FJG Race to the Top of Vermont—Your Unique Mountain Challenge, Climbing to the Summit of Mount Mansfield

This is a race up the east flank of Mount Mansfield on the famous and historic Toll Road. It is a combination event—runners, hikers/walkers, and mountain bikers. The Mount Mansfield Toll Road is 152 years old, and has changed little since it was blasted into the mountainside. There is a short paved stretch in the beginning (.3 mile), but most of it is hard packed gravel. The total elevation climb is 2,564 feet while speeding 4.3 miles, so it is a terrific challenge for all on an average grade of 11.3%.

The rewards include a tremendous sense of accomplishment and spectacular views of three states and the Province of Quebec as well as the jewel of the Green Mountain State, Lake Champlain. And you will enjoy some really good post race food and live music while relaxing on the grassy open spaces near the Midway Lodge. There are also unique custom prizes, cash prizes, and a wonderful raffle open to ALL participants—a total of $14,000 in prizes altogether.

Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall in both disciplines (including cash awards), with additional prizes for the top three in each age group, also both disciplines—beautiful custom stoneware mugs. And unique to this event, there will be prizes for the fastest single discipline team overall (three-persons, including at least one woman), and they will also receive those mugs. Unusual for mountain races, there will be over $14,000 in awards and prizes, including that raffle for which ALL participants are eligible. Vermont's own Darn Tough Socks will also be among the prizes.

Truly Unique
Part of the uniqueness is that this race invites all three of these disciplines to race at the same time, going off in waves—separating runners and bikers this year--with runners first, then non-competitive hikers/walkers (both at 9:00 a.m.), then bikes go off last at 10:00 a.m. It is interesting to note that the winning times—and record times—for running and biking are very close for both women and men. Also interesting to note, the Toll Road does not allow bicycles at any other time, and never permits motorcycles to use this road.

The bad news is that there are only 800 participants allowed because of the nature of the road and available space at the summit lot, so do not delay in registering for this one-of-a kind racing experience. http://www.catamounttrail.org/

There are four ways to register: Online with Active.com, of course, but also by mail, fax or phone. You must register by August 15 to be guaranteed one of those excellent high quality tech shirts. Online Registration closes August 23, but his may well close out before then!

Registration (if available) and bib pickup will be at the Midway Lodge, near the Mount Mansfield Gondola, on Saturday, August 27th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. and on race morning August 28th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.

There will be a bag check for all so each participant will have warm, dry clothing at the summit. It has been mostly sunny, but you never know on Vermont's highest peak.

History and Records
This will be the fourth annual Race to the Top of Vermont. The incomparable Dave Dunham, three-time winner and former record holder at the Mount Washington Road Race, set the running standard in 2008 with a 37:50, passing many of the bicycles in route. Andrew Gardinar of Wellesley, Massachusetts broke Dave's record last year with a blistering 34:48.6, beating all disciplines to the top.

Kasie Enman holds the women's record at 40:12.5 set in 2009. Enman, of Huntington, Vermont won several USATF Mountain Circuit races and won first place on the USA National Mountain Running Team at the Mount Cranmore Hill Climb; she will compete in the World Championships in Albania in September.

Bike records are held by Vermonters: 43:26.7 by Marilyn Ruseckas of Warren (2010), and 36:12.0 by Nathan Ringquist riding in his home town of Stowe (also 2010).

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