Getting nervous for the classic "Only One Hill" race up Mount Washington this Saturday. This will be my 5th or 6th time running up the Rock Pile: 7.6 miles and 4,650 feet of unrelenting average 12% grade climb to the clouds. It's only a 6280 foot mountain, right., but known for "The World's Worst Weather". My last run up was in 2007. My first 3 back were back in the 1970's when I won the junior titles.
Never know what to expect for weather. In 2002 during one of my other treks the race was called at the half way point due to icing on the road above timberline. Same thing happened in 1970's, or maybe it was the road was washing out so most had to run down from the top in the cold.
Great article about the Mount Washington Road Race "Because It's Steep" by Todd Balf in the June 2011 Runner's World. Really got me jittery as the article captures the unique nature and difficulty of this race perfectly. The pain starts immediately as the first half is very steep and usually hot and humid. Above timberline, at about half ways, who knows. Right now the summit is reporting freezing fog and 32 F. Looks like Saturday will be warmer..
A race for every runner's bucket list!
I will be running in Inov-8 Road X 255's. Loving this relatively low drop (9mm) shoe with a roomy natural and soft material toebox, wide forefoot, great "sticky rubber" outsole and outstanding mid foot support.
I have run roads, hard pack trails, and single track over the last 3 weeks and find the Inov-8 Road X 255's handle all terrains (except mud) fabulously. A review will follow.
Other gear to be decided race day depending on the conditions.