Two runners from Colorado Springs, Colorado, broke through in a major way on Saturday - PINKHAM NOTCH, NH (June 21, 2014) – Veteran mountain runner Joseph Gray had tried and come so close each of the last three years.
Shannon Payne, a newcomer to running the hills, was giving the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race her first shot.
The two runners from Colorado Springs, Colorado, broke through in a major way on Saturday and won the men’s and women’s titles at the 54th running of this grueling all-uphill race in impressive fashion on a decent, but windy and chilly, day for racing.
Temperatures were in the high 40s at the base at the 9 a.m. starting time, and at the summit it was in the mid-30s, with winds gusting from 20 to 35 miles per hour.
Gray, 30, looked strong from the start and pulled away from defending champion and three-time winnerEric Blake of West Hartford, Connecticut, just past the halfway mark of the 7.6-mile trek up the Mt. Washington Auto Road to the highest peak in the Northeast.
Gray finished in a time of 59 minutes and nine seconds. Blake, 35, the cross country and track and field coach at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, finished in 1:00:01, four seconds slower than his winning time last year.