Northeast Delta Dental
56th Mount Washington Road Race
Mt. Washington Auto Road
June 18, 2016 ÛÓ 9:00 a.m.
After Strong Wins in Colorado, Gray and Dobson Look to Repeat at the 56th
Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race This Saturday
Top Contenders to be
challenged by Top Italian Mountain Specialists Vaccina and Puppi, along with
former Winners Blake, Payne and Erholtz.
PINKHAM NOTCH, N.H. ÛÓ Northeast Delta Dental Mount
Washington Road Race defending champions, Joseph Gray and Kim Dobson, are both
coming off strong weekends at two different mountain races in Colorado. They
look to carry this momentum into this weekend’s race, which takes place on Saturday,
June 18th, at the Mount Washington Auto Road.
Gray (Colorado Springs, Colo.) just won the Vail 10k Spring
Runoff Race, a mountain/trail race that takes place as part of the GoPro
Mountain Games in Vail, Colo. Dobson (Grand Junction, Colo.), who is undefeated
at Mt. Washington, just set a new course record at the Mount Evans Ascent in
Colorado, a 14-mile road race to the 14,284-foot summit of Mount Evans.
Gray turned heads last year at Mt. Washington with his 58:15
win, which is the second fastest time ever on the mountain, behind the 56:41 course
record of Jonathan Wyatt. Testing
Gray’s fitness will be three runners- former winner, Eric Blake (West Hartford,
Conn.), who has beaten Gray at Mt. Washington, along with two Italian runners,
Tommaso Vaccina and Francesco Puppi, who finished first and third last year at
the World Long Distance Challenge in Zermatt, Switzerland. Vaccina and Puppi are
both excellent climbers who look to challenge both Gray and Blake on the never-ending
12 percent grade of the Auto Road. Besides those four, eyes will also be on
three-time winner, Simon Gutierrez (Colorado Springs, Colo.), who looks to
break the 50+ age division record this year.
On the women’s side, Dobson has three wins in three attempts
and is coming in to this year’s race fitter than ever. Challenging Dobson will
be 36-year-old Kim Nedeau of Leverett, Mass., Amber Ferreira of Concord, N.H.,
Mary Baldwin of Colorado Springs, Colo. and Carolyn Stocker of Westfield, Mass. Former race winners Brandy Erholtz of
Evergreen, Colo., Shannon Payne of Colorado Springs, CO, and 2011 World
Mountain Running Champion, Kasie Enman of Huntington, Vt. are also strong
contenders. Both Enman and Payne
are coming off of long layoffs but still both are fierce competitors. Erholtz
is expecting her second child in November but is still considered a strong
contender for a top 10 finish. She finished second in 2013 when she was
expecting her first child.
Other highlights in the 1300 runner field will be 96-year-old
George Etzweiler (State College, Penn.,) looking for his ninth finish. George will be doing the race with his 70-year-old
son, Larry. George is also being
inducted into this year’s Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. The Hall of
Fame Ceremony will take place just before awards at the base of the mountain.
Complete information about the race is provided at the race
website, www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com. The race will start at 9 AM at the base
of the Auto Road.
Half of all proceeds from the race will be donated to the
Coos County Family Health Services in Berlin.
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 821,000 people in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont,
including individuals and families, and organizations of all sizes. Northeast Delta Dental’s 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.
The race has donated more than $60,000 to the dental
programs of the Coos County Family Health Services. 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.
To learn more about the Northeast Delta Dental Mount
Washington Road Race, visit www.mountwashingtonroadrace.com or on Facebook at facebook.com/mountwashingtonroadrace.
First opened in 1861 as the Mt. Washington Carriage Road,
the Mt. Washington Auto Road is the country’s oldest manmade attraction. Located
on Rt. 16 in Pinkham Notch, N.H., just north of the Mt. Washington Valley and
minutes south of Gorham, the Auto Road has a long and winding history, much
like its 7.6 mile trip up to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.
For more information, visit www.MtWashingtonAutoRoad.com or