Three outstanding veterans of the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race will be honored on June 15 by their induction into the Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. In a ceremony following this year’s running of the all-uphill footrace, the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame will pay tribute to the achievements of Sumner Brown of Belmont, Mass., Fred Ross of Vernon, Vt., and Rebecca Stockdale-Woolley of Chaplin, Conn. Each has enjoyed a long and exceptionally distinguished career as a competitor in this race to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States.
The Hall of Fame committee and race organizers will also honor two new members of the 300-Mile Club, Gaeton Breton of Sherbrooke, Quebec, and Keith Woodward, of Stowe, Vt., for having completed the race 40 or more times.
The 2019 Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race, which starts at 9 a.m., attracts 1300 runners who will make their way for 7.6 miles up the 158-year-old Auto Road. The Mt. Washington Road Race Hall of Fame was formed in 2010 to recognize outstanding performers in, and contributors to, the race.
Sumner Brown, 75, of Belmont, Mass., has been highly successful in his long history at Mt Washington and has clocked a lifetime personal best for the race of 1:10:53. He set the age-group record for men ages 45-49 in 1989, lowed it the next year, and then smashed the age 50-54 record in 1994 when he placed 18th overall in 1:12:27 – a record that stood for 15 years. In subsequent years he set the 55-59-year age group record, ran the second-fastest time ever in the 60-64-year age group, and, in 2009, broke the record for the 65-69-year age group. He holds the single-age record for age 63 and the fourth fastest time ever in the highly competitive 65-69 age group. Between 1984 and 2010 he finished the race 25 times. Most impressively, he has recorded eleven finishes on Mt. Washington in under 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Fred Ross III, 71, Vernon Vt., has recorded the most finishes of anyone in the history of the race with 42, and he became the first member of the race’s 300-Mile Club. Ross also has the longest active streak of consecutive finishes with 41. In 2017 and 2018 he was the top finisher in the 70-74-year age group. He has also directed races including the Mt Equinox race, which was held in the 1970’s and gave runners a chance to tune up for Mt Washington. Fred’s connection to the race (and the mountain) run deep. He proposed to his wife at the finish of the race, and they later married at the Tip Top House, at the mountain’s summit. Fred is also a multi-time participant in Alton Weagle Day that takes place each Memorial Day weekend at the Auto Road.
Rebecca Stockdale-Woolley, 68, of Chaplin Conn., ran the race 16 times between 1998 and 2018, regularly dominating the competition in her age group. She set the record for the 45-49-year age group in 1998 and again in 1999 (1:23:54), and for ages 50-54 in 2001, 55-59 in 2006, and 60-64 in 2011 and 2012. She holds the record for the 65-69-year age group, which she set in 2016 at 1:40:29 and then broke in 2018 with her time of 1:40:26. She also holds the single-age records for ages 55, 64, 66, and 67. Of the 16 times she raced, she placed first in her age group 13 times, finishing second twice to three-time Mt. Washington champion and Hall of Fame member Jacqueline Gareau (2000, 2005) and once to Gareau’s fellow Canadian and top age group runner Louise Voghel (2015).
The Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame (MTWHOF) recognizes athletic performance in the Northeast Delta Dental Mt. Washington Road Race or efforts to assist the race or promote it. Consideration is given to athletes, advocates, race staff members and volunteers. Inductees are chosen by a vote of the Hall of Fame committee and Hall of Fame members from a list of nominees compiled by December 31 of the preceding year.
The Hall of Fame committee also oversees the 300-Mile Club, which was created in 2018 to recognize runners who have completed 40 or more Mt Washington road races. Gaetan Breton, 71, of Sherbrooke Quebec, and Hall of Fame member Keith Woodward, 68, of Stowe, Vt., who also was the race’s overall winner in 1983, completed their 40th race in 2018 and become the second and third members of the 300-Mile club.
The Saturday afternoon Hall of Fame induction will precede the race’s award ceremony. The induction ceremony will start at 1 p.m. in the large tent at the base of the Auto Road, on Route 16 just north of Pinkham Notch. The public is invited.