59th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race
Mt. Washington Auto Road
June 15, 2019 – 9 a.m.
Brittni Hutton and Heidi Caldwell tie as champions
Mt. Washington veteran Eric Blake outruns Kenyan Francis Kamiri
(Ed. note: So where did Caldwell find the toughness and resolve to make up 30 seconds in the late going? Clues—and cows—abound in the upcoming Feature that Heidi wrote for NER’s July/August issue titled: “Running the Lost Highways of the NEK”.)
She did – but so did Caldwell. The computer chip reading showed both women finishing in the same time, and a review of photos confirmed the tie. Kim Nedeau, 39, of Leverett, Massachusetts, who had run much of the way with Caldwell, hung on strongly for third, clocking 1:16:49. Behind her in fourth was Kassandra Marin, 29, of Merrimack, N.H., in 1:18:54.
Kamiri, 32, currently training in Birmingham, Alabama, went out quickly at the start and passed the one-mile mark in 6:41, a fast pace for this 7.6-mile all-uphill race. Blake followed ten seconds behind Kamiri and just ahead of Lee Berube, 28, of Syracuse, N.Y., and Nadir Cavagna, 24, of San Pellegrino, Italy. By three miles Kamiri was feeling a stitch in his side, and Blake moved ahead. He had no close challenger after the midway point in the race, where runners reach the treeline and face Mt. Washington’s famously strong and unpredictable winds and cold air. The summit temperature as he finished was 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
“I went out slow today,” said Blake, who won this race in 2006, 2008 and 2013 and was runner-up last year. “I wanted to be smart. I thought if (Kamiri) could run 61 minutes he could win. When I passed him, he didn’t give up, and you never count someone like that out.” Still, Blake was uncatchable. Kamiri, who like Hutton was seeing Mt. Washington for the first time, gave a thumbs up to spectators on the upper slopes as he held his pace and took the runner-up prize in 1:03:51. “I will come back next year,” he said later.
Berube, who finished fourth here last year, and Cavagna, a Mt. Washington first-timer, traded places back and forth for five miles of the race before Berube passed Cavagna for the last time and ran on to third place in 1:05:44. Cavagna, fourth in 1:06:30, was well ahead of Nick Aguila, 29, of Manchester, N.H., who reached the summit in 1:09:41. Aguila and Kassandra Marin won the Crossan Cup, awarded to the top male and female finishers from New Hampshire.
“It was a good Crossan Cup race today!” said Aguila, who beat Brandon Newbould, 37, of Nottingham (sixth in 1:09:53). Last year, Newbould won the cup while Aguila was close behind him.