfway point he was in sixteenth place despite trouble with a calf muscle, which caused him to walk.  Above the treeline he experienced more adversity and “walked again, putting on my sweat shirt that I had wished I had left behind me in the first mile.  It now turned out to be a welcome friend.”    He was later hit by wind gusts of up to 92 MPH reporting that “a gust of wind hit us and we fell.”  At the finish he “grabbed a blanket held by Bob Campbell, one of the officials and a good friend, then walked for a few minutes, after which I flopped into a car for the descent to the starting point.”  Squires finished thirteenth and his training partners Mueller and Harvey finished sixth and fifteenth respectively.

At the awards ceremony Russ Foster, the son of George Foster, presented the Foster trophy as Francis Darrah looked on.  The top ten received trophies with a special Mt Washington Carriage Road Centennial medallion.  Those finishing eleventh to fifteenth place received silver medals, and all finisher enjoyed a buffet lunch. 

The crowd of spectators at the race was estimated to be over 1,200.  Mike O’Hara of St Anthony’s was the only recorded finisher from the 1930’s to run, placing 34th in 1:30:46.  Team results were not given, however the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) placed five runners in the top six places and 13 in the top 28.  The combined time for the top five BAA runners was an excellent 6:02:47, and it would be another 16 years before a squad would run faster.  The North Medford Club (NMC) had a combined time of 7:12:59.  Later in the day a half-inch of snowfall was recorded on the summit.

100th Anniversary sign at the entrance to the Auto Road

Potpourri from 1961:  Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space as he circled the Globe.  US President John F. Kennedy advised “every prudent family should have a bomb shelter.”  The Berlin wall was built in East Germany.  The top movie of the year was 101 Dalmatians and the top Television show was Wagon Train.  Minimum wage was $1.25, a gallon of gas was $.31, and the cost of a home was $16,500.

All available results

Place  Name                Club           Time
1          John J Kelley             BAA                 1:08:54 Course Record
2          Larry Damon               BAA                 1:10:33
3          Duane Merchant         BAA                 1:13:02
4          Angus Wooten            Electric boat  1:13:07 FW
5          Al Confalone               BAA                 1:14:34
6          Ken Mueller                BAA                 1:15:44
7          Gordon McKenzie       NYPC               1:16:12
8          George Terry             Electric boat  1:16:33
9          Dick Vehlow                                        1:17:13
10        Bill Smith                    BAA                 1:18:19
11         Erkki Kaunisto            Reipas AC       1:18:30
12        Bob Cummings NMC                1:21:11
13        Bill Squires                 BAA                 1:21:21
14        Wayne Lamothe         NMC                1:21:39
15        Jerry Harvey             BAA                 1:22:25
16        Bob Zollinhoffer        BAA                 1:24:06
17        Stan Tiernan              NMC                1:24:12
18        Al Meehan                                           1:24:15
19        George Cushmac         NETC              1:25:11
20        Raimo Ahti                  Reipas AC       1:25:24
21        Don Fay                       BAA                 1:25:36
22        Tony Sapienza            BAA                 1:26:46
23        Dick Clapp                   NY Pioneer      1:26:53
24        John DiComandrea     BAA                 1:27:02
25        Bob Schrader                                     1:27:04
26        Ralph Eilberg              Del-Val AA     1:27:47
27        Greg Bigelow              Cntrl CT AA    1:28:11
28        Dick Packard              BAA                 1:28:25
29        Bob Powers                                         1:28:28
30        Bill Shrader                                        1:28:53
31        Dick Moseley                                      1:28:56
32        Tom Sanders                                      1:29:07
33        Ron Dwyer                                          1:29:55
34        Mike O'Hara              St Anthony's  1:30:46
35        Graham Parnell           Spartan AC     1:31:03
36        Bob Avery                   Spartan AC     1:31:19
37        Royce Sawyer             NMC                1:31:21
38        Ed Ouellette              Maine              1:32:06
39        Sumner Sears Lynn AC           1:32:16
40        Erik Erickson              BAA                 1:32:33
41        Bill Norris                   England           1:33:16
42        Sam Ouellette            Maine              1:33:52
43        Carlton Comstock      NMC                1:34:36
44        Dave Buddington        BAA                 1:34:51

5th Mt Washington Road Race
July 15, 1962
84 Finishers

For the first time the race was not run in August, moving to the third Sunday in July.  John Kelley was a pre-race favorite in the field of 84 entrants.  The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), the governing body for amateur athletics, sanctioned the race and a strong field was expected to challenge Kelley.  Fred Norris, a 40-year-old carpenter from England, was among the favorites.  He had been training with Kelley leading up to the race.  The White Mountain Recreation Association sponsored the event and Jock Semple of the BAA was again the race director.  According to Kelley’s account of the race in New England Runner magazine Norris and Kelley “ground out a slowly winding lead on the up-and-coming Duane Merchant after trading leads with him through the first two miles.”  After the halfway point Norris began to pull away.  Kelley heard him “call(s) out over his shoulder, ‘Does this keep on like this all the way?’”  Soon after, Norris pulled away for good in the sleet covered, fog-shrouded Summit.  Norris became the first runner to break 65 minutes, an incredible feat that would not be matched for another 15 years.  Kelley ran the second fastest time, and hence, the fastest losing time.  No team results were given as only the names of the top ten finishers was available however; the BAA had five runners finish in the top ten for a combined time of 6:07:52.  A record 84 runners finished.  Earlier in the year (according to Not without Peril) “six Polaris Sno-Travelers made a successful ascent of Mt Washington.”  These were the earliest version of snowmobiles.

Norris’s time would stand as the top for 40+ runners for almost 40 more years.  Duane Merchant lowered his time from the previous year to 1:11:17.  This time still ranks among the top times for runners under the age of 20.  Peter Burkhart of the BAA was one of the 74 finishers whose result was not listed.  He wrote to the Hockomock Swamp Rat stating that the weather was tough. “The hail was bal-bearing size at seven miles and ice cold.  You were frozen at an angle while running.  Dense fog?  You could see ZERO at some points.”  Burkhart continued “Someone said that winner Fred Norris actually outran the storm to the top.”  He also gave some insight into the camaraderie amongst the small field.  “In those days all the runners bunked together before the race at the hotel, so I managed to get an extra warm shirt after the race from Jim Welch (former USA Junior 30K champ).  As a rookie I was amazed at how all the guys pulled together as ‘us against the mountain’ rather than separate teams.”  He also notes how strong a runner Norris was.  “Fred Norris was also the World record holder in the 1-hour run way back when.  A typical pre-race warmup for Fred was 10x440 in 70 followed by a sub 50 ten miler!”  It was also rumored that Norris would train by running behind the bus that shuttled him from the coal mine he worked in to his house.  Fred’s son Ed Norris noted in a later edition of the Hockomock Swamp Rat that “To set the record straight, my father, Fred Norris, didn’t even run hard that day because he just wanted a hill workout for up-coming races.  As a matter of fact, he ran back down when he got to the top.  His total mileage that week was an even 100.  Two weeks later he won the Salem (MA) 12 in 56:58.  There is no doubt that he could have broken one hour if he wanted – snow included.  It’s too bad he didn’t run the Mount in his prime, when he went 22 miles, 1680 yards in 2 hours even on a soggy track in Blackburn, England wearing spiked shoes with a steel plate inside to prevent the spikes from coming through!”

The Summit buildings in 1962

 All Available results
Place  Name                Club           Time          Age   City & State
1          Fred Norris                                        1:04:57            40        Brockton, MA             CR
2          John Kelley                 BAA                 1:08:28            31        Groton, CT                  FW

Kelley the “younger” is met by Kelley the “elder” at the finish.

3          Duane Merchant         BAA                 1:11:17             19        Dennisport, MA
4          Al Confalone               BAA                 1:12:08            Wakefield, MA
5          George Waterhouse                          1:15:47                                   
6          Gerry Harvey             BAA                 1:16:12                                                
7          Richard Clapp             NY Pioneer      1:17:21                         NY                  
8          Rod MacMichell          NY Pioneer      1:18:19                         NY                  
9          William Schab NYAC              1:19:04            NY                  
10        Richard Packard         BAA                 1:19:47

6th Mt Washington Road Race
June 19th 1966
54 Finishers
After a four year hiatus the race was back to celebrate the centennial of the Auto Road.   Leo Carroll a Harvard student from England took the victory with the second-fastest time ever (1:07:31).  Carroll’s Boston Athletic Association (BAA) teammate John Kelley was 17 seconds in arrears giving Carroll the narrowest margin of victory in the six running’s of the race.  Kelley was inducted into the national distance running Hall of Fame in 2002.  His accomplishments included winning the 1957 BAA Marathon and finishing second five times.  He also was the national marathon champion eight times (1956-1963) and represented the US in the Olympics in 1956 and 1960.   Third place finisher Abe Assa noted in New England Runner, “That was my best race ever.  I remember it was hot and I was picking people off up top.  It was a great experience.”   Team scoring at the time was typically done cross-country style, with the lowest points winning.  The BAA placed five in the top eight with a combined time of 6:08:41 while the North Medford Club finished with a combined time of 7:22:37.  Nearly half the field (24 runners) represented either BAA or NMC.  Other finishers of note included Future BAA marathon winner Amby Burfoot, who placed fifth in 1:14:55 and a 20-year-old Bob Teschek who placed 34th.  Burfoot’s time was the third fastest run by a finisher under the age of 20.  Teschek would go on to become the race director 20 years later.  Sixteenth place finisher Ted Corbitt was a member of the 1952 Olympic team and the American record holder for the 50 mile, 100 mile, and 24 hours on the track.  He also played a central role in developing US distance running by founding the Road Runners Club of America and establishing guidelines for measuring courses accurately.  Corbitt was known to train by running over 200 miles a week while working as a physical therapist 40 hours a week.

Potpourri from 1966:  Life expectancy in the US was 70.2 years for the population of 196 million.   A new home cost $23,000 and a first class stamp was $.05.

Complete results
Place  Name                Club                  Time
1          Leo Carroll                 BAA                             1:07:31
2          John J Kelley             BAA                             1:07:48            FW
3          Abe Assa                    NYC                             1:13:06
4          Roland Michant           MT Royal of Canada   1:14:08
5          Amby Burfoot Central Conn.  AA       1:14:55
6          Art Coolidge              BAA                             1:16:36
7          Mike Bigelow              BAA                             1:18:08
8          Stu Adams                  BAA                             1:18:38
9          Rene Chereaux           NMC                            1:18:46
10        Pete Burkhart BAA                             1:19:38
11         Bill Murphy                 BAA                             1:20:31
12        Dick Clapp                   Millrose AA                1:22:38
13        Regis Forel                 MT Royal of Canada   1:22:49
14        Don Fay                       BAA                             1:23:30
15        Ben Chapinski             NMC                            1:23:49
16        Ted Corbitt                NY Pioneer Club         1:24:00
17        Ronald Simjian            Greenwich CT             1:24:29
18        Robert Craigin           Mt Park AA                1:25:05
19        Roland Dyer                Gorham AC                 1:26:15
20        Robert Esterbrook   UNH                            1:27:40
21        John Valentine                                               1:28:04
22        Bob Sullivan                BAA                             1:28:22
23        Norman Pelletier        Metro AC                   1:29:10
24        Robert Coolidge         Goshen NY                  1:29:27
25        George Esterbrook   UNH                            1:29:39
26        Gunter Vecser            Viking Ski Club           1:30:15
27        Harold Burke              Gorham AC                 1:30:22
28        Brian Nann                  Woodland HS ME      1:30:56
29        Allen Thorndike         Whitefield NH           1:31:12
30        William Warburton    NMC                            1:31:18
31        Carlton Bell                Concord NH                1:32:05
32        Leonard Holmes         NMC                            1:32:50
33        Sam Stallard              Viking Ski Club           1:33:36
34        Robert Teschek         Concord NH                1:33:48
35        Bob Bamberger          BAA                             1:34:15
36        Alde Scandurre          Millrose AA                1:35:35
37        Sam Ouellette            NMC                            1:35:54
38        Rick Bayko                  NMC                            1:36:26
39        Ronald Dyer                Gorham AC                 1:37:08
40        Joe Kirby                    St Anthony BC           1:38:15
41        Bill Ginnis                    Spartan AC                 1:39:22
42        Al Chamberlain           Newcomb NY              1:40:48
43        Ralph Fairbanks          NMC                            1:40:55
44        Sigmund Podlozny      NMC                            1:41:15
45        George Lattarulo       NMC                            1:42:18
46        Dave Hasenfus           NMC                            1:43:15
47        Bill Castle                   NYAC                          1:43:37
48        John Holden                                                   1:49:45
49        Bob Page                     NMC                            1:53:12
50        Raymond Maillett                                           1:55:17
51        Gene Ketchen             Gorham AC                 2:01:05
52        Robert O'Connell       BAA                             2:02:40
53        Bill Marot                   NMC                            2:03:02
54        Mike Warburton        NMC                            2:10:37

7th Mt Washington Road Race
June 18, 1967
44 Finishers
The seventh running of the Mt Washington Road race featured a close race with the top three separated by 1:42.  Angus Wooten took the victory over Roland Cormier and Richard Clapp who were within seven seconds of each other at the summit.  The Boston Athletic Association and the North Medford Club (NMC) again dominated the results with 22 of the 44 runners being members of the two teams.  BAA combined for a time of 6:36:40 to NMC’s 6:44:38.  It would be another nine years before a team other than BAA or NMC would emerge victorious on the mountain.
Nineteen year-old Rick Bayko finished twenty-third.  Bayko, a student at Boston State College with personal bests of 4:22 and 9:16 for the mile and two-mile, would later go on to finish as high as thirteenth at the Boston Marathon.  He ran a 2:20:56 in 1974.  Bayko was the driving force behind the Yankee Runner magazine which covered racing in New England in the late 1970s.  Bayko noted in the Hockomock Swamp Rat, that his best race ever was “the 1973 New Bedford 30K run where his fast 1:34:13 defeated a young Will Rodgers.”
Complete results
Place  Name                Club                  Time
1          Angus Wooten                                                1:12:43
2          Roland Cormier          Mt Park AC                 1:14:18             FW
3          Richard Clapp             NMC                            1:14:25
4          Peter Stipe                BAA                             1:16:05
5          Craig Dupree              BAA                             1:17:47
6          Charles Dyson Hartford TC              1:19:02
7          James Daley Jr.         NMC                            1:19:34
8          Tom Maynard             BAA                             1:20:10
9          Stuart Adams            BAA                             1:20:40
10        Remi Charoux             NMC                            1:21:08
11         Richard Cordier         BAA                             1:21:58
12        Kenneth Klatka                                               1:22:17
13        George Waterhouse  NMC                            1:23:10
14        Mike Bigelow              BAA                             1:24:46
15        Don Morton                BAA                             1:25:31
16        Don Fay                       BAA                             1:26:20
17        Lenny Holmes             NMC                            1:26:21
18        Ben Chapinski             NMC                            1:27:04
19        Ralph Grant                Waterville AC 1:27:21
20        Roland Dyer                Waterville AC 1:27:31
21        John Hurley                NMC                            1:29:07
22        Ron Gaff                                                         1:31:03
23        Rick Bayko                  NMC                            1:31:45
24        John Jarek                 Mt Park AC                 1:31:53
25        Charles Scott            NMC                            1:34:23
26        Beattie Mackenzie     Ottawa Ski                 1:34:38
27        Sigmund Podlozny      NMC                            1:38:33
28        Robert Page               NMC                            1:40:41
29        Sam Stallard              Viking Ski club           1:41:48
30        Vin Fandetti               NMC                            1:41:56
31        John Linscott             BAA                             1:42:24
32        Doug Bourne               Mt Royal                     1:43:19
33        Alton Chamberlain     NMC                            1:44:41
34        Bill Lagueux                                                    1:44:44
35        George Leslie             NMC                            1:46:49
36        Brian Cuerden             NMC                            1:47:13
37        Ronald Dyer                Waterville AC 1:47:34
38        John Philbrick Gorham AC                 1:51:08
39        Bob McVeigh              BAA                             1:51:47
40        James Daley Sr.         NMC                            1:56:32
41        John Helpern             Cambridge Y               2:00:40
42        William Castle            NYAC                          2:03:46
43        George Lattarulo       NMC                            2:04:09
44        Stanley Sheldon                                             2:17:12

From left to right Rick Bayko, Larry Olsen, John J. Kelley, and John Kelley

8th Mt Washington Road Race
June 16, 1968
69 Finishers

A large field assembled as 70 athletes from 22 states lined up for the climb.  Twenty six-year- old world-class skier Mike Gallagher from Killington Vermont was victorious in his first attempt.  Gallagher a two-time Olympic cross-country skier was closely followed by Art Coolidge.  The race was sponsored by the Auto Road and officiated by Jock Semple who was the chair of the New England Amateur Athletic Association and coach and trainer for the Boston Athletic Association.  The first two finishers ran the second and third fastest times in the races eight-year history.  Angus Wooten the 1967 champion finished seventh 20 seconds ahead of one of the pre-race favorites, Richard Clapp who ran two minutes slower than in the previous year.  The BAA and the North Medford Club (NMC) were close in the team scoring with NMC 27 points to BAA’s 31.  The club’s combined top five times were 6:43:33 for NMC and 6:45:41 for BAA.  NMC had a huge contingent of 23 runners finish the race.

On the same day 20,000 spectators turned out in Loudon, NH for the national motorcycle championships.
Complete results
Place  Name                Club           Time
1          Mike Gallagher           Spartan AC     1:06:13
2          Art Coolidge              BAA                 1:06:39
3          Ken Ingles                                          1:12:34
4          Leo Duarte                                         1:12:38
5          Peter Stipe                BAA                 1:13:08
6          Dick Rowley                Millrose AC    1:14:02
7          Angus Wooten                                    1:15:50 FW
8          Richard Clapp             NMC                1:16:10
9          Stephen Smith           NMC                1:18:38
10        Russ Holt                    NMC                1:19:42
11         T Maynard                  BAA                 1:21:15
12        Neil Welgandt            SJTC              1:21:26
13        Ken Borches                                       1:21:54
14        Floyde Wilson            WAC               1:22:17
15        S Adams                     BAA                 1:22:20
16        George Waterhouse  NMC                1:22:30
17        M Bigelow                   BAA                 1:23:38
18        Ralph Grant                WAC               1:24:59
19        Dick Packard              BAA                 1:25:20
20        Pete Sifalis                                        1:25:34
21        B Chipinski                  NMC                1:26:33
22        Larry LaCroix             NMC                1:26:59
23        David Reese                                        1:27:00
Place  Name                Club           Time
24        Tom Derderian           NMC                1:27:48
25        Tommy Vannah            NMC                1:28:12
26        Vin Fandetti               NMC                1:28:28
27        Bill Ginns                     SAC                 1:28:57
28        John Wallace              BAA                 1:29:04
29        Peter David                SAC                 1:29:40
30        Donald Fay                  BAA                 1:30:02
31        Charlie Scott             NMC                1:30:23
32        Tony Sapienza            BAA                 1:30:33
33        Winston Thommas     WAC               1:30:50
34        William Cracner                                 1:31:14
35        Bill Warburton           NMC                1:31:21
36        Norm Pelletier           Metro AC       1:31:38
37        Paul Schell                  NMC                1:31:41
38        Lloyd Slocum                                      1:32:04
39        Bob Hersey                NMC                1:32:22
40        Bob Weiler                                         1:32:55
41        Wayne Thompson       Salem AC        1:33:40
42        Bill McKenzie                                      1:34:14
43        Alan Joseph                Lynn AC           1:34:58
44        Rick Jankowski           Lynn AC           1:34:59
45        Sig Podlozny               NMC                1:38:33
46        William Carter           Rochester TC 1:39:14
47        Richard Mosley          NMC                1:39:42
48        George Latterulo       NMC                1:40:19
49        Roland Dyer                WAC               1:40:32
50        Mike Dohrendorf       WAC               1:41:09
51        Ed Knowlton                Lynn AC           1:42:49
52        Roland Dyer Jr.          WAC               1:43:15
53        Mel Olkowski                                      1:43:28
54        D Hogan                      BAA                 1:45:00
55        Joe Lennens                                       1:45:06
56        Joe Bourne                                         1:45:08
57        William Ingraham       Metro AC       1:47:39
58        Dick Crodier               BAA                 1:48:10
59        John Proctor                                      1:48:19
60        Dave Hasenfus           NMC                1:48:49
61        Sam Ouellette            NMC                1:50:00
62        Tom Gordon                Lynn AC           1:53:32
63        Bob Seaman                BAA                 1:55:25
64        Kevin MacDonald        NMC                1:55:53
65        William LaCaqueux     NMC                1:56:48
66        Philip McGraw             NMC                2:00:58
Place  Name                Club           Time
67        Bob Halpin                                          2:03:59          
68        Chico Simone              NMC                2:10:15
69        Frank Cook                                         2:25:45
70        Johnny Jarek             NMC                DNF

Mike Gallagher 3 Time US Olympian

9th Mt Washington Road Race
June 15, 1969
83 Finishers.
Mike Gallagher took his second straight victory on a rainy, foggy day.  Gallagher, who represented the US in three Olympics and three World Championships in cross-country skiing, took the win over teammate Leo Duarte of the Spartan Athletic Club.  Gallagher’s time was only eight seconds shy of his winning time the year before.  At the time he held two of the top three times.

In the how “little things change department”: An article in the Union Leader noted that Manager Dick Williams promised to shake up the lineup after the “Boston Red Sox were humiliated in three straight weekend losses to Oakland”.
The only results available were for the top five out of a record field of 83.

Potpourri for 1969:  The US President was Richard Nixon.  The federal debt was $365 billion.  The median household income was $8,389.00 and the cost of a new home was $27,900.  A gallon of gas cost $.35 and a gallon of milk was $1.10.

Place  Name                Club           Time          Age   City & State
1          Mike Gallagher           Spartan AC     1:06:44            27        VT      
2          Leo Duarte                 Spartan AC                                        
3          Al Meehan                                                                               Stanford, CT
4          Malcolm Hunter                                                                     Ottawa, CAN 
5          Charlie McGuire         Spartan AC

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