Well, my second running of the Mount Washington Road Race saw an improvement in my time – 1:50:51 versus last year’s 1:52:12 – not that it was any easier; I learned from the 2010 run and I had a wonderful coach, John Mortimer, a famous and nationally acclaimed runner and coach, running with me. John focused my energies on segments of “the hill” that I knew would be most challenging, and when to push a little and when to back off. The weather was actually pretty fine for running up this mountain, not as hot as last year.
I trained by participating in a variety of road races (27) in advance of June 18, as I find I need the rush of races to push myself.
But the real point of this blog is friendship and the running community. John Mortimer can obviously run up the mountain a lot quicker than my time, but he stayed with me, providing encouragement and inspiration. I find the running community to be such great people, from elite runners to recreational runners like me. Everyone can relate to each other, and runners are real people. So, for example, at lunch after the race, I had lunch with Jackie Gareau (winner of the Boston Marathon the year of the Rosie Ruiz matter) who won the MWRR in 1994 and 1996, and the only woman who has won both Boston and the MWRR. Eating with us was also Derek Froude, recently inducted into the MWRR Hall of Fame, and the first human being ever to do the race in less than an hour. Jackie and Derek chatted with us like we were running equals and comrades. So, my point, I can’t think of a sport that is so good for wellness as running and I can’t think of a better community of people, people like John M, Jackie, Derek and the other over 900 runners who made the 7.6 mile trek to the top (6,288 feet elevation; Grade average 12%; extended Grade 18%; final 100 yards 22%).
The one thing I didn’t expect was the wonderful warm blankets we got at the top of the mountain, which I definitely needed as the cloud cover made it much cooler at the top.
The next day, June 19, I ran a local 4 mile race in Lebanon and was so happy I was running on flat ground!
Runners, you are the best!