Home >> Regional News >> Joe Gray Looking for Repeat at Mt. Washington

Joe Gray Looking for Repeat at Mt. Washington

Northeast
Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race


                                     Mt.
Washington Auto Road
                               Saturday, June
20, 2015 ‰ÛÒ 9:00 a.m.

·       
2014
winner Joe
Gray of Colorado Springs shoots for a rare repeat

·       
Hall
of Famer
Eric Blake, defending champ Shannon Payne sidelined

·       
Former
champs
Gutierrez, Gates back to try again

·       
Dobson,
Erholtz,
Haefeli aim to continue Colorado streak of success

Pinkham
Notch, N.H. ‰ÛÒ June 17, 2015

 Joe
Gray of Colorado Springs, Colo., looks to do something no
overall winner of the
Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race has done
in more than a
decade in this Saturday‰Ûªs
 55th
running
of the grueling 7.6-mile foot race up the Mt. Washington
Auto Road.
 

 Gray,
31, grabbed his first Northeast Delta Dental Mount
Washington Road Race title
last year after several near misses and will attempt to
become the first repeat
winner of the race since Simon Gutierrez doubled up in 2002
and 2003.
 

On
the women‰Ûªs side, a trio of runners and former winners from
Colorado ‰ÛÒ Kim
Dobson, Brandy Erholtz and Laura Haefeli ‰ÛÒ aim to continue
that state‰Ûªs
dominance at the front of the pack. Shannon Payne of
Colorado Springs won last
year‰Ûªs race, but is out with an injury. A runner from
Colorado has led the
women to the top of the highest peak in the Northeast each
of the last four
years and six of the last seven.

 Storylines
are plentiful for the race that features some 1,300 runners
of all abilities ‰ÛÒ
including many of the best mountain runners in the country
as well as an
international flavor ‰ÛÒ ready to tackle the changing and
challenging terrain and
weather conditions of Mount Washington. The race kicks off
at 9 a.m. at the
base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road.

 Can
Gray, 31, who pulled away from defending champion and
three-time winner Eric
Blake in the second half of last year‰Ûªs race, capture
another win?

With
Blake on the sidelines – he had to withdraw late because of
an injury and will
be inducted into the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame
after the race – who
will step up to challenge Gray?

 Perhaps
Rickey Gates, 34, another Coloradoan and a late entry? Gates
will race in his first
Mount Washington since 2012. He won the race in 2009 and
2011.

Eight
different runners have finished the race in under one hour,
including Gates and
Gray.

Gray
won last year in a time of 59:09, 52 seconds in front of
Blake. Gates clocked
in at 59:58 in his 2009 victory.

 In
addition, the last three winners have broken the one-hour
mark. It is the first
time in history that three consecutive winners have been
under an hour and only
once before had two races in a row been won in under that
mark.
 

As
for other contenders, how about Zach Miller, 26, of Manitou
Springs, Colo.? He
was fourth in a time of 1:02:56 last year in his Northeast
Delta Dental Mount
Washington Road Race debut.
 

Gutierrez,
49, and out of Colorado Springs, is a three-time Mount
Washington winner and finished
sixth last year and is entered. Peter Maksimow, 36, of
Manitou Springs, was
seventh last year and is back and he and Gutierrez will try
to help maintain their
state‰Ûªs mountain running supremacy in New Hampshire. Five of
the top seven male
finishers in last year‰Ûªs race were from Colorado.

Gray
had finished runner-up in the two races prior to his win and
was third a couple
of times and fourth once before that.

 ‰ÛÏYou
knew there was going to be a year he eventually was going to
win it,‰Û Blake
said. ‰ÛÏJoe‰Ûªs tough to beat. He has a good combination of
both strength and
speed. He has solid track times and has run some good half
marathons and
marathons on the road and he‰Ûªs a good climber, too.‰Û

 Newcomers
on the men‰Ûªs side include Luca Cagnati of Italy, a member of
the 2014 Italian
Mountain Running Team, and Andy Wacker of Boulder, Colo.
Wacker was third
behind the second-place Gray in the Vail Pass Half marathon
earlier this month
and second to Gray the next day in a 10K, also at Vail.

 On
the local side, can Justin Freeman, 38, of New Hampton,
N.H., three-peat? He‰Ûªs
won the Crossan Cup as the top men‰Ûªs finisher from New
Hampshire on the men‰Ûªs
side the last two years and three of the last four. He‰Ûªs
been in the top 10
overall each of the three times he has won it. One of his
rivals for Crossan
honors is his brother, Kris, 34. Kris was tops from NH in
2010 and was third
last year.
 

The
winners of five of the last seven Northeast Delta Dental
Mount Washington Road
Race women‰Ûªs races are in the field, setting up what should
be an interesting
race.

 Erholtz
(2008 and 2009) and Dobson (2011 and 2012) each won
consecutive races and
Haefeli won in 2013. Erholtz owns the fastest times of the
threesome with a
1:10:53 in 2009 and 1:11:08 in 2008. They are the fifth and
sixth fastest times
in race history.

 Dobson‰Ûªs
best is a 1:12:11 from 2011, the 10th fastest time ever in
the race. Haefeli
won in 2013 in 1:18:05.
 

Erholtz
was third last year behind Payne and Italy‰Ûªs Valentina
Bellotti in 1:15:38.
 

Denise
Sandahl, 34, of Bow, N.H. and Larisa Dannis, 27, of Mill
Valley, Calif. aim to
move up after finishing fifth and sixth last year. They are
also the last two
winners of the women‰Ûªs Crossan Cup.
 

Sandahl
was nine seconds out of fourth place with a time of 1:17:21
last year in her
first Mount Washington race. Dannis was running out of
Manchester, N.H., two
years ago when she was the first New Hampshire finisher and
seventh overall in
1:26:59.
 

Dannis
has become a force in long distance running. She won the
50-Mile Road
Championship last year and was second in the Western States
100-Mile Race.

 Amber
Ferreira, 33, of Concord, N.H., is a world class triathlete,
and another
contender for a top spot. She was seventh in the Northeast
Delta Dental Mount
Washington Road Race in 2010.
 

Other
New England runners looking for top 10 spots include Abbey
Gosling Wood of
Laconia, N.H.; Abby Mahoney of Holyoke, Mass.; Ashley Krause
of Easthampton,
Mass.; and Regina Loicano of Gloucester, Mass.
 

On
another note, George Etzweiler of State College, Pa., is
entered again.
Etzweiler, 95, was a late scratch from last year‰Ûªs event
because of illness.
His son Larry, 69, is also signed up.


The Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race begins
at the Auto Road
base on Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch and climbs to the
6288-foot summit at
an average grade of 12 percent and a net altitude gain of
4650 feet.  The
runners battle not only each other but the sheer force of
gravity and Mt.
Washington‰Ûªs famously severe winds.

Former six-time World Mountain Champion Jonathan Wyatt of
New Zealand holds the
men‰Ûªs course record at Mount Washington: 56 minutes 41
seconds, set in
2004.  The women‰Ûªs record was set in 2010 by the 23-year-old
Ethiopian
runner Shewarge Amare, who made the ascent in one hour eight
minutes 21
seconds.

Northeast Delta Dental has sponsored the race up the
historic Mt. Washington Auto
Road since 2001.  The dental insurance
company, headquartered in Concord, N.H., with sales offices
in Saco, Maine, and
Burlington, Vt., provides dental benefits to more than
800,000 people in Maine,
New Hampshire, and Vermont, including individuals and
families, and
organizations of all sizes.  Northeast
Delta Dental‰Ûªs President & CEO, Tom Raffio, has run the
race in a personal
best of 1:50:51. In 2012, Northeast Delta Dental increased
its already strong
support for the event, making it officially the Northeast
Delta Dental Mount
Washington Road Race.

Fifty-percent
of all proceeds from the race will be donated to Coos County
Family Health
Services for their oral health programs. Based in nearby
Berlin, N.H., this
community-based organization provides innovative,
personalized, comprehensive
health care and social services to everyone, regardless of
economic status.

                                
         ——————

 More
information about the race is available at http://mountwashingtonroadrace.com/.

Check Also

2019 NER Pub Series XXII Schedule, Rules & Manifesto

Scroll down past race listings for all important rules of engagement   The Schedule:   …

Leave a Reply

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
X