Pinkham Notch, NH—On a spectacularly clear day on Mt. Washington, 2006 Olympian Justin Freeman of New Hampton, NH won his third consecutive Ski to the Clouds. Kirsten Gill from Lewiston, ME and Bates College was the top woman.
Ski to the Clouds presented by Maxiglide offers $1400 in cash prizes and features a 6-kilometer climb up Mt. Washington making it North America’s Toughest 10k.
Freeman let eventual second place finisher, 1992 and 1994 Olympic Biathlete, Duncan Douglas of Honeoye Falls, NY and the National Guard Biathlon Team take the early lead, and they were together at the start of the climb up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. Freeman pulled away steadily on the climb to finish in 43:39. Douglas was nearly a minute back in 44:29. Jesse Downs of Jericho Center, VT and the National Guard Biathlon Team swapped places with Douglas this year after losing to Freeman by a single second in 2009. His final time was 47:29.
On the women’s side, Gill won a close race over Maggie Ryan of Northampton, MA and Berkshire Trails. Gill’s time of 1:01:38 was just over 30 seconds ahead of Ryan who finished in 1:02:16. Amanda Moreland of Bloomfield, NY was third in 1:04:12.
Along with his second place overall finish, Douglas was also the top male 40+. For the women, Meredith Piotrow of Jackson, NH took the top 40+ spot with a time of 1:07:17.
The Ski to the Clouds course includes 4k of racing on the trail system at Great Glen Trails before the climb up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The 6 kilometer climb up the mountain covers 2200 vertical feet making the race North America’s Toughest 10k. The race finishes just below the site of the historic Halfway House on the Mt. Washington Auto Road, at approximately 3800 feet above sea level. Ski to the Clouds is a true freestyle event: skiers can use either skating or classic technique in this mass start race. There are no separate categories for each discipline.
Thanks to the support of Maxiglide, Ski to the Clouds features $1400 in prize money. Cash prizes were awarded to the top three men and women: $250 for first place, $150 for second and $100 for third. The top male and female age 40 or older collected a $200 prize.
Complete results and photos available at www.SkiToTheClouds.com.
A ski challenge of another type is on tap next weekend at Great Glen Trails in the Carl Johnson Memorial Ski-A-Thon. Carl Johnson, a great friend to Great Glen Trails and a lover of all things skiing, passed away in 2006 of ALS. This event is held in his honor and is a fund raiser for the ALS Association. Please visit www.GreatGlenTrails.com to learn more how to support this cause.