Pinkham Notch, NH
The world record-holder for marathons at extremely high altitudes, a Boston Marathon champion, a classics scholar who twice broke the women’s course record, and a veteran New England runner with decades of racing success have been selected as the four new members of the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. Formed in 2010 to recognize outstanding performers in this footrace to the summit of the highest peak in the northeastern United States, the Hall of Fame this year will pay tribute to the achievements of Matt Carpenter, Jacqueline Gareau, Christine Maisto and Keith Woodward in a ceremony at the base of the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Friday, June 15. The next morning, the 2012 Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race will start at 9 a.m., as 1200 runners make their way up the 151-year-old Auto Road.
Hometown: Stowe, Vermont
Keith won the Mt. Washington Road Race just once, but no one has run this race more often or more consistently. Woodward won in 1983 with a time of 1:06:38, and 28 years later (2011) he set a new age group record for men 60-64, with a time of 1:21:29. Between 1973 and 2011, he has completed the race 36 times, the most finishes by anyone ever. He has finished under 1:10 on sixteen different occasions, the second most in that category in the history of the race, and fifteen times in the top ten overall. His personal best was a 1:03:06 in 1985, when he finished second. In 1977, when he placed third in 1:08:15, he led the North Country Athletic Club team to the first sub-6 hour team finish (five runners’ combined times) at Mt. Washington.
Christine was a librarian in New Jersey and a strong track and road runner when she came to Mt. Washington in 1985 and won decisively in 1:14:44. With that time she set a new women’s course record for the Auto Road, and she successfully defended her title in 1986. Absent for a few years, she returned in 1991 and took the record back from Jacqueline Gareau, winning in 1:12:15 and becoming the first three-time women’s winner in the history of the race. In a race that had historically attracted far more men than women, her 1985 victory made Maisto the first woman to finish among the 50 runners, as she placed thirty-first overall. She now lives in Colorado.
Hometown: Sainte-Adele, Quebec
Jacqueline made her Mount Washington Road Race debut in 1989, on a day so thick with fog that runners could barely see the road. She ran to the summit in one hour 13 minutes and 13 seconds – a new record for women in the race. She won again in 1994, on a scorching hot day, and once more in 1996. In those second and third victories, she was also the first female finisher over the age of 40. In 2000 she returned again and finished second – at the age of 47. She still holds the Canadian women’s record on Mt. Washington and has held course records here in the masters age group and the 50-54years category. In the 2011 race, she set a new record for women in the 55-59-year-age group. A massage therapist, Gareau has been renowned in marathon running since 1980, when she won the Boston Marathon. She is the only woman ever to have won both the Boston Marathon and the Mt. Washington Road Race.
Hometown: Manitou Springs, Colorado
First came to Mt. Washington in 1992 and handily defeated defending champion Derek Froude of New Zealand, who two years earlier had become the first person to run this 7.6-mile race in under one hour. Carpenter won again the following year and then, after four years away from the race, returned to win it a third time in 1998. In 1999, after leading nearly the entire way, he finished second to Kenyan Daniel Kihara. In that race, Carpenter also ran his fastest-ever time at Mt. Washington, 59 minutes 16 seconds, and joined Kihara as the only two runners to break one hour at Mt. Washington more than once. His 59:16 is also the fastest non-winning time ever recorded. Returning in 2005, Carpenter broke the existing record for masters runners, in 1:02:12, a mark that stood for three years. Widely known for his ability to run hard where the air is thin, Carpenter holds records in marathons and 100-mile races in the Rockies and Himalayas.
Pinkham Notch, NH
Derek Froude, the first person to run up the Mt. Washington Auto Road in under one hour, joins four-time Mt. Washington champions Mike Gallagher and Daniel Kihara this year as the 2011 inductees to the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame. These three extraordinary runners will be honored this summer in a ceremony held at the base of Mt. Washington on Friday, June 17, the evening before the 51st running of this all-uphill race to the summit of the highest peak in the Northeast.
Daniel Kihara first ran Mt. Washington in 1996, when he took nearly a minute off Derek Froude’s course record, making the ascent in 58:21. Training both in his native Kenya and in the hills of Pennsylvania, Kihara returned to Mt. Washington in 1999 to win a second time, following with his third and fourth victories in 2000 and 2001. His only loss was a sixth place finish in the weather-shortened race in 2002. His slowest time for the full course was just six seconds over an hour (1:00:06), and he is still the only runner in the history of the race with three sub-one hour finishes.
Mike Gallagher remains best known as one of America’s great Nordic skiers – he skied in three Olympics – but he was also a formidable runner, as he proved by becoming the first person to win the Mt. Washington Road Race four times. Moreover, he won those in consecutive years (1968-1971); the only person with more consecutive wins (five) is Bob Hodge. Gallagher ran a personal best of 1:06:13 here in 1968, and in his final win, in 1971, he took a 51-second victory over Boston Marathon champion and Olympic Trials marathoner Amby Burfoot. Since retiring from racing, Mike Gallagher has kept busy with coaching and with inspiring young skiers. He lives in Vermont.
From New Zealand, now residing in Florida.
Derek ran the marathon in the 1984 Olympic Games, trained in Colorado and became increasingly interested in mountain racing. He came to the Mt. Washington Road Race in 1990 with a plan to break the daunting one-hour barrier here, and, after studying the course carefully, succeeded in clocking a time of 59 minutes 17 seconds.
“I thought I could do it,” he said upon finishing. Froude returned to win again in 1991, then made one more appearance here in 1992, this time finishing second behind another Colorado-trained newcomer (Matt Carpenter).
The only person ever to win this race seven times, Hodge won from 1976-1980 and again in 1985 and 1987, setting a new course record in 1977, 1978 and 1979. He has finished thirteen times in the top ten, including finishing second in 1989 in the narrowest margin ever, losing by one second.