Yesterday, we returned to the Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln, New Hampshire. This was the second year in a row that Debbie has run this event and this year, it was even more competitive given the fact that it was the USA Mountain Running Championships.
With some big dough and bragging rights on the line, the race attracted many talented New Englanders and their western competition from mountainous states like Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Washington, and California.
With bigger objectives this month, the 4.8 mile /2,700′ elevation gain women’s race was a tune-up for her longer runs to come. The summer heat was also good training. We had brilliant sunshine and fantastic views from the top of the gondola at Loon. The race finished higher up at the summit, but we watched the women and then the men (7 miles) come through that big aid station.
The kids and I had a ball. There was a playground right at the aid station, which is perfect planning! I was able to take pictures and the kids got to play on a literal “mountain playground.”
After the race they searched for the lost Loon treasure in the caves and we hung out. We saw a lot of people that we knew and socialized for a while before riding the gondola back to the base lodge.
We hung out some more at the river before grabbing lunch in Lincoln and rolling home. It was fun to watch some of the top men and women competing on some of the challenging terrain that the White Mountains are known for. It was good to see some of our New England friends holding their own against the western competition, though first male was Joseph Gray, and first female was Allie McLaughlin, both from Colorado.
Gray won the venerable Mt. Washington Road Race last month and he looked to be in fine form at Loon. McLaughlin had an equally as large lead when I saw her go by. Selections were made for the 30th World Mountain Running Championships in Casette di Massa, Italy this September.