I signed up for the Mount Washington road race today. I didn't get in through the lottery though. I applied for a bypass number through GCS and I was granted one. Thank you GCS! Although I might not be so thankful come race day. :) A bypass number allows you to run the race, but you need to either volunteer yourself at the race, or bring along a volunteer. I plan to bring along my son, Dave, who is 13 and who wants to run this race next year. The minimum age to run this race is 14 so I told him he might want to see what this race is all about before actually signing up. :)
So why did I sign up? There are 2 main reasons. One is that I've done 1 or 2 hill workouts in the past 6 months and I'd hate to throw all that training away. The other reason is I'd love to tackle that hill one more time to see if I could run a faster time.
I've run this race twice before. The first time was on June 18, 2005 where I ran a 1:28:07. This was my first time running this race and I didn't know what to expect so I ran conservatively. The second time was on June 17th, 2006 where I ran a 1:23:56. I trained harder this time and I ran an even race. The weather was pretty good on both races which was a benefit to me. I've heard that there have been some years where the weather was a definite factor. :)
I was on the fence about signing up for this race, even after being granted a bypass number. The reason is that I don't feel that I'm in shape enough to run this race. I gained some weight over the winter and I'm having a hard time losing it. There is no mystery for the weight gain. I know exactly how I got it. I was eating and drinking too much, and exercising too little. I gained about 15 pounds during the winter. That is huge, especially if you plan to run up a mountain. The weight is now coming off slowly, and I hope to be back down to race weight by race day.
I know there are a couple of my MFM RTB mates running MW also. First, there's Steve Wolfe who appears to be in great shape these days. And then there's Mark Wimmer who is a fantastic hill runner. Both of these guys have run some impressive times so far such as 1:26/1:27 at the Great Bay 1/2 marathon on April 6th, and 1:09/1:13 at the Merrimack River trail race in Andover, MA on April 12th.
Along with current members, there is an MFM RTB alumni running as well. Rae Coates will be trying to lower her own best time of 1:23:12 which she set on June 18th, 2005. This is 44 seconds better than my PR so it will be interesting when we race this year to see who wins. The year she set this PR is the same year that I ran a 1:28. I remember when she past me early in the race. She was moving at a good clip and I thought she was going to hit the wall and I would scamper past her. But she kept going and ran a great race. I won't make that same mistake this year. If she goes by me, I'm locking on and staying with her for as long as I can.
Now, if I can only shed this extra weight and time travel back to get in 1 more year of hill training, I think I'll feel ready. Otherwise, I don't feel ready at all. But I always feel like that. So I'll just continue doing my meager training and see what happens on race day.
I'll report back after the race and describe what happened. :)