Northeast Delta Dental is celebrating 50 years of providing the best service possible to its customers. In conjunction with its sponsorship of the Mount Washington Road Race, they are also pleased to present The Northeast Delta Dental 50 memorable moments and 50 memorable people from the Mount Washington Road Race.
We will be counting down the people and moments over the next eight weeks leading up to the 50th running of the Mt Washington road race.
The final ten in each category will be announced at the Eagle Mountain house on June 18th along with the first class to be inducted into the Mt Washington road race hall of fame.
Northeast Delta Dental presents Memorable Moments
50. 1936 Francis Darrah won by over 12 minutes in 1:15:50. His 12:10 margin of victory remains the biggest ever.
49. 2008 - Simon Gutierrez became the first man over 40 to break 1:02 with his AGR 1:01:34.
48. 1985 - Bill Teschek video taped the race for the first time and sold the VHS or Beta (!) copies for $
47. 2007 - Bill Riley broke the 70+ age group record by an amazing 18 minutes with his stellar 1:34:54.
46. 2005 - The CMS men’s 40+ team also broke the team record, taking sixteen minutes off of the Coastal AC’s 2004 time of 6:15:27. The 5:59:04 by CMS was the first time a 40+ team broke six hours. The CMS 40+ time was fast enough that it would have place second in the open standings, behind only the CMS open team.
45. 2003 - Louise Rosetti became the first W80+ finisher 2:48:52.
44. 1998 – Simon Gutierrez and Magdelina Thorsell became the fastest married couple running a combined time of 2:13:32. Gutierrez finished in 1:03:23 for third place and Thorsell took the women’s title in 1:10:09. Their time was more than 19 minutes faster than the previous best couple. Steve and Marjorie Podgajny had run 2:32:35 in 1981.
43. 1996 – Jacqueline Gareau picked up her third win in three attempts. Gareau won by just over 1:30 (1:17:14) and topped her own record as the oldest winner (43).
42. 1993 – The Central Mass. Striders broke the 12-year-old team record (BAA - 5:31:07), running a 5:30:34.
41. 1989 - Jacqueline Gareau finished first in a new course record (1:13:14). The 13 second victory was the closest to date.
40. 1989 – Dave Dunham (1:02:59) took the lead on the steep final section to take the win by 1.5 seconds over seven-time winner Bob Hodge. This the closest finish in race history.
38. 1986 - For the first time it appears that the Auto Road was at least partially closed to traffic, as the road was closed at the bottom from 10:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
37. 2008 - For the first time in race history more than three teams broke six hours. The Boston Athletic Association broke the Central Mass. Strider’s streak of 16 consecutive men’s open victories, beating CMS by over 8 minutes. CMS and Whirlaway both broke six hours as did the record setting (5:55:17) CMS masters team. BAA's Matthew Ely below
35. 1977 - Bob Hodge (1:04:44) won in a course record as he snuck under the old record of 1:04:57 by Fred Norris in 1962.
34. 1975 - Hester Ford Sargent beat 1972 winner Charlotte Lettis by nearly 15 minutes and broke the course record by nearly nine minutes. She finished 110th in a record field of 276 finishers. Her margin of victory remains the largest in the history of the race.
33. 1971 - Mike Gallagher became the first four-time winner as he bested an excellent field with his 1:07:27. He won by 51 seconds over Amby Burfoot.
32. 1961 Jock Semple took over as the race director on this 100th anniversary of the opening of the Carriage Road.
31. 1999 – The Liberty AC (5:33:00) and Winners Circle RC (8:18:40) became the first winners in the 50+ women’s and men’s 50+ teams respectively.
30. 2009 - Craig Fram ran an incredible 1:06:58 to smash the over 50 age group record, taking nearly six-minutes off of Sumner Brown’s longstanding time of 1:12:37.
29. 2006 - The La Sportiva women’s team set a new course record by eight minutes with a six minute margin of victory over Moving Comfort who were also under the old team record. The old record by GSRT had stayed on the books for an incredible 19 years.
28. 1996 – Daniel Kihara powered to a 58:20 victory and in the process bettered the course record by nearly a minute. Kihara’s record would stand for a record 8 years.
26. 1993 - This was the first year that the women’s 65-69 age group was scored. Molly Hennig won in 2:29:27.
25. 1999 - Kristen Lippman set a new under 20 age group record of 1:28:42 breaking the record that had lasted for 19 years.
24. 1992 - For the first time, master (40+) men’s and women’s teams were scored. The combined times of the top three runners were used to score the teams. Maine TC took the female 40+ team title in 5:22:21 and Green Mountain AC were the top men in 3:58:51.
23. 1991 –For the first time age graded times were listed based on tables from the World Association of Veteran Athletes (WAVA). In a somewhat controversial move, prize money for 40+ runners was awarded based on the WAVA times.
22. 1987 - Jack Coakley, a wheelchair athlete and friend of Gary Crossan, pushed himself to the top in 2:48.
21. 1998 – Magdelina Thorsell finished a record high fifteenth place overall in running a new CR of 1:10:09. Thorsell’s course record still stands (12 years) which is twice the length of time any previous women’s CR stood
20. 1994 - Jacqueline Gareau won the race in 1:16:15. Gareau’s time was nine minutes under the old record for 40+ women, besting Martha Rockwell’s time. At Age 41 Gareau became the oldest race winner.
18. 1999 - For the first time ever two men ran under 1:00 as Daniel Kihara ran 59:03 and Matt Carpenter ran 59:16 (fastest non-winning time).
17. 1984 - This marked the first time in printed literature that the race was called the ‘Run to the clouds’.
16. 2004 – Paul Low won the ‘race within the race’ for the National champion title. This was the first time the National Mountain running championships were held at Mt Washington
14. 2005 – In a rare duel from start to finish; Anna Pirchtova and Melissa Moon ran together until the last 200 meters. Moon pulled ahead just before the final steep pitch and took the victory by fifteen seconds. This was the second closest finish, behind only the thirteen second gap when Jacqueline Gareau won in 1989. Moon (1:10:11) missed the course record by two seconds.
12. 1979 - Martha Rockwell cracked the top 50 overall in 1:19:14. Her time broke the course record by nearly 10 minutes, which remains the greatest improvement in setting a CR.
11. 1984 – Gary Crossan won the race in a course record 1:01:13. He became the first recorded finisher at Mt Washington to receive money for his victory. He was presented $100 for setting the course record.
Disclaimer: The “Memorable people” is a hodgepodge of age group record holders, race winners, sub 1:10 (men) and sub 1:30 (runners), unusual record holders, and memorable persons at the Mount Washington road race. I did not attempt to actually RANK any of these performances in any particular order. I attempted to give some history of some memorable characters that have made a mark in the history of the race.
The “50 Great Moments” is a mishmash of “first times”, records, unusual events, and memorable finishes at the Mount Washington road race. I applied very little logic in deciding how to rank events in any particular order. Mostly I just went with how memorable I felt something was. This in no way is meant to disparage any performance/people at the race. I’m sure that anyone with knowledge of the race could knock out their own list which may or may not include the events/people I’ve listed. All I can say to that is “have fun”. Have your own list? Leave me a comment!