Dave Dunham’s Training log
I’m not sure why I decided to run Mt Washington that first time. I’m guessing it had something to do with my teammate Bob Hodge. We were doing a lot of racing together and even some track workouts. The Greater Lowell Road Runners were trying to build a strong road racing team around Hodgie and me.
Racing had gone pretty well in ’88 I had raced a total of 32 times which is pretty low for me. Heading into Mt Washington I had done three races in May. I was fourth in the NEAC (New England Athletic Congress) Grand Prix 10K in Nashua NH in 29:17. I also traveled out to Boulder CO for the Bolder Boulder 10K race and ran 32:04, which was pretty disappointing as time bonus money ended at 32:00. Training was going well leading up to the race. The week of the Mt Washington I had 99 miles and 80 miles of biking despite the 100-degree heat (Wednesday).
I drove up to the White Mountains on Friday night and did 5 miles on route 16 at 10:00 PM. On the morning of the race Petey (Steve Peterson) and I did a three-mile warmup and some strides to get ready. George Davis, who was our college coach and team coach for the GLRR, had predicted that we would walk and that Petey would walk before half way. Neither of us walked.
I remember that the conditions were very good and the view was great. I kept expecting the course to level out at every turn and was really disappointed when it didn’t. Once I moved into the lead, I just enjoyed the run. I recall not being sure where to go when I got into the lower parking lot near the summit and remarking after the race that the only way they could make it tougher would be to have the runners climb up the radio tower.
Petey and I ran back down to the base in 65 minutes. I was given $1,100 total for the win, course record, and leading at half way. After the race I had a long chat with Jay Johnson. He seemed like a nice guy, but I had a hard time believing some of his tales of mountain racing in Europe. I just couldn’t believe that someone would pay to have me come over to Europe to run up mountains. It would be a few years before I took the plunge and headed over to Europe to run the circuit of races over there.
The next day I did a seven-mile run to my parents’ house in Billerica at 4 AM and played a round of golf with my Dad. After the game I ran seven miles back to Lowell. The week after the race I covered 103 miles with one day off and biked 90 miles. I also won the Cappy’s Copper Kettle race in Lowell that week with a 25:03 and got $500 for the effort.
Splits = 1 mile 06:05. 2 mile 13:42. Half 29:02. 5 mile 38:21. 1:00:50 Finish. Second half 31:48.
My training was focused on getting ready for the Boston Marathon, which was to be my debut at that distance. Training was geared to race at 5:10 pace and I did tempo runs up to 13 miles at that pace. I didn’t race as much in ’89 because of my marathon plans, and leading into Mt Washington I had only raced six times. I had trouble recovering from Boston where I ran 2:22 (17th place), but was on 2:14 pace at 20 miles.
I felt that I was in good form as I had weeks of 100, 85 (with a day off), 95, and 99 miles leading up to Mt Washington. I had also done some solid workouts including a four mile tempo run of 20:35, a six mile tempo in 29:45 and two times two miles on the track in 9:28 and 9:27. The week before Mt Washington I raced the Nipmuck half marathon, which is a tough trail race, and set a course record.
On Friday morning I ran eight miles then took the day off from work and went to the Eagle Mountain House where I stayed courtesy of race director Bob Teschek. I ran an easy four miles in the afternoon and got to bed early.
On race day I felt lousy. I ran with my Greater Lowell Road Runners teammate Bob Hodge (Hodgie) from the gun and at half way I was ready to drop out despite being just over course record pace. I stuck it out and stayed with Bob through seven miles. We ran side-by-side, neither of us tucking in. It was windy and very foggy at the summit. Conditions for the lower half of the race were moderate with temperatures in the low 70s. Once we got higher up, the 50 mph winds and 40-degree temperatures slowed the pace. At seven miles I asked Bob if he wanted to tie and he said something like “The sponsors paid for a race.” I hung with him until the final brutal climb and launched into a kick. I nipped him by a little over one second in the closest finish to date. I garnered $600 for the win.
Hodgie and I lead GLRR to its second consecutive win in 5:50:24. Petey, Tom Carroll and I ran down to the base in a quick (for us) 59:47.
I stayed at the Eagle Mountain House that night and ran 12 miles the next day to complete the week with 97 miles. The following weekend, Bob and I duked it out at the NEAC 5K championships. I got him on a kick 14:23 to 14:26 as we repeated our finish order.
Splits = 1 mile 6:05. 2 mile 13:46. 3 mile 21:55. Half 29:12. 4 mile 30:00. 6 mile 47:54. Finish 1:02:59. Second Half 33:47.
My preparation for this year’s run was not my best. I had weeks of 87, 102, and 100 miles leading up to and including the week of the race. I had been racing sparingly, having completed only nine races leading up to the Mountain. Earlier in the year I ran my first race outside the USA, the Omhe 30K in Japan. The trip included two runs in the same day more than 24 hours apart (thanks to the International Date Line). I had a good run at New Bedford for the NEAC half-marathon finishing eighteenth in 1:05:27 and then placed fourteenth at the Boston Milk Run (29:52 10K) where I met a very cute Uta Pippig just beginning to make her mark in the States. In May I ran the Worcester 10 mile, which was also the NEAC Champs, in 49:58 to take third. My last two races leading up to the Mountain were the Pepsi Police chase in Nashua and the NEAC 10k in Attleboro. Times of 30:06 and 30:38 and places of second and eight respectively, didn’t bode well for being in my best form. I did have a good workout the week prior which bolstered my confidence running a 4:38 mile, 9:27 two-mile, and 4:38 mile on the track in Derry.
I took off work on Friday and ran seven miles in the morning before driving up North. I ran another three miles in the afternoon to stay loose after the long drive. On race day I felt sick and had stomach cramps. I ran with Petey for a three-mile warmup. I heard that Derek Froude was the guy to beat although some other names were being thrown. Froude had some fast personal bests but you can never be sure how that will translate to mountain running.
I didn’t like the warm temperatures in the early going, but tried to go with Froude. He was tough and just floated away. I settled in to second place and aimed for a respectable time. One of the reasons I felt lousy was the early pace, which was fast. We hit the mile in 6:00, which is pretty darn quick on this course, despite the flat running in the first minute and the fact that the mile post is actually .9 miles. This opening mile still remains my fastest start.
I was pretty happy with my time. Scott Elliott, the third place finisher, was quoted in one of the papers saying something like “If it had been a mile longer I would have gotten second.” That quote got a lot of mileage among my teammates and me. At races and workouts we’d claim, “If it had been ten miles longer I would have won.” or “If it were 100 yards I would have won.” It was one of the many bizarre quotes from Mt Washington competitors. My team (GLRR) took the win in a fast time. It was cool to be on a team that was focused on a race that I really liked doing.
Petey and I did the run down to the base in 1:02 and the next day I did an 11-mile run from the Eagle Mountain House. I stayed there for three extra days as a mini-vacation.
Splits = 1 mile 6:00. 2 mile 13:37. 3 mile 21:36. Half 29:02. 4 mile 29:49. 5 mile 38:33. 6 mile 47:06. 7 mile 55:49.
Finish 1:01:37. Second half 32:35.
I came into the race in pretty decent shape this year. I had run the Nipmuck trail marathon the first week in June and set a course record. I followed that with a third place at the USATF New England 10K championships in Winthrop with a 30:50. Hodgie finished a couple of seconds behind me at the 10K. Leading up to the race I had weeks of 97, 80, and 80. I took Friday off from work and ran five miles in the morning then drove up to the Eagle Mountain house. I ran a tough loop that is part of the Jackson 10K and was sacked out by 9:00 PM.
On race day I was up at 7:00 AM and felt lousy. I did a three-mile warmup but still felt beat so I didn’t do much in the way of strides. I just focused on staying relaxed. I liked the conditions a bit better this year. It was rainy and cold in the second half and the wind was pretty tough. I went out conservatively, not wanting to run “the other guy’s” race. I was in fifth place at the mile and passed Hodgie to get into second a little after two miles. Froude moved out early and was almost a minute ahead by the half. I felt crappy in the first half, but after the four-mile turn I felt a lot better and settled in. With Hodgie pretty far back and Derek just as far in front, the race was pretty much over for me by the half way mark. At the summit I continued through the chute and ran to the top of the rock pile, becoming the first runner that day to actual summit. Petey and I ran down to the base in a slow 1:10.
GLRR took the team champs with the second fastest team time only two minutes behind the record. I ran 11 miles in the morning the next day and played a mosquito-enshrouded golf game at the Eagle Mountain course before heading home.
Splits = 1 mile 6:14. 2 mile 13:59. 3 mile 21:55. Half 29:20. 4 mile 30:08. 5 mile 38:44. 6 mile 47:41. 7 mile 56:28.
Finish 1:02:07. Second Half 32:47.
This was a big year of racing for me; I did 47 races through the year. I was pretty happy with my fitness leading into the race as I had run a 2:21 at the Olympic trials marathon and followed that with a 29:26 10K. The final tune-ups prior to Mt Washington were the NEAC 10K championship where I ran 30:12 and the Litchfield hills 7.1m where I finished fifth in 34:59, which was 34 seconds behind Froude’s winning time. This was my first year running for the Central MA striders (CMS) and we took the team title.
In the weeks leading up to the race I logged miles of 94, 94, 100, and 94 miles. On Friday I ran in the morning and then completed another three miles in the afternoon. On race day I found it to be very humid. I did an easy three-mile warmup with Petey.
Carpenter and Froude pushed each other until three miles when Carpenter pulled ahead. I was off of the back early on. They passed the half in 29:00 and 29:30 with me just under 30 minutes. Froude slowed to a walk at one point but kept going. I caught him at five miles but he regrouped and pulled away.
Post race, Petey and I ran down to the base in 1:10. On Sunday I ran eight miles in the morning then went to an Orienteering meet in the afternoon. Later in the summer I went to Europe with Jay Johnson, although still having a hard time believing that someone would pay to bring me over to race. We ran the Challenge Stellina and followed that up with the World Mountain Trophy race in Italy where I finished ninth.
Splits = 1 mile 6:14. 2 mile 14:06. 3 mile 22:20. Half 29:55. 4 mile 30:44. 5 mile 39:43. 6 mile 48:34. 7 mile 57:28.
Finish 1:03:18. Second half 33:23.
My training was going well, although not my best heading into the race. I had run the Dipsea race in Mill Valley CA a couple of weeks prior to Mt Washington, which was a new experience. The Dipsea is one of the oldest continuous races in the country and also one of the most unusual. Start times are adjusted based on age and sex. As a “scratch” runner I started last and had to pass the 500+ runners who had already started. The course was a mix of narrow trail, major climbs/descents, and over 500 stairs. I ended up finishing sixth despite running the fastest time of the day. My final tune-up was the NEAC 8K race where I ran a 23:59 for third place. I had weeks of 74, 83, 82, 84 and 87 miles leading up to the race.
On Friday I ran in the morning and then drove to the Eagle Mountain House where I ran another three miles. It was warm and muggy during the three-mile warmup with Hodge, Eric Morse, and Dan Verrington. I felt tired and lousy. I didn’t feel much better in the race as Matt Carpenter broke away after the mile and I stayed about 15 seconds back. I lost him in the fog after five miles. It was very wet and muddy over the last three miles. I ran my best time, but as Eric Morse was quick to point out “you are the first loser.” I did the run down with Hodgie in about 1:10. The next day I did nine miles in the morning before heading home.
Splits = 1 mile 6:13. 2 mile 13:43. 3 mile 21:27. Half 28:38. 4 mile 29:23. 5 mile 37:57. 6 mile 46:39. 7 mile 55:17.
Finish 1:00:44. Second half 32:06.
I was doing decent mileage leading up to this year’s race and was feeling pretty good. I had weekly mileage of 90, 79, 80, and 116 miles prior to the race. Racing was going well with a win at the USATF 12K in 36:59, and a 24:19 8K in Manchester NH. Petey and I went to the Dipsea race again. This time I finished fourth overall despite running the fastest time (it is a handicap race). Petey and I took off for Yosemite right after the race and did 16 miles at 8,000’ the day after the race. We followed that up with a run from the valley floor to Glacier point, a 5,000’ climb with spectacular views. We flew home overnight and I then headed up to Mt Washington.
It was very hot when race day dawned. A big group of us (CMS runners and CMS wannabees) did a two-mile warmup and tried to hydrate properly for this extremely warm day. I felt okay as I eased out in sixth place at the mile, 30 seconds behind the leader. I caught Morse at two miles and took the lead just before three miles. I felt in control in the second half and was surprised that no one went with me. In an unusual turn, I took a ride down for a rare time and did two miles warm down with Petey and Spinney at the base. Spinney’s wife had the quote of the day yelling to Keith, as she drove to the summit, “Don’t embarrass me!” We stayed over night and went to Bretton Woods on Sunday for a Summer Biathlon (run and shoot). My wife, Cathy, turned out to be the best shooter in the group. I ended up with the second fastest time, behind Keith Woodward.
Splits = 1 mile 06:23. 2 mile 14:14. 3 mile 22:33. Half 30:14. 4 mile 31:00. 5 mile 40:14. 6 mile 49:04. 7 mile 57:42. Finish 1:03:22. Second half 33:08.
My training was going pretty well leading up to the Mountain. I had weeks of 94, 100, 82, and 80 miles prior to the race. Warmup races included the Wachusett mountain race where I set a course record, winning in 24:31 on the 4.3m 900’ climb road race. I also returned to California for the Dipsea race (90th running of the race). I ended up in second place, despite running the fastest time. Such is the outcome when running a handicap race. Friday before Mt Washington I did four miles in the early morning, three miles at lunch, and then drove up the Thornhill Inn. A few of us went out for a three-mile run to loosen up. Caz (Mike Casner), Jim Garcia, and Craig Fram were in the group. On race day I did a three-mile warmup with Petey, Fram, and Byrne Decker and felt pretty decent. I started out feeling good, running with Fram and Eddy Hellebuyck. By the time we hit the mile the Kenyan runner was way out in front. Once we got above treeline it got very windy. Hellebuyck noted, “This sucks.” and I replied, “No, actually this blows.” Soon after our exchange he dropped off and Craig and I were on our own in second/third. At seven miles we decided it would be best to tie as we were teammates and really had nothing to gain by fighting it out. Eric Morse had moved into fourth but was far enough back that he wouldn’t catch us.
I started the run down alone and when I reached the three-mile post a car pulled along side me. Petey, Hodgie, and Byrne were in the vehicle. Byrne opened the door and said, “You ARE getting in.” This was one of the rare times I didn’t run down the entire way; I completed 4.6 miles in 33:59.
Splits = 1 mile 6:11. 2 mile 13:53. 3 mile 22:00. Half 29:30. 4 mile 30:17. 5 mile 39:10. 6 mile 48:41. 7 mile 57:52.
Finish 1:03:20. Second half 33:50.
This year I felt that things were going really well leading up to the race. I ran a course record at the Kearsarge Mountain race in Warner, NH, covering the 8.5m course in 51:23. I followed that up with decent runs at Agawam (5 miles), Wachusett Mountain (just missing my course record), and Pack Monadnock. Kearsarge, Wachusett, and Pack were the races in the newly formed USATF New England Mountain circuit. They worked well as a build-up to the big race. My final tune-up was the Litchfield 7.1 mile race where I placed seventh in 35:41. Some of the top guys would also be at Mt Washington including Gideon Mutisya (second – 34:02) and Daniel Kihara (third – 34:41).
On Friday I ran three miles at 4:30 AM then went to work. I did another three miles at lunch and then motored up to Attitash after work. Dan Verrington and Craig Fram joined me for a three-mile run. I felt lousy and tired.
On race day I felt okay, which in and of itself is unusual. I had an interview with New Hampshire Cross Roads, a local PBS show that was doing a feature on the race. They wanted me to run with a microphone so they could get the “sounds of the race.” I agreed, although I was a little nervous about the battery pack and transmitter that I had to wear around my waist.
A big group of CMS guys and other friends did a three-mile warmup. It was warm and muggy and I felt a bit tired. After the gun sounded Craig and some of the other guys were giving me grief, so that it would be picked up on the mike. I put in a sprint and took the lead before we even got to the tollbooth. The lead was very short lived as I slowed to “normal” pace and Daniel Kihara stormed past. Craig and I ran together through three miles then I pulled ahead. At the half, I couldn’t see Kihara ahead of me and Eric Morse had moved into third about 20 seconds behind me. I gained a bit more on Eric in the second half but Kihara was in his own world.
The run down was fun, with great views; Petey and I ran comfortably in 1:06:44. After the race I went to the Eagle Mountain House and played the buggiest round of golf ever. The black flies were brutal and I was happy with a 60 for nine holes. Obviously golf is not my strong suit.
Splits = 1 mile 6:18. 2 mile 14:06. 3 mile 22:15. Half 29:42. 4 mile 30:30. 5 mile 39:19. 6 mile 48:08. 7 mile 56:48.
Finish 1:02:24. Second half 32:42.
1997 I spent the good part of the year in a walking cast. What was thought to be a stress fracture turned out to be a non-union fracture. I ended up having a screw put into my foot and didn’t run for almost six months. I stayed away from the race, as I couldn’t bear to watch it while injured.
I returned to running in December of 1997 and started the long buildup back. I was in pretty good shape by the time the race rolled around, but nowhere near what I hoped for. I had weeks of 84, 80, 80, and 80 miles heading into the race. I also had a Cortisone shot in my ankle a few days before to the race. As was the case in 1996 I prepared for the big race by running the USATF Mountain circuit races. I fared well, but was considerably slower than in years past. My speed wasn’t quite what I had hoped as I finished the Market Square 10K in 31:33 the week before Mt Washington.
On Friday I headed up to Attitash, where Bob Teschek had set up a place for me and some of my teammates, and did an eight-mile run with Mike Casner, Dan Verrington, Bob Hodge, George Adams and Thierry Icart. Thierry came over from France and was staying with Caz. He was among the favorites for the race. I had a lousy night sleep and woke up feeling terrible. A huge group of CMS and CMS-wannabees (including Francis Burdett one of the group favorites despite his predilection for racing for the Greater Lowell Road Runners) did a two-mile warmup. We cut our normal warmup to just two miles, as it was very warm and humid. I went out conservatively and moved through the pack throughout the race. I had hoped to run under 1:08 and was quite pleased with breaking 1:04. I thought I had a shot at Simon Gutierrez, but he maintained his distance in the second half.
It was in the 50s and calm on top, which made for a nice run down with Eric Morse in 1:03:48. I put in 11 miles the next day with a big group. Most of our group also traveled to Stratton Mountain the following week for the USATF NE mountain championships. It was a pretty cool race and a fun weekend. The quote of the weekend was from a guide who was talking me through my first attempt at rock climbing. He said, “Stick your hand in the crack and make a fist.” Needless to say the gang I was with got a good laugh from that for a long time.
Splits = 1 mile 6:33. 2 mile 14:26. 3 mile 22:45. Half 30:21. 4 mile 31:10. 5 mile 40:15. 6 mile 49:09. 7 mile 57:55. Finish 1:03:38. Second half 33:17.
I was finally feeling like I was over my 1997 injury. I ran a 2:21 in Pittsburgh at the USATF National championships to qualify for the Olympic trials and followed that with a record run up Mt Kearsarge six days later. I ran decent times at Wachusett and Pack Monadnock and ran 30:31 at the USATF NE 10K championships. With weeks of 83, 86, 90, 85, and 72 miles I felt my chances were good for a respectable run.
On Friday I got up at 4:30 AM and ran an easy five miles, then worked for a half day. I went up to Attitash and ran five miles on the trails along the river, which was nice and relaxing but buggy. On race day I did a warmup with a big group of guys and felt lousy and sluggish.
I felt good during the race and went out strong, running with Eric Morse for the first two miles. Around 2.5 miles I passed Joe Lemay and then went by Simon Gutierrez at around three miles. Soon after that I was able to pull away from Eric. I didn’t gain anything on Kihara and Carpenter who were long gone and basically just held a 20 second lead over Eric to the finish. Conditions were very good and CMS set a new team record.
The run down was a lot of fun with incredible views thanks to the 90 miles of visibility. I ran down to the base in 1:10:42 with Eric, Petey, and Richard Bolt.
Splits = 1 mile 6:14. 3 mile 21:49. Half 29:07. 4 mile 29:54. 5 mile 38:30. 6 mile 46:54. 7 mile 55:14. Finish 1:00:37. Second half 31:30.
This year I was running some decent mileage leading up to the race but wasn’t feeling fit. I had weeks of 100, 96, and 100 miles the three weeks leading up to the race. I had raced up Wachusett at the end of May and my time wasn’t great. I followed up with a 30:57 at Portsmouth and raced at Pack Monadnock the next day.
On Friday I took the day off from work and did eight miles with Dan and then drove up to Attitash. I ran another easy three miles once I got up there. On race day I did about two miles on the Glen trails and felt pretty good.
I felt okay early on as the two Kenyans took off. I settled in with teammates Eric Morse and Mark Donahue. At about 1.5 miles Donahue was off the back. Morse fell off at 2.5 and I was on my own in third place. I looked back at five miles and figured I had about a minute on Eric and finished with a sub 1:03.
The run down with Eric Morse, Mark Donahue, Dan Verrington and Mark Behan was the fastest I had ever done. We had a good time zipping down the hill in 58:33.
Splits = 1 mile 6:20. 2 mile 14:09. 3 mile 22:13. Half 29:38. 4 mile 30:26. 5 mile 39:11. 6 mile 47:59. 7 mile 57:00. Finish 1:02:48. Second half 33:10.
Injuries this year left me hoping for a good run but not really sure of my fitness. I did have a good month leading up to the race with weeks of 109, 90, 80, 80, but only had 51 miles the week of the race as I missed three days. Racing leading up to the big one included a five-mile version of the Mt Kearsarge race, which really wasn’t a mountain race as it ended at the entrance to the park due to snow on the road. Dan Verrington and I tied at the USATF NE Mountain championships that I also directed at the Windblown ski area. We tied because we thought Eric Morse had won the race going away, only to find out that he went off course. Other races included the Wachusett mountain race where I ran 25:01, Pack Monadnock where I ran 59:41, and Whiteface Mountain where Eric and I tied for first in a course record.
On Friday I ran five miles in the morning with Hungarian au pair Robert Molnar, who was training with me in Bradford. We drove up to Attitash and did another five miles on the trails. Race day dawned very warm. I warmed up with a big CMS group but only did about 12 minutes of running then just sat in the shade since the temperature was already in the 80s and the summit was up to 60 degrees.
Kihara took off from the start and the race was on for second place. I ran with Eric Morse and Craig Fram. We were dead even through the half, then Eric fell back a bit. Craig almost ran into the press van with his head down. I called out at the last moment and he dodged the van. I was aiming for second, but also keeping my eye on the watch, I wanted Craig to break the master’s record. I broke away from him in the last ½ mile to take second.
I ran down in 1:03:53 and did ten miles on Sunday morning on the trails around Attitash.
Splits = 1 mile 6:29. 2 mile 14:32. 3 mile 22:56. Half 30:43. 4 mile 31:34. 5 mile 40:42. 6 mile 49:42. 7 mile 58:36.
Finish 1:04:20. Second half 33:37.
My form was definitely not good, as I had been injured off and on for a good portion of the previous year. Mileage was not very good with weeks of 59, 70, and 73 miles leading up to the race. I had pretty good runs at Mt Kearsarge (53:33), Wachusett (24:59), and Pack Monadnock (1:04:51). I went out to Alaska and ran the Wolverine Peak race, which was a qualifier for the US Mountain team and finished second to Eric Morse.
On Thursday I headed up to Attitash and Friday did an easy eight miles in the morning. In the afternoon my wife, Cathy, and my college roommate Mike Woodman and I went out and played miniature golf. After the game I ran five miles with Woody and called it a day. Race day was gloomy and raining. I couldn’t believe it when I was told the race was shortened to halfway, for me that would be a “sprint.” This was not exactly my strength. It was taking me a few miles just to get loose in a race, probably from the Ultra (longer than marathon) racing I’d been doing.
I went out with a big CMS group for a warmup on the trails and did about two miles then an additional mile on my own. Just before the start Anna Pichrtova, one of the favorites, pulled my tail and gave me a big smile. Boy, talk about losing your concentration right before the start! It was amazing how fast everyone started out. I was about thirtieth at the base of the hill at only a minute into the race. By the mile, which was not much faster than a typical first mile on the mountain, I had moved up to the top twenty. It was definitely a record for the number of people in the lead group at that point. Typically, the field is strung out by a half mile into the race, this was not typical. I moved up to tenth by two miles and started reeling in some of the fast starters and in the last mile passed Kihara to take fifth. I ran down with a big group, as everyone had to run down since cars were not allowed up. We reached the bottom in 31:00 and then went out on the trails for additional mileage. On Sunday I did eight miles before heading home.
Splits = 1 mile 6:15. 2 mile 14:12. 3 mile 22:28. Finish 28:57.
This was another year of not being quite ready for the race. This time I had spent a good portion of the second half of 2002 in and out of various hospitals. After a bunch of years struggling with Anorexia I got drastically worse and spent a fair amount of time getting back to the point where I could run consistently. I did learn an important lesson; you can’t run or race without being properly fueled. I had weeks of 76, 73, 75, 88 and 91 miles leading up to Mt Washington. In a new twist this year Eric Morse, Rich Bolt and I went out to Prospect Mountain in NY to test ourselves on that course. It was a great race, and a nice view from the top. We took the top three spots, with Eric setting a course record ahead of Rich. I had a lousy run at Wachusett finishing seventh and a decent run at Kearsarge getting fourth. I tried a different tactic at Kearsarge, running the first five less than all-out and then hammering the final 3.5 mountain section. I got fifth at Pack Monadnock and sixth at a new race that I directed at Northfield Mountain. This was a new version of the USATF NE mountain championships on trails around the Northfield Mountain recreation area in Western Mass. It seemed like a decent lead-in for Mt Washington.
I headed up to Attitash on Thursday and had a good time relaxing around the “cottage”. On Friday I went seven miles in the morning and another four in the afternoon. Our big CMS group went over to the Eagle Mountain House and picked up our numbers. I also gave a speech describing different parts of the race and tactics for getting through it.
On race day I got up with a terrible headache and dead legs. I did a two-mile warmup with Craig Fram, Dan Verrington, Steve Peterson, and Mike Woodman. Conditions looked to be pretty good and the field actually looked to be a bit weak, especially with Eric Morse pulling out with an injury. It was warm at the start and clear and sunny at the top. I ran with Rich Bolt from the mile and lost him when I moved into fourth around 2.5 miles. I caught the early leading Kenyan at seven miles and he was moving very slowly. I was pleased with the run all things considered.
I had a fun run down with Eric who had gone to the top to watch and Mike Woodman who raced. We ran down in 1:09:53 and I got in a nice 10 mile run the next day at Attitash.
Splits = 1 mile 6:36. 2 mile 14:56. 3 mile 23:37. Half 31:34. 4 mile 32:26. 5 mile 41:51. 6 mile 51:08. 7 mile 1:00:17.
Finish 1:06:18. Second half 34:44.
I partially tore my Achilles tendon in late May which left me on the sidelines for the race. I went up to support CMS and to assist Rich Bolt in a speech on Mountain running. I also joined teammate Alan Bernier in the lead press vehicle to do the commentary on the race. It was a lot of fun but was difficult to watch my favorite race without being really part of it.
In August I went up to Mt Washington on the day of the annual bicycle hill climb. Rich Bolt and Kevin Tilton joined me for a jog to the summit. We ran evenly despite a strong wind, fog, and rain above treeline. We completed the run in 1:29 and got to watch the top riders come in. Our run back down was a different experience as we went through the huge packs of riders. I was truly surprised to see a tandem bike competing; I can only imagine how tough that would be.
Once again I was recovering from extended injuries leading up to Mt Washington. This time I tore a hip muscle while competing in a 33 mile trail race in December of 2004. Leading up to the race I had weeks around 70 miles. Training included a run with Team Gloucester on their Mt Washington prep day. We did an interesting mix of trail and road running, repeat hills, and a 30’ jump into a very cold quarry. I was not very confident of my ability to run well at Mt Washington based on poor showings at Mt Kearsarge, Wachusett, and Pack Monadnock. The week prior to Mt Washington I ran 33:39 at Mt Ascutney which is very similar to a half-way run up Washington. I figured, based on that result, that a sub 1:15 was a reasonable goal.
I went up to Attitash on Thursday and had a relaxing run with Cathy. On Friday Rich Bolt and I did the dog & pony show at the Eagle Mountain house. It seemed to go over well. We had dinner at the traditional spot, the spaghetti shed, and a late bed time of 11:30 PM. Race day dawned drizzly and cool, which was a major relief after the hot weather of the past few weeks. The CMS group plus various other runners (including Anna Pichrtova) did an easy three miles of running on the Great Glen trails.
I started out slowly in the race, with a goal of running with teammate Steve Peterson. It seemed to me that a lot of people went out too fast as I was passing many in the first few miles. At two miles I caught Petey and we could see Anna and Melissa Moon a few seconds ahead. At around three miles we caught Tristan Colangelo who had gone fast, but was now walking. I motioned for him to tuck in with us and told him “Find a rhythm”. He replied “I had a rhythm”, meaning that walking was the way to go for him. Soon after this I pulled ahead on my own. Just before halfway, Sean Livingston passed me and said “Stay with me, I’m going to run a fast second half”. I tried, but his pace was a little quick for me. He went on to finish in the top ten. I hovered about 10-20 seconds behind the lead women and got a great view of an epic battle. Moon stayed just off of Pichrtova’s shoulder and covered every move she made. At five miles I heard a runner catching me, at this point the only person to pass me was Livingston, and I was surprised as I was maintaining an even pace. Tim Livingston, Sean’s brother, stormed by on his way to a personal best. They were the only two to pass me during the race.
At seven miles the ladies threw it into another gear and I slogged on to the finish. It was exciting to watch their race come down to the final steep pitch. I beat my goal of 1:15, but my stretch goal of sub-1:10 was just out of reach. I was happy to finish in the top twenty and be part of the CMS 40+ team which broke the team record. I made a quick trot to the actual summit then headed down. Teammates Petey, Mike Woodman, Eric Morse, Larry Sayers and I did a leisurely run down the mountain in 1:12.
Splits: 1 mile 7:09, 2 miles 15:59, 3 miles 25:04, halfway 33:24, 4 miles 34:17, 5 miles 44:21, 6 miles 54:13, 7 miles 1:04:05.
Finish 1:10:37. Second half 37:13.
Youngsters on the Mountain – Fred Ross IV and Chris Ross from 1992.