Mark your calendars! The Mt. Washington Prep Day will May 19 this year, starting from Matt and Donna Curran’s house. More detail will be posted closer to the day.
The lottery is done and we’re trying to figure out what this year’s team looks like…who’s in from Cape Ann?
- Bob Gillis (31st run)
- Mike Gillis (30th run)
- AJ Migonis
- Zachary South
- Steve Whittey
- Matt Curran (28th run)
- Layce Alves
- Regina Loiacano
- Tina Dowling
- Glenn Simm
- Jenn Brooks
- Fredi Tribeck
- Tom Mitchell
- Gary Jewett
- Paul Simon
- Ernesto Mendoza
- Amy Ballin
- Peter Vadala
- John Barbour
- Bob Lindberg
- Cousin Randy
- Tony Repucci
- Michal Cimozsko
Don’t forget — The lottery for the Mt. Washington Road Race is still open, and you have until March 14 to get your entry in. Sign up now!
It is with a heavy heart that I write that Peter Watson has passed away. Peter’s borderline obsession with Mt. Washington (are we even calling it borderline?) is what created Team Gloucester, and his determination to field competitive teams is what first pushed many of us to run that crazy race we know simply as “the mountain.” His re-creation of said mountain along Doctor’s Run in Rockport every May was legendary, as was his encyclopedic knowledge of all things running. Peter’s passion inspired all of us. I know that I, and many others, will never be able to round the trail at Steel Derrick or face a grueling uphill climb without feeling his spirit close at hand. Peter, you brought all of us together and started something incredible. You were larger than life and I know you will be larger than death. We are all better for having had you in our lives.
In honor of Peter Watson, I thought I’d try to take a shot at the post-race write-up this year since we miss his usual eloquence in his absence this year.
Here’s a couple of themes from this year’s race: (1) Peter, we missed you and we ran as hard as we could for you; (2) we have awesome women runners – look at them go and collect some sweet hardware; and (3) we also have some great old guys who can collect hardware too.
Leading the TG men, as usual, was our shirtless wonder, Matt Curran, finishing in 94th place for men, 3rd in his age group, in a time of 1:24:19. He’ll tell you that was a bad day for him. Crazily, he’s right. A bad day for Matt is still good enough for 3rd in his age group, however, and faster than any of us. The dude is fast and hardcore.
Not too far behind Matt, leading the TG women, was Layce Alves, or as she will now be known, Señora Lace Al-ves (pronounced: “Lace Al Vase”). I thought she would blow away 90 minutes, but 1:25:44 is just SOOOOO GOOOOD. What does that speed get you? How about 10th place overall, good enough for some recognition on the podium. Huge PR. Fastest Cape Ann woman’s finish ever. Total awesomeness. (Sidenote: I think everyone knows success like that is pretty much fully attributable to the pursuits training partner.)
Think Layce was really fast? Who was ahead of her almost all the way? That’s right, Layce had to work really, really hard just to beat her own teammate, Regina Loiacano. I hear Layce passed her at the start of the “Wall” (oh the pain, just writing it … 22% grade … perhaps, for Harry Potter fans, it should be renamed “the part of the mountain that shall not be named”). Needless to say, this means Regina also ran a ridiculously fast time – 1:26:14. Good enough for 11th woman overall. And since she’s a wee bit older than Layce, this also earned her 2nd place in the 35-39 woman’s category. Sweet! We knew Regina was fast and tough, but who knew THAT fast and tough?
Our other inspirational letter, Bob Gillis, was next for TG. Always below or near the 90 minute mark, he crossed in 1:31:12, good enough for 7th in his age group. 139th overall male. I really got a good appreciation for Bob’s race this year, spending a good amount of time looking at his back, and, earlier, some time waiting for him to pass me. I tried to tell him I was having “more fun than I deserved” as he passed me for good around 5 miles in, but I was too busy sucking air, walking and internally cursing how far away from the top I still was. Bob is a diesel. Just keeps moving uphill, never stopping, relentless. I hear he has run this race a couple of times before this.
I, Kevin Littman, followed Bob in 1:31:49. 144th place. My PR. First “masters” appearance at the mountain, so getting quicker as getting older. Can’t complain about that, right?
Steve Whittey also set a PR in 1:33:55. 165th place. Another older yet quicker. (I don’t want to hear about some previous 1:33 time being a few seconds quicker.) That Matt Curran fairy dust must be spreading. I also think keeping up with Ranger is good training. Plus the magic wine.
Next, rounding out the women’s team, was Jenn Brooks in 1:39:05, 42nd overall female. Jenn wasn’t too happy with her time, but she has really high standards. Cracking 100 minutes is a big deal. And it was good enough to put the TG female team in 2nd place in the team competition. Maybe the weather was too nice for her? Last time she ran she was hypothermic at the top. Maybe the race was too short? She was looking for an additional 42.4 miles? Skye asked: “Mommy, why did you run so slow?” Ouch. But Cole gave her a special trophy. Very sweet. (Similarly, here are my first words with my boys on the cell phone in the car coming home: “Daddy, what place were you?”; “165th, I think”; “Ugh! That’s terrible!”)
Super-vet streaker Mike Gillis put in a solid run, as usual, finishing in 1:41:22, 239th place for men. A key spot for the seniors team. Does Mike always run 1:41 these days? I think he did last year too.
Just behind was Nick Taormina in 1:41:35. A mountain newbie. Hopefully will be back. I had the pleasure of driving down with him and his sister, Katie, who took a couple of jabs at his performance vs. expectations. Hehehehe. Seriously, though, it’s a 7.6 mile run, all uphill. He is not the first and will not be the last person to have been a little bit humbled by it. With the Taormina genes, I wouldn’t bet against him killing it if he decides to come back.
Dave Geary finished in 1:48:43, 307th place for men. This was an experiment in running the mountain with minimal/no training. Take note that this is not the suggested technique, but life gets in the way sometimes. Kudos to Dave for doing it and finishing it. Probably harder work in a lot of ways.
Katie Misuraca was next in 1:52:48, 96th place woman. She was the 4th woman on our all-star team. Great to make it up the mountain 3 months pregnant. 99.4% of the population might even call her especially crazy for even doing it, but we think it’s pretty cool. Obviously, she couldn’t repeat last year’s blistering pace, and it actually would have been full-on crazy if she tried. It should be noted that she violated the non-pregnancy pact of the women’s team that they had instituted for greater chances of success. For some reason, this Gloucester pact has not made the sensational national headlines of some previous pregnancy-related Gloucester pacts. Hmmm. I blame it on the conservative bias in the mainstream media, but I am open to other explanations.
Peter Vadala was next in 1:53:36, 383th place. Another serious veteran who makes it back over and over, overcoming numerous injuries. He looked strong finishing. Another key scoring spot on seniors team too. And thanks to Peter for supplying the tent.
Tony Repucci had a solid run in 1:58:24, 451st place, breaking the 2 hour mark. Many of us tried to chase him down quite a few times in the pursuits training.
Tom Paradis was next in 2:02:44, 491st place. A mountain veteran who hadn’t done it in years. Tom wins the award for making the most friends. He crossed the finish line holding hands in tandem with some folks. I’m not sure whether it was the same people, but he also snagged a ride town with a past champion of the race. And his American flag shorts were no doubt a hit too.
Seth Watson, another newbie, finished in 2:09:26, 532nd place. He finally got to experience first hand what a nutty thing his dad has been doing for years. Great job, Seth. I’m sure your dad was proud and sorry he couldn’t join you. We hope to have you back. We know there are plenty of hills in the Seattle area.
Carrie Parisi finished in 2:12:33, 196th place for women. First in the 70-74 age group. She does it every year, making it look easy. Phenomenal. Inspirational.
Finally, collecting those individual performances into team totals, we did great.
The Open division women’s team took 2nd place overall! Congrats to Layce, Regina, Jenn and Katie. They were very very close to number 1, too. I guess they’ll have to come back next year to give it another try?
The seniors means team, with scorers Matt, Bob, Steve, Mike and Peter, took 3rd place! They’ll all also be back next year, as a result.
The male masters team did not place, but was a respectable (yet distant) 4th. Essentially the same team as the senior team, but sub me in to replace Peter as the scorers.
It was a beautiful day on the mountain. A tad warm, but can’t complaint about low 70s on the bottom and 50s on the top, with view clouds and tremendous visibility. The post-race celebration was great, as always. I think a couple of folks very well may make it back next year to try again.