Photo courtesy of American Trail Running Assoc. founder and executive directorNancy Hobbs,
Congratulations to Colorado’s Joe Gray on being named the “GOAT” Men’s Mountain Runner. Six men and six women were profiled by the World Mountain Running Association with fans then polled to pick a men and women’s winner.
Over 4,000 mountain zealots responded with Andrea Mayer of Australia the women’s Greatest Of All Time winner and Gray the men’s.
Steep? You bet! Joe coming off “Hairpin” in his debut Mt. Washington race in 2008. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Mountain aficionados from New England should be well acquainted with Joe Gray. We first had the pleasure of meeting Joe in North Conway back in 2008. We were introduced by Mt. Washington media liason John Stifler who noted Joe was new to trails and mountains but was a good steepler at Oklahoma State where he had an 8:44 PR.
The Rookie in 2008. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
Joe would place 4th in his debut at Mt. Washington, then 2nd in 2012 and 2013 before winning his first of four straight titles in 2014.
Accompanied below treeline in 2014 by Central Connecticut SU coach Eric Blake, Joe heads to the first of his four straight wins. As of 2018, Eric is also a 4-time Mt. Washington winner. Photo by FitzFoto/NERunner
He’d become the US record holder at Mt. Washington in 2015 with a time of 58:15.
In 2016, Joe won his first of two World Mtn. Running Championships on an all uphill course. In 2019 he’d win again on an up/down course.
Of his 18 national championships, Joe won his 14th at Loon Mountain (NH) in 2018.
As reported on the American Trail Running Association website (For much more on Joe go HERE ) Upon being notified he’d been voted greatest of all time men’s mountain runner Joe said, “I’m really grateful to be voted for by so many folks who participated in this poll. To know people value your accomplishments is always a moment that makes you blush. I’m even more excited about the possibility of something like this helping me inspire that next generation of young minorities to begin their mountain running journey! Thanks a million to all the folks who took part in this fun vote put on by the World Mountain Running Association. There are so many great athletes past and present who are doing great things not only on the trail but off the trail. Let’s keep that positive action moving forward!”