MOUNT WASHINGTON, N.H. (AP) — A 23-year-old woman from Ethiopia who had to borrow a pair of running shoes just before the start of the Mount Washington Road Race set a new women’s record Saturday for the uphill course to the summit of the Northeast’s highest peak.
Shewarge Amare, who currently lives and trains in New York City, raced up the 7.6-mile course in one hour, eight minutes and 21 seconds Saturday. The previous record for a female runner was 1:10:08.
Amare, who placed 19th overall, realized her shoes and running clothes were locked in a car whose driver was away. She quickly borrowed items from another runner and ran with no further worries.
“I always think I will win,” said Amare, who had never seen the ultra-steep auto road before. “Sometimes you get it, sometimes you don’t get it.”
The first-place men’s winner was Chris Siemers, 29, of Arvada, Colo., whose time was one hour and 22 seconds. He won last year’s Denver marathon.
“I came here prepared to win this,” Siemers said. “I’d had some recent disappointments with my running, and I wanted to take out my frustrations on this mountain. But my quads were burning with a feeling I’ve never felt before.”
Two-time winner Eric Blake, 31, of New Britain, Conn., finished second, followed by Joseph Gray, 26, of Lakewood, Wash., and defending champion Rickey Gates, 29, of Woody Creek, Colo.
Among the women, finishing in second place was Kristin Price, 28, of Raleigh, N.C., followed by Brandy Erholtz, 32, of Bailey, Colo.
The race, which marks its 50th anniversary this year, is the sole selection race for the U.S. Mountain Running Team, which will compete in the World Mountain Running Championship this fall in Slovenia.
A total of 916 runners finished from 39 states, Canada, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Ethiopia.