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Mt Washington run 2018



This is a late post, the run was a few weeks ago on June 18.


This is the third year in a row I did the Mt. Washington hill run.  For those that don't know of it, it's an auto road, 7.6 miles, that goes to the top of Mt Washington.  It's average grade is 12%, there are no flat spots.

Well, I planned, I trained, I made it to the top, but it was from what I hoped for.

Thursday night I had a family / personal crisis that is going to take months, probably some court dates, and a lot more pain to resolve.  I did't get to sleep until after 3am.  Then silly us, two friends who ran it with us came over last night and we stayed up late chatting, got about 6 hours of sleep.  Woke up still a mess from Thursday, still now, will be with me for a while.  I'm not going to share more about it here, it's too troubling right now.

The weather at the base this morning was perfect, probably low 60's.  I stood in the front today for the start, just behind the elite guys.  I didn't run nearly as fast, and also feel I didn't get in their way, but it was cool to be in the front.

I "ran" the first half, no walk breaks.  There is a timer at the halfway point, I was at 1:03.  Not what I was hoping for, I walked the rest.

It was a very windy day.  The treeline goes about halfway up the mountain, then quickly thins to nothing.  Once I cleared the trees, the wind really picked up.  About 20mph for the rest of the run, 90% of it a headwind.  It was brutal.  This years winner finished about 10 minutes slower than last years (who also ran today).  It was also pretty cold at the top, I heard low 40's.  I had a cycling jersey and running shorts.

I don't have an official time, but the race clock and my Garmin both said 2:10.  Same as last year.  Very disappointed.  I trained hard for this.  Even though I've been a lifelong couch potato, overweight most of my life, the past 5 or so years have been a big change foe me, I really expected under 2 hours this year.

I finished well before my friends.  The last few hundred yards are 22%, that's kinda tough at the end of a 7.6 mile run at 12%.  I went to the bottom of that part of the run and waited for my friends.  I forgot my bag of warm clothes at the bottom, so a lot of shivering was involved.  I saw the guy friend come up first, he seemed OK, so I just high fived him.  He actually was pretty dehydrated and felt sick for a couple of hours after.

Next I saw a women a little wobbly, I was yelling some encouraging words.  Her hat blew off (remember, 20mph winds).  I yelled, loudly, a couple of times, I'll get it, just keep going).  I think she was delirious and didn't hear me.  She bent over to pick it up and face planted.  She stayed down for a bit, didn't appear seriously hurt (probably broke her nose), so a few of us picked her up.  She wanted to continue.  So me and another guy grabbed her under each arm and ran the 22% with her.  We got her across the line and we brought her right to the EMTs.  This was the coolest part of my day.

I went back down the 22% part, saw my girl friend and she was having a tough time.  I took her under her arm and got her near the finish line, then she completed it on her own.   Also pretty cool

Back down I went, saw the wife.  She was doing OK, I ran next to her, and she didn't need any help, so I let her cross on her own.

I hate making excuses, but the personal issues are weighing heavily on me.  It was horribly windy.  It was not the race I hoped for.

I finished, I will do it again next year, I will train harder.  My coach is awesome, he did a fantastic job getting me as ready as I could be.  The failures are all on me.  I needed to lose 15 pounds that I didn't, I needed to get my head into the race today, I couldn't.

Here's a pic with me, George (98 years old and a 2018 finisher) and my wife.


Me finishing (yellow cap)


My (and some stranger) helping (some other stranger).


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I'd say from that last photo that you made someone's day and you should be very proud!

Never underestimate how much a personal crisis can mess with one's body.  In February I had to call 911 while at my sister's house cause her boyfriend (husband as of yesterday :( ) was throwing her around the house.  It took weeks before the black cloud lifted from around my head and legs- I'm still not quite feeling myself.   Be kind to yourself.  The cool part is they will probably have that race for years to come.  

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That picture of you finishing the race should be framed and hang over your fireplace! It is awesome!

Be proud of your finish. Not the time you wanted but you obviously finished well with enough left to help several other people.

Hope the family crisis clears quickly.

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May not have been the result you wanted, but still a pretty awesome race, and you helped make it a good day for some others too. Hope the other issues get resolved as quickly and painlessly as possible, it's always tough when it's family.

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Don't be too disappointed. You've accomplished something that required a lot of effort on a very difficult course. Every time a read about this race I think it would be fun to try. And then I drive past Mt. Washington on my way to Maine, and I think, no thanks.

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That race sounds brutal!  Stress takes a major toll on performance (as does wind!), so don't beat yourself up about not getting to show your fitness.  Onto the next!

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That Mt. Washington race has always looked like a killer to me. Doubt I'll ever do it, either. Like a marathon, I expect just finishing this is a win.

Best of luck, Cliff.

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Great performance. Just like in the race, keep pushing forward, regardless of the grade.

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11 hours ago, Dave said:

That Mt. Washington race has always looked like a killer to me.

There's only one hill.

Garmin Connect.png

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