Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mt. Washington Road Race

The facial expressions say it all                                                photo: Joe Viger

At the 53rd running of the Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road RaceTeam Colorado represents...Colorado, of course!

With sunny and warm temperatures in the first half of the race, it quickly changed to blustery, cold winds as high as 50 mph in the second half of the 7.6 mile course that prides itself on containing "Just One Hill." It is a 4,727 foot climb in 7.6 miles, but, then again, it is just one hill. 

Sage taking a look back                                                      photo: Joe Viger

Sage Canaday coming off a 2012 American record of 58:27 at Mt. Washington and only a week after winning the 50 Mile National Championship, Cayuga Trail 50, placed 3rd in 1:03:39.

Sage enjoying the beautiful scenery...well, just trying to get tot he top, but the scenery is still there      photo: Joe Viger
Simon Gutierrez, who is just getting younger as he ages, placed 4th, out-kicking a boxing champion and past US Mountain Running Team member from Scranton, PA, Matt Byrne, in the last few meters of the race. He also pulled some large shoes up the mountain finishing in a time of 1:04:44. Gute was inducted into the Mt. Washington Hall of Fame the day before the race and is a three-time Mt. Washington Champion.

Gute stalking Matt Byrne on The Wall                                          photo: Far North 

Gute waits to out-kick the scrappy Matt Byrne of Scranton, PA (and guest star on The Office) until the 22% grade. Typical Gute!      photo: Joe Viger

Maksimow didn't win, but he sure did have the most colorful uniform and facial hair          photo: Far North
Peter Maksimow, who has only run a few times in the past couple of months due to an achilles injury, managed to put all of his cross training to good use and place 9th in a time of 1:07:26. Not bad with one achilles, eh?

Maksimow scales the 22% finish pitch lovingly known as "The Wall"                             photo: Joe Viger
The finishing times seemed to be approximately two minutes slower compared to last year. The outlier was race champion, Eric "Quadzilla" Blake of New Britain, CT, and now most exclusive club member in history, the American Sub-One Hour Club at Mt. Washington (only four American men have broken one hour at the race that contains just one hill--Matt Carpenter, Colorado Springs, CO, 59:49 in 1993 & 59:16 in 1999; Rickey Gates, Boulder, CO, 59:58 in 2009; Sage Canaday, Boulder, CO, 58:27 in 2012 (American Record). There are currently more living US presidents than American sub-one hour performers and Team Colorado is proud to have two of said exclusive club members on the team! There are now 7 men that have broken the one-hour barrier at Mt. Washington, most notably Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand who holds the course record of 56:41.

Gute claims that he is among the American Sub-One Hour Club because he ran 28:02 for the win in 2002. He pauses before he tells you the race only finished at the halfway point due to severe weather. Such a joker!

The three amigos of Team Colorado, L to R, Maksimow playing lizard, Canaday with his new cereal bowl, Gute needing a nap after a hard race                                                           photo: Donna Garcia
After smashing the team course record in 2012 by 5 minutes 31 seconds, Team Colorado did not field a complete team this year, however, did manage to put the three that did run in the top 10 (3, 4, 9) and ahead of the winning Central Mass Striders first finisher. Not too shabby! Did I mention that it is just one hill?

On the women's side, Laura Haefeli, long-time mountain and trail runner out of Del Norte, CO won her first Mt. Washington in 1:18:05. She is following in the footsteps of Gute and proving that age (she is 45) doesn't slow her down.

Haefeli contributes her longevity to her family-owned honey farm,       photo: Joe Viger

Honorary Team Colorado member Brandy Erholtz placed 2nd overall with a 1:23:48 in the women's race. The amazing part is that she carrying a 4 month of fetus in her belly!!! Regina Loicano of Gloucester, MA finished 3rd in 1:24:45. Here Brandy shows off why she should have won the 2nd and 3rd place prize money.

 She's pushing it out!                                    photo: P-Max

Canaday making his way up the mountain in black & white                                   photo: Joe Viger
Special thanks to Joe Viger for the amazing photos that capture the essence of this amazing race. Mt. Washington is one of the most challenging races in the country, which you can tell by just looking at the faces of the racers. If you don't believe it for yourself and find out!

For more great photos check out


Post race press release


  1. Great write up Peter, and again, congrats to Team Colorado! These photos have to be some of the finest quality I've seen.

    This race is on my list for next year granted I get picked in the lottery.

    Hope that achilles heals soon!

    1. Thank C.J.! I cannot take credit for these articles, I just post them for the mad hatter who does write them. Not sure who he is. He does come up with some wild stuff, though!

      An addendum to the article is that Eric "Quadzilla" Blake bought beer for a large group of us at the Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Company with his winning and bonus money. Thanks Eric! We are glad you broke one hour!