Friday, May 6, 2016

Only One Hill - Part 1

Table of Contents


Chapter 1    1936-1938   The Early Years                    1
Chapter 2    1961-1969   The Return                         8
Chapter 3    1970-1979   The Running Boom                  21
Chapter 4    1980-1989   Teschek Takes Charge             41

Chapter 5    1990-1999   The hour is broken                 72
Chapter 6    2000-2005   Into The New Millennium          111  
Chapter 7    Authors Training log                              138
Chapter 8    Exceptional People and Teams                    150
Chapter 9    Facts                                               158
Acknowledgements and Resources                               170

I stood on the starting line of the Mt Washington road race already drenched in sweat.  It was 1994 and it would reach nearly ninety degrees that day.  It was already in the eighties and word from the summit was that it would be in the sixties when we reached the top and there would be no cooling breeze today.  I thought to myself “why am I doing this” and “why are the other 900 people behind me doing this”.  A bunch of years have passed but my answer remains unchanged, and it is probably the answer many of the other 900 would give.  I really enjoy the unique challenge of racing to the top.  There are many races out there, and even many Mountain races, but Mt Washington is where it all started for me.  My heart belongs to the Mountain.  I ended up winning the race in 1994 through a mix of patient early running, others not running smart, and a fair amount of luck.  I also started thinking about compiling the complete results of the race.  What started as that thought grew, and this book is the result. 
I spent an unknown number of hours combing through old magazines and newspapers to get any results I could, and then pounded away at the keyboard to enter the more than 22,000 individual results.  I interviewed numerous well-known and not so well known Mt Washington runners.  If nothing else, I had a great time learning more about the race I love.


Mt Washington Highway map
Mount Washington is the highest peak in the Northeast United States, rising 6,288’.  The mountain can be reach via Route 16 in New Hampshire.  As of this writing Into the Mountains notes that “About one third of the people who climb Mt Washington do so on foot, out of a total of approximately 250,000 summit visitors per summer”.

The Summit circa 1900

Into the Mountains also notes “the first white person to climb Mt Washington is generally believed to be an Englishman named Darby Field” in 1642.   The Crawford Path, which Ethan Allen Crawford and his father cut in 1819, was the first trail up Mt Washington.  Tourism on Mt Washington took a huge step forward when in 1851 the Atlantic & St Lawrence Railroad connected Gorham with Portland, ME.  The following year a stone summit house was built and in 1853 the “Tip-Top House” was erected. Since 1932 there has been a permanent weather station on the summit.   The summit has had many different buildings on top over the years.

Tip Top House circa 1895
The Mt Washington Auto Road (which at the time was called the “Carriage Road) was built over the course of seven years and when completed was the world’s first mountain toll road.  On July 1, 1853 New Hampshire Governor David Macomber issued a charter for the Mount Washington Road Company.  Surveying the road took over a year.  Construction started in 1855, with the first four miles completed by 1857.  At that time work was halted as money to build the road had been exhausted.  The Mt Washington Summit Road Company was incorporated in 1859 and construction continued.  When the Carriage Road opened in 1861 it was the only way, other than hiking, to get to the summit.  Vacationers were taken to the top in a horse drawn mountain wagon.   Into the Mountains notes that “records for accomplishments on Mt Washington were intentionally set as early as 1850, when guests of the Glen House vied for who could post the fastest time walking up the carriage road.”  It continues noting “About 1900, Edgar Welch of Hiram Maine, after having ‘loosened up’ in the Tip-Top House tavern, ran down the carriage road in about forty-five minutes.”  Welch continued running down the mountain every year, at least until 1907, when he set a personal record of 45 minutes at the age of 51 years.
Harlan P. Amen

Some early history of the auto road includes the tale of Harlan P. Amen (1853-1913) who is credited with running up the recently completed road in 1875 in less than two hours (1:57).   Amen would later become the Principal at Philips Exeter Academy and the Republican delegate to the national convention.  It is also noted that on August 16, 1904 at 10:00 AM, Dr. George S. Foster of Manchester, NH ran from the old tollhouse to the Tip-Top House in 1:42 at the age of 18.  Foster prepared for the race by running the hilly roads around Pinkham Notch while spending a month leading a boys group.  The group, called Next-to-nature, maintained a camp at the base of the auto road.  At the time of his summit run Foster’s time was faster than any vehicle had ascended.   Winds that day reached gust of up to 80 miles per hour.  Foster is also credited with a record breaking 42 minute descent at some point, while he was a medical student at Tufts University.  There are indications that in 1929 a race was held that attracted three starters and one finisher.


Other events on the mountain include the first auto ascent by Freelan and Flora Stanley in 1899 in a steam-powered Locomobile.   On July 11-12, 1904, the first “Climb to the Clouds” was held.  Auto manufacturers believed that the road was a place to demonstrate the ability of the early version of the automobile.  The race was held off and on throughout the years.  The centennial race was held July 9-12, 2004.   On March 20, 1932 a ski race was held from the summit to the Glen house, the race was won in just over 12 minutes by Edward J. Blood.  A bicycle race has been held numerous times over the years and includes a category for tandem bikes.
The Stanley Locomobile ascending the Auto road in 1899.
Mt Washington has some of the most severe weather in the world.  The highest wind velocity recorded anywhere in the world was recorded on the summit on April 12, 1934 when the wind gusted from the Southeast at 231 miles per hour.  Typical weather for June (when the footrace is now held) features a normal daily high of 50.3 degrees, and a normal low of 38.5 degrees.  The record temperatures for June are 72 degrees in 2003 and 8 degrees in 1945.  Normal precipitation in June is 8.3 inches and normal wind for June is 27 MPH from the West.  The peak gust recorded in June is 136 MPH.

Guide to abbreviations used in the book.
With the many different teams represented throughout this book and limited space to print the full name of each I have resorted to abbreviations.  I found that many of the abbreviations used in the results changed from year to year.  I tried to be consistent; however I have occasionally used multiple abbreviations for the same team.  I have listed them alphabetically below and listed the first year that particular abbreviation was use.
First Used   Abbrieviation        Meaning
1936                AGR                             Age Group Record
1936                CR                                Course Record
1936                FW                              Future/Former Winner
1936                BAA                             Boston Athletic Association
1936                Cntrl CT AA                Central Connecticut Athletic Association
1936                Del-Val AA                 Delaware Valley Athletic Association
1936                Electric Boat              Electric Boat Track Club
1936                NETC                          New England Track Club
1936                NMC                            North Medford Club
1936                NY Pioneer                  New York Pioneer Club
1936                NYPC                           New York Pioneer Club
1936                Reipas AC                   Reipas Athletic Club
1936                Spartan AC                 Spartan Athletic Cub
1936                St. Anthony's             St. Anthony's Boys Club
1961                Lynn AC                       Lynn Athletic Club
1962                NYAC                          New York Athletic Club
1966                Central Conn. AA        Central Connecticut Athletic Association
1966                Gorham AC                 Gorham Athletic Club
1966                Metro AC                   Metropolitan Athletic Club
1966                Millrose AA                Millrose Athletic Association
1966                Mt Park AA                Mt Park Athletic Association
1966                Mt Royal of Canada    Mt Royal Athletic Club
1966                NYC                             Unknown
1966                UNH                            University of New Hampshire
1966                Viking Ski Club           Viking Ski Club
1967                Cambridge Y               Cambridge Young Mens Club of America
1967                Hartford TC              Hartford Track Club
1967                Mt Royal                     Mt Royal Athletic Club
1967                Ottawa Ski                 Ottawa Ski Club
1967                Waterville AC Waterville Athletic Club
1968                Rochester TC             Rochester Track Club
1968                SAC                             Shore Athletic Club
1968                Salem AC                    Salem Athletic Club
1968                SJTC                          South Jersey Track Club
1968                WAC                           Waterville Athletic Club
1970                CSU                             Cambridge Sports Union
First used    Abbrieviation        Meaning
1970                Penn AC                       Pennsylvania Athletic Club
1971                CCAA                          Central Connecticut Athletic Association
1971                McGill Univ                 McGill University
1971                MRFA                          Mt Royal Frans Amis - Quebec
1971                No. Country AC          North Country Athletic Club
1971                Strafford Spartans  Strafford Spartans
1971                Turtletown                 Turtletown Athletic Club
1972                Augusta REC               Augusta Recreation  Association
1972                NCAC                          North Country Athletic Club
1972                Turtletown AC           Turtletown Athletic Club
1972                UMASS                      University of Massachusetts
1973                ARTC                           Augusta Recreation Track Club
1973                MSTC                          Mystic Side Track Club
1973                OSC                            Ottawa Ski Club
1973                SSTC                          Strafford Spartans Track Club
1973                TTAC                          Turtletown Athletic Club
1973                VTRR                           Vermont Road Runners
1973                WP                              Unknown
1974                BCTC                           Unknown
1974                Bethel Bananas           Bethel Bananas
1974                Buffalo TC                  Buffalo Track Club
1974                Mohegan                     Mohegan Striders
1974                SLAC                           Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club
1974                Triple Cities TC         Triple Cities Track Club
1974                U of Laval                   University of Laval
1974                Washington SC          Washington Sports Club
1975                BRU                             Unknown
1975                CAPS                           Caps
1975                GBTC                           Greater Boston Track Club
1975                LRR                              Larigmac Road Runners
1975                LRTC                           Lakes Region Track Club
1975                LT                                Unknown
1975                MAA                            Millrose Athletic Association
1975                SMAC                         Sugarloaf Mountain Athletic Club
1975                SS                               Shenipsit Striders
1976                Cenleona RC                Cenleona Running Club
1976                Larigmac RR                Larigmac Ridge Runners
1976                Laurentian U TC         Laurentian University Track Club
1976                OTC                             Oregon Track Club
1976                Plausted Harriers      Plausted Harriers
1977                ECSC                           Unknown
1977                Keene State               Keene State College
1977                Lucky TC                     Lucky Track Club
First used    Abbrieviation        Meaning
1977                Seacoast                    Seacoast Striders
1978                Onteora                      Onteora Road Running Club
1978                SSTC                          Seacoast Striders Track Club
1978                State College             Unknown
1978                Vermont RR                Vermont Road Runners
1978                YMCA                          Young Men’s Club of America
1979                Craftsbury                 Craftsbury Ski Academy
1979                N Carolina TC             North Carolina Track Club
1979                Strafford AA            Strafford Athletic Association
1979                US Ski Team              United States Ski Team
1979                Wolfpack                    Wolfpack
1980                CRC                             Cambridge Running Club
1980                CTAC                           Unknown
1980                DOC                            Dartmouth Outing Club
1980                GRC                             Unknown
1980                JWAC                         Johnson and Wales Athletic Club
1980                ORC                             Onteora Running Club
1980                UH                               Unknown
1985                Mara Tours                 Marathon Tours
1985                Willimantic                 Willimantic Athletic Club
1985                WMM                          White Mountain Milers
1986                GSRT                          Granite State Racing Team
1986                MVS                            Merrimack Valley Striders
1987                Club Neast                  Club Northeast
1987                GLRR                           Greater Lowell Road Runners
1987                GMAA                         Green Mountain Athletic Association
1987                GNB                             Greater New Bedford
1987                US Bi                           United States Biathlon Team
1987                WCRC                          Winners Circle Running Club
1988                CNE                             Club Northeast
1989                CMeS                          Central Maine Striders
1990                BRR                             Berkshire Road Rats
1990                GCS                             Gate City Striders
1991                BC/BS                         Blue Cross / Blue Shield
1991                Berks                          Berkshire Road Rats
1991                Bridgton                     Bridgton Academy
1991                Liberty AC                  Liberty Athletic Club
1991                Maine TC                     Maine Track Club
1991                METC                          Maine Track Club
1991                RICH                           Rich Classic Athletic Club
1991                White Mtn                  White Mountain Milers
1992                AA                               Athletic Alliance
1992                BRC                             Boston Running Club
First used    Abbrieviation        Meaning
1992                CMS                            Central Massachusetts Striders
1992                HTC                             Hartford Track Club
1992                LAC                             Liberty Athletic Club
1992                RIRR                           Rhode Island Road Runners
1993                Educators                   Educators
1993                MCS                            Unknown
1993                Mercer                       Mercer County Bucks
1994                AF                               Athletes Foot
1994                OSAC                          Ocean State Athletic Club
1996                GNBTC                        Greater New Bedford Track Club
1997                BLO                             Unknown
1997                HS                               Healthsource
1997                HSK                            Unknown
1997                IATC                           Irish American Track Club
1997                NB                               New Balance
1997                NIKE                           Nike
1997                PFIZR                         Pfizer
1997                WillAC                        Willimantic Athletic Club
1998                HMRR                          Hudson Mohawk Road Runners
1998                MR                               Millrose Athletic Association
1999                AD                               Addidas
1999                BBRR                           Back Bay Road Runners
1999                HITK                           Hitek
2000               BKVR                           Battenkill Valley Runners
2000               CAA                             Colonial Athletic Association
2000               CPTC                           Central Park Track Club
2000               CVT                             Central Vermont
2000               CVTRC                         Central Vermont Running Club
2000               NYH                            New York Harriers
2000               REEB                           Reebok
2000               SAUC                          Saucony
2001                AE                               Athletics East
2001                CCAC                           Cape Cod Athletic Club
2001                Hitek                          Hitek
2001                Horst                          Horst
2001                Millrs                          Millrose Athletic Association
2001                Whirl                          Whirlaway Racing Team
2001                Willow                         Willow Street Athletic Club
2001                WMAC                        Western Massachusetts Athletic Club
2002               GUTS                          Unknown
2002               Hgel                            Hammergel
2003               AR                               Unknown
2003               MM&M                        Moose Milers & Marathoners
First used    Abbrieviation        Meaning
2003               MMM                          Moose Milers & Marathoners
2003               PWBR                          Powerbar
2003               TG                               Team Gloucester
2003               WRT                            Whirlaway Racing Team
2004               Cstal                           Coastal Athletic Associaton
2004               FLRC                           Finger Lakes Running Club
2004               Teva                            Teva
2004               WSCR                         Westchester Track Club
2005               CTVT                           Central Vermont Running Club
2005               NEW                           New England Trail
2005               RR                                Rochester Runners
2005               SRT                             Saratoga


Runners at the 4-mile turn circa 1972


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