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Big Duel on Mount Washington

51ST MOUNT WASHINGTON ROAD RACE

* Rocky Mountain runners dominate the big hill

* Gates and Dobson overtake rivals in final miles (Gates/Manning at 6.5 miles, photo by FitzFoto)

Pinkham Notch, NH ‰ÛÓ June 18, 2011

Runners
from Colorado met the biggest mountain in New England today on more
than equal terms, as Rocky Mountain runners Rickey Gates and Kim Dobson
won the 51st Mount Washington Road Race, each by overtaking a
home-state running rival. Gates, 30, of Woody Creek, Colo., was passed
near the midpoint of the 7.6-mile Mt. Washington Auto Road by
35-year-old Tommy Manning of Colorado Springs but took the lead back in
the final two miles and went on to finish in one hour one minute 32
seconds, with Manning just ten seconds behind.

Meanwhile
Dobson, 27, of Denver, followed two-time Mt. Washington women’s
champion Brandy Erholtz for the first five miles, steadily closing
Erholtz’s early gap, passing her at the five-mile mark and reaching the
6288-foot summit in 1:12:11. Erholtz, 33, of Evergreen, Colo., was a
happy runnerup in 1:12:44.

Dobson, who was seeing Mt.
Washington for the first time, fairly vibrated with enthusiasm. “This
race is as amazing as its history tells it is. It’s so different from
Colorado races. Those tend to be longer, but for a while you can enjoy
the scenery, and then maybe in the last four miles it starts to hurt.
This one starts to hurts about 30 seconds into the race. Brandy and I
can really make each other suffer! ”

“I knew (Dobson) was going
to be the toughest competition,” said Erholtz, who won this race in
2008 and 2009, then finished second last year to Shewarge Amare of
Ethiopia, who did not return to defend her title. “Kim has had a
phenomenal year, and she’s a natural climber.”

“There’s nothing
in Colorado that compares with this,” said Gates, who won here in 2009
in 59:58. One of only five people ever to have broken an hour at Mt.
Washington, he placed fourth here last year — “That can be bad for
your ego!” he said — but he felt better prepared this time. “It sort
of sounds cocky, but today I was sure I’d either win or drop out. I had
a problem in my calf a week ago, and I had to take four days off to
rest. Sometimes that can be good for you.”

The always
unpredictable Mt. Washington weather provided rain just before the
race, then cool and clearing conditions with moderate winds and
shifting clouds. After a quick start by 24-year-old Glenn Randall, a
former NCAA champion cross-country skier at Dartmouth College, Gates
took the lead in the second mile and seemed to be in charge of the
race.

A mile later, however, he said, “I looked back expecting
to see anybody but Tommy.” Manning had overtaken Randall and Matt
Byrne, of Scranton, Pennsylvania, and was coming steadily forward. By
the time he passed the halfway mark in just under half an hour, he had
opened a five-second gap on Gates.

Gates responded to the
challenge, looked back once more to make sure no one was chasing him,
and pressed ahead, giving Manning a friendly pat on the backside as he
re-took the lead.

“This was a good race!” Manning said as the two congratulated each other at the finish. “Man, you killed me!”

Two
minutes back, Byrne, 36, overtook Randall to finish third in 1:03:31
and break an otherwise all-Colorado set of prize-winners. Randall, 24,
of Mesa, Colo., finished in 1:03:36, followed by 45-year-old Simon
Gutierrez of Alamosa (1:04:33) and Peter Maksimow, 32, of Manitou
Springs (1:04:45). Gutierrez, a three-time winner of this race,
defended his title as the masters (over 40) champion and also set a new
record for men ages 45-49.

Dobson and Erholtz left a gap behind
them and the third female finisher, Kasie Enman, 31, of Huntington,
Vermont, who arrived in 1:15:19. Fourth was Rachel Cuellar, 29, of
Albuquerque N.M. (1:16:37), followed by Camille Herron, 29, of West
Lafayette, Indiana (1:19:36) and Jessica Snyder, 27, of Rochester NY
(1:20:00).

Just behind Snyder was 18-year-old Carolyn Stocker
of Westfield, Mass., whose time of 1:20:40 took more than six minutes
off the Mt. Washington junior (19 and under) record previously set by
Evelyn Dong in 2003. Following Stocker was the first female master,
Christin Doneski, 40, in 1:21:49. Doneski, of Hopkinton, N.H., also won
the Crossan Cup, awarded to the first Granite State finisher.

The
men’s Crossan Cup winner was Olympic cross-country skier Justin Freeman
of New Hampton, N.H., in 1:06:28. Freeman, 34, finished in 8th place
behind Ryan Woods of Boone, N.C. (7th in 1:06:16), and just ahead of
two-time Mt. Washington winner Eric Blake of New Britain, Conn.
(1:06:53) and Kevin Tilton of North Conway, N.H. (1:06:59).

Jacqueline
Gareau, 58, of St.-Adele, Quebec, and the only woman ever to win both
the Boston Marathon and the Mount Washington Road Race, won the
age-graded prize for all female runners over 40, as her finishing time
of 1:27:58 combined with her age to lead the field of older runners.
Gutierrez won the men’s age-graded prize.

The 51st running of
this race was part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the
Mt. Washington Auto Road. One of the most popular finishers was
54-year-old Tom Raffio of Bow, N.H., who is also the CEO of Northeast
Delta Dental, the race’s primary sponsor. Raffio finished in 1:50:51,
good for 443rd place.

The oldest finisher was 91-year-old
George Etzweiler of State College, Pa., a retired Penn State professor
who completed the race this year in 2:48:25. Another 15 people, ranging
in age from 17 to 85, finished behind him.

The youngest
finisher was Hannah Heinrich, 15, of Wolfeboro, N.H., in 1:54:58. In
all, 893 runners ‰ÛÓ some of them doing quite a bit of walking ‰ÛÓ
finished.

 
TOP MEN

1 Rickey Gates 30 Woody Creek CO 1:01:32

2 Tommy Manning 35 Colorado Springs CO 1:01:42

3 Matthew Byrne 36 Scranton PA 1:03:31

4 Glenn Randall 24 Mesa CO 1:03:36

5 Simon Gutierrez 45 Alamosa CO 1:04:33

6 Peter Maksimow 32 Maintou Springs CO 1:04:45

7 Ryan Woods 32 Boone NC 1:06:18

8 Justin Freeman 34 New Hampton NH 1:06:28

9 Eric Blake 32 New Britain CT 1:06:53

10 Kevin Tilton 29 North Conway NH 1:06:59

TOP WOMEN

1 Kim Dobson 27 Denver CO 1:12:11

2 Brandy Erholtz 33 Evergreen CO 1:12:44

3 Kasie Enman 31 Huntington VT 1:15:19

4 Rachael Cuellar 29 Albuquerque NM 1:16:37

5 Camille Herron 29 West Lafayette IN 1:19:36

6 Jessica Snyder 27 Rochester NY 1:20:00

7 Carolyn Stocker 18 Westfield MA 1:20:40

8 Christin Doneski 40 Hopkinton NH 1:21:49

9 Liz Gottlieb 35 San Rafael CA 1:22:18

10 Amber Ferreira 29 F Concord NH 1:22:37

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