Joseph Gray Wins 5th Title in the 60th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race
Mt. Washington Auto Road
June 20th, 2021
- JOE GRAY LEADS WIRE TO WIRE FOR FIFTH WIN
- ERIC BLAKE TAKES SECOND PLACE AND MASTER’S WIN
- LEE BERUBE THIRD
- SAMUEL FAZIOLI WINS CROSSAN CUP
Pinkham Notch, NH — The 60th Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race came to a conclusion today with the running of the men’s division. There was no surprise when Joseph Gray, 37, of Colorado Springs, CO, a four time winner of Mt. Washington and the reigning World Mountain Running Champion, started in the lead at the sunny and pleasant base and did nothing but increase his lead all the way to the foggy, cold, and wind swept finish. Gray’s lead was a minute by the halfway mark, and he more than doubled the lead in the second half of the race. Gray finished in a time of 1:01:40 and has won the race the last five times he has entered. When asked what keeps him motivated, Gray replied, “It’s all about the personal challenge. Whether you finish first, middle pack, or last, in running you are always challenging yourself.” Gray rose to the challenge on this day.
While Gray led all the way, the ageless Eric Blake, 42, of West Hartford, CT, and a four-time champion was running side by side with Lee Berube, 30, of Syracuse, NY. Blake and Berube ran shoulder to shoulder for most of the race. Like the women on Saturday, the men were setting a blistering pace in the pleasant, lower elevations. But, as the runners approached 5000 feet, the conditions became blustery, the fog (clouds) rolled in, temperatures dropped, and the speeds suffered. Blake dug deep and dropped Berube in the final stretch of the race to take second overall and first master (over 40 years old) in 1:03:53. Berube finished third in a time of 1:04:28. It’s Berube’s second consecutive 3rd place finish.
Rounding out the top five was Samuel Fazioli, 29, of Salem, NH, finishing in fourth in a time of 1:06:06. Fazioli wins the Crossan Cup as the first finisher from the State of New Hampshire. And, clocking a time of 1:07:17 was Eric Lipuma, 28, of Richmond, VT. Fazioli and Lipuma improved on their 10th and 9th place finishes in 2019.
Sponsored by Northeast Delta Dental, the race ascends the Mt. Washington Auto Road from Pinkham Notch, N.H., to the 6288-foot summit of Mt. Washington. In addition to the unrelenting grade averaging 12%, runners face the added challenge of Mt. Washington’s famously high winds, precipitation, and unpredictable temperatures. Prizes include $1000 apiece for the first male and female finishers, smaller cash prizes for the next five men and women and the top three male and female masters (over 40), prizes for the first male and female finishers from New Hampshire, and a $5000 bonus for setting a new course record.
For a full list of results, visit the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race website: https://mt-washington.com/mount-washington-road-race
All photos by Joe Viger, official race photographer.