June 23, 2010

50th Mount Washington Road Race

Time to Pay Up,
2009 Mountain Goats!

This MWRR was my third dance atop the 6,288-foot rock pile. It was also my slowest and I my hottest to date. With each tango, the weather seems to holler against my strengths, which is cold-weather running. This year’s near-90-degree temperature was no exception. I was looking forward to some 40-plus-mph ass-whipping wind but it never came. Still, there was a great breeze at the finish!
 Emily Trespas and Susanne Torabi 
at the Summit!
(photo by Dave) 
Harkening back to the colder inclement weather (wind, hail storm and rain) of 2004, the 50th MWRR was a heat test of proper hydration, breathing, pacing, patience and fortitude. Several folks—elite to the back of the packers—turned around after tossing cookies, suffering from asthma or just not having it this year. For many that must have been a tough choice. 

Given the forecast, this race day was for spectators.  After many rainy races with Dave, I was happy that he and Abbas (Susanne’s spouse) could enjoy exceptional summit conditions. A videography shout out goes to Dave for capturing many finishing videos. The link to these is at the bottom of this post. 
Women’s winner and 
new women's course record holder: 
23-year-old Ethiopian, Shewarge Amare.
Note: About 30 minutes before the start the announcer asked if anyone had a light pair of size 8 racing flats, shorts and a tank top for an elite women’s runner. Due to a mix up she had no running gear! Amare broke the women’s course record in borrowed shoes!
Remembering what Ed Mulvey said to me last year as he passed me walking at full throttle, “Emily, don’t run a step,” I embraced that plan for 2010. Also, I purposefully left my watch in the car so I could “enjoy” the day without time constraint.

It was too hot for a time goal. I think not wearing a watch cost me  a few minutes but saved me stress. I crunched the math and variables and a time goal (PR &/or attempting to better last year’s time) was not reasonable. I figured, if I walked nearly all of the 7.6 miles, I would come in around 2:20, which was about what “went up.” 

A fast power hiker when I want/need to be, I felt good about my time given I ran less than 1/2 mile of the course.  I finished in 2:18:35. At half way the clock read 1:08:27. In 2009, my half time was 1:01:53 and in 2004, it sparked a 59:53.  

Slower = happier.

 Thom Parker, me (in zebra skirt)
and another hill climber.
(photo by Krissyk) 

Power hiking with Thom Parker made the miles go by quickly. We talked a lot and I was thankful for his company as it helped me relax into the ascent. At about five miles, or where the dirt road section began, we separated. I attempted to keep up with him but he gapped me real good by about 2 minutes. Awesome! Thanks for your company & conversation, Thom! 
I also passed Fred Ross at about 5 miles and felt a bit sore about it as he’s been my mountain muse all along. He usually kicks my booty. We chatted at the starting line and he communicated that he was pretty certain today was not his day. Yet, every MW is "his day." He holds the longest streak of Mount Washington starts and finishes of any participant. 
I am honored to know him.
In 2008, Fred and Donna because engaged at this race! They are both wonderfully warm people and excellent mountain runners.

At 10 a.m. the gun blasted (and then a cannon a bit later?). 
As Kz and I entered the first incline of the Auto Road, he joked, “it’s about time we paid off this debt.” We chuckled and commented that his father was “on fire.” 
Joe ran ahead and into the hill like a recently freed mountain goat. Our run together was short lived as Kev's long legs progressed at twice the distance per step as mine.   The red polka-dotted shirt disappeared ahead into the masses. At the finish Kz told me he ran every single step of the way! His dad, Joe finished not far behind me! His training repeats of 22 flights of stairs prepared him for the climb.

Last year Susanne and I complete the Mountain Circuit together! She is an amazing marathoner and tackled her first MW like a pro. 
 Susanne Torabi
(photo by Krissyk)

Above all, my favorite aspect of the 2010 MW weekend was the social connections shared. We—Dave and me, Susanne and Abbas, Kev and Joe, Bill and Mayra—got a chance to dine, chat, hang out and explore the area. It’s wonderful to meet the spouses of my running friends and enjoy some non-running time with some of the Gang. I am also grateful to and for Dave!

Here's fellow Gang member, Bill Howard who had the common sense to just try his luck in the lottery versus complete the Mountain Circuit.
 Bill Howard in his first MW
(photo by Krissyk)
Krissyk captured some awesome photos mid-race. The still photos in this post are by Krissy and all video was captured by Dave. Thank you!

The Link to more video finishes at the 2010 Mount Washington Road Race is here: You Tube.