FJG Race to the Top of Vermont—Unique Mountain Challenge 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, walkers, and mountain bikers. The Mount Mansfield Toll Road is 150 years old, and has changed little. There is a short paved stretch in the beginning, but most of it is hard packed gravel. The total elevation climb is 2,550 feet over 4.3 miles, so it is a terrific challenge for all. 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.

Part of the uniqueness is that this race invites all three of these disciplines to race at the same time, going off in waves with non-competitive walkers first, then bikes, and runners last. 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 the road.

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

Registration (if available) and bib pickup will be at the Midway Lodge, near the Mount Mansfield Gondola, on Saturday, August 29th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. and on race morning August 30th from 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.

Walkers will depart with a 9:00 a.m. start, with bikes taking to the challenge at 10:00. Runners will chase both with a 10:10 a.m. blast off. There will be a bag check for all so each participant will have warm, dry clothing at the summit.

This will be the second annual RTTT 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. Tracy Rose was the top woman runner with 48:41. Bike records are 45:37 by Susan Lynch, and 37:12 by Olympic biathlon hopeful Jesse Downs.

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, each discipline. And unique to this event, there will be prizes for the fastest single discipline (three-persons, including at least one woman) team overall. Unusual for mountain races, there will be over $5,000 in awards and prizes.

Participants will receive a high quality tech shirt, post race refreshments including a chicken BBQ post race party with live music at the Midway Lodge, Stowe Mountain Resort; and an excellent raffle. Additionally, there will be a race night concert at the famed Trapp Family Lodge. The music will be provided by “Asleep at the Wheel”, and presented at the outdoor amphitheater in the meadow below the lodge.

The Course—the Auto Road
For 150 years this road has provided thousands and thousands of visitors spectacular views of Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, and Quebec; it is a true scenic wonder that includes views of the White Mountains, the Adirondacks, and many lakes large and small, including 110-mile long Lake Champlain, which sits on the border of Vermont and New York and stretches north into Quebec.

The road climbs at a steady incline from the Inn at the Mountains (5781 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT 05672) to the summit lot at 3,850 feet. The climb is 2,550 vertical feet with an 11.3% grade. The climb begins at about 1,300 feet and goes to the summit station just below the true summit of Mount Mansfield (4,395). The town of Stowe on the east flank is a delightful tourist destination and sits at 968 feet. Stowe offers a wide range of recreational activities along with excellent restaurants and a unique variety of shopping opportunities.

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