I ran — well, okay, I mostly walked, but I walked as fast as I could — the Mount Washington Road Race yesterday morning. It was a gorgeous day, but quite hot. In fact, it was very hot for June in the White Mountains. In spite of the heat, it was a awesome event. Yes, it’s a bit crazy to want to run up a mountain, but crazy is sometimes fun.

Though I had no real idea of what I would or should be able to do on a run like this, I had harbored hopes of making the run — 7.6 miles and 4,360 feet of elevation gain — in under 2 hours. Well, by the first mile marker I knew with a certainty that wasn’t going to happen. I started thinking 2:15 – 2:20 would be good. Okay, I could live with that. I ended up running much less of the hill than I had expected. I think I probably ran about 10% of the time, which would be somewhat more than 10% of the distance. The rest of the time I, and most of the people around me, simply walked uphill as fast as we could. My final time ended up being 2:05:35 gun time, and 2:04:58 watch time. There was no starting mat for chip timing, so the 37 second difference is the time it took me to get to the starting line once the gun fired and the race started.

So, I set a whole bunch of personal records. The slowest mile I ever ran. The slowest 5k I ever ran. The slowest 5 miles I ever ran, etc. But it was also the fastest I have ever climbed 4,360 feet. And I managed to get a sunburn as well! What more can one ask for?

Below are some stats from my Garmin Forerunner. The elevation profile shows the elevation as recorded by my watch, and GPS altitude measurements aren’t all that precise, so the total elevation gain is exaggerated a bit. Still, it proves the tag-line for this event, “There’s Only One Hill!”

For now on, whenever a race throws a tough hill at me, I can simply tell myself, “Well, it’s not like running Mount Washington!”