Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Team Colorado Makes History at the 55th Mt. Washington Road Race, Monopolizes Podiums, Has Fun Doing It

Team Colorado takes the whole enchilada!       photo: Joe Viger (unofficial official Team Colorado photographer)

Team Colorado makes history at the 55th Mt. Washington Road Race this past weekend with some impressive performances. This 7.6 mile course starts on the Mt. Washington Road in Pinkham Notch, NH and climbs over 4,500 ft to the summit at 6,288 ft, with an average grade of 12%, some extended 18% grades and a big slap in the face with the finishing 22% grade at the very end lovingly named the "Wall".

Brandy "Mile-a-Minute" Erholtz conquers the dreaded 22% "Wall"                                        photo: Joe Viger 

New to Team Colorado--but no newbie--Summer Intern #1 Andy "Flying Kick" Wacker finished 2nd in 1:00:59, Zach "Banana Boy" Miller loaded up on bananas and beets to take 3rd in 1:03:15, Peter "The Prez" Maksimow broke into the top 5 (finally) with his 5th place in 1:03:55, 3X winner and masters champion, Simon "Gute" Gutierrez, was close on The Prez's tail (yes, he has a tail) with his 6th place 1:04:02, and 2X winner, Sub-1 hour Club and our favorite nomad, Rickey "Heavenly" Gates rounded out the 5 Team Coloradans with his 7th place in 1:05:25. That's right, we took 5 of the top 7 spots! The men's combined time was 5:17:36, the 2nd fastest team time behind our own 2012 team course record time of 5:12:28. We celebrated the Men's Open Team Championship by drinking out of Wacker's silver bowl trophy! 

Eric "Quadzilla" Blake looks on as Andy puts his bowl to good use. Heal up Eric, we missed you out there! photo: Le Prez

Above shots by Gianina Lindsey/SNAPacidotic

Team Colorado men (minus Heavenly) say "we live at this finishing altitude, why was that so difficult!     photo: Joe Viger

The performance of the weekend has to go to the Team Colorado Ladies as they swept all the top spots and set a NEW WOMEN'S OPEN TEAM RECORD of 3:44:13. Kim "Queen of Uphill" Dobson reigns once again with her overall win in 1:11:39, Brandy "Mile-a-Minute" Erholtz followed in 2nd  1:15:34 (a past Mt. Washington Champ), Laura "Honey Bee" Haefeli completed the trifecta with her 3rd place finish in 1:17:00 (also, a Mt. W Champ, seeing the pattern here?), and Donna "Gar-Gute" Gutierrez holding the team together with her 52nd place, 1:40:33. 

Laura "Honey Bee" Haefeli rounds out the top 3 Team Coloradans in 3rd Overall     photo: Joe Viger
Truly, the Queen of Uphill             photo: Joe Viger

Donna "Gar-Gute" Gutierrez puts steepness into perspective.    Photo: Gute

Huge congrats to the ladies for their New Team Record! Rewriting the record books one race at a time! They are also nurturing future Team Coloradans!

Congratulatory remarks also to 95 year old finisher, George Etzweiler, and new American Record holder, Joe Gray, clocking a 58:15 and all who were conquered the Hill, were on the other side of a camera lens or were there to support. This is what mountain running is all about! And then there was celebration and beer….