Last Sunday, we finally made our way back to the USATF-New England Mountain Running circuit for the Loon Mountain Race. Debbie hadn’t run a mountain race in years, though many of her trail races are actually more mountainous than the mountain races. Regardless, this one in Lincoln, New Hampshire, was a fun one. It came at the tail end of our four-day White Mountain family adventure, and was a last-minute decision.
We didn’t know the race was going to be while we were in the White’s, so when I saw a Facebook post, I told Debbie and encouraged her to commit. We drove over from the Highland Center in Crawford Notch early on Sunday morning, and we saw a ton of friends. There is quite a bit of overlap from the trail scene. Not all of the mountain races are off-road, but Loon and several others are.
The kids and I had a blast riding the gondola to the summit. We cheered Debbie as she came through the finish area before the final big climb up the black diamond trail, Upper Walking Boss. There was a bomber descent off the summit and then a steep uphill to the finish.
Eric Blake won and broke the course record. He was followed by Josh Ferenc and Brandon Newbould. Christin Doneski won the women’s race. She was followed by Kristina Folcik and Karen Encarnacion.
Debbie finished 5th amongst the women and got a great uphill workout. We spent a ton of time on the summit, touring the artist shack, the tower, and the cave system. There was even a playground right next to the finish line.
It was a great family event. We rode the gondola back to the base with Sue Harris Lackman, and had a great chat. After the awards ceremony, we soaked our legs while the kids played in the Pemigewasset River. This was a fitting end to an amazing weekend in the mountains.