INDIANAPOLIS - Eric Blake (New Britain, Conn.), and Brandy Erholtz (Bailey, Colo.), won the respective men's and women's USA Mountain Running Championships at the Mt. Washington Road Race Saturday in Pinkham Notch, NH. Blake ran 1:00:39 to win his second USA Mountain title, while Erholtz ran 1:11:08 to win her first championship.
Blake made his move over the final steep section of the course to edge out 2007 TEVA U.S. Mountain Running Team member Clint Wells, (Superior, Colo.), for the win. Wells finished just eleven seconds back. In third place, two-time team member Rickey Gates, (Boulder, Colo.), finished in 1:01:12.
In the women's race Erholtz took the lead at mile two, followed closely by last year's fourth-place finisher Kasie Enman (Huntington, Vt.), 2006 third-place finisher Laura Haefeli, (Del Norte, Colo.), and newcomer Camille Herron, (Lafayette, Ind.).
Enman and Haefeli maintained their positions throughout the race to the finish line while Herron posted an impressive sixth in her first mountain race. Enman ran 1:13:26, just eight seconds ahead of Haefeli. Herron's time was 1:19:15.
Haefeli finished in 1:13:34 breaking the master's record of 1:16:03 set by Joan Benoit Samuelson in 1997. She won a $2000 bonus for the record provided by New England Runner magazine.
In the masters men's division, two-time Mount Washington winner and six-time mountain team member Simon Gutierrez, 42, Alamosa, CO, was chasing a master's record. Gutierrez took off from the cannon to lead the pack through a brisk first mile (about 6:20) to eventually finish in fifth-place, breaking the master's record by 38 seconds and earning the $2000 bonus from New England Runner magazine.
The championships also served as the primary selection race for the TEVA U.S. Mountain Running Team that will compete at the World Mountain Running Trophy race in Sierre Crans-Montana, Switzerland on September 14. The first U.S. woman and the top-four U.S. men earned automatic selection to the team.
Top finishers at 2008 Mount Washington Road Race:
1-Blake, 1:00:39, $1000
2 -Wells, 1:00:50, $600
3 - Gates, 1:01:12, $400
4 - Gray, 1:01:31, $200
5 - Gutierrez, 1:01:34, $2400 *includes master's bonus and age graded masters bonus
10 - Craig Fram, 49, Plaistow, NH, 1:05:45 - $300 age graded masters 2nd and first NH finisher
14 - Andy Ames, 45, Boulder, CO, 1:06:29 - $100 age graded masters 3rd
1- Erholtz, 1:11:08, $1500 *includes time bonus
2 - Enman, 1:13:26, $600
3 - Haefeli, 1:13:34, $2700 * includes master's bonus and age graded masters bonus
4 - Carly Graytock, 29, Cambridge, MA, 1:15:41, $200
5 - Alison Bryant, 35, Elkin, NC, 1:15:54, $100
8 - Cathy Pearce, 45, Chelmsford, MA, 1:21:48 - $200 age graded masters 2nd
14 - Dorcas Wonsavage, 43, Hanover, NH, 1:23:51 - $100 first NH finisher
21 - Donna Smyers, 50, Adamant, VT, 1:28:19 - $100 age graded masters 3rd
For more information on the USA Mountain Running Championships visit www.usatf.org.