USA Track & Field - New England

USATF New England
Mountain Running Series

Event reviews

Mount Kearsarge, 8.5 Miles
Contact: Paul DiGeronimo, (603)456-3029, mail:
Start: Center of town, Warner NH. Located off of I-89, just north of Concord NH.
The course climbs 2400 feet and drops 400 feet over 8.5 miles.
Kearsarge has been part of the circuit since 1996. The first Kearsarge race was in 1995; previously, many local runners used the course as a tune-up for Mount Washington. The course climbs 2400 feet and drops 400 feet over 8.5 miles. The first 5 miles is a rolling country road, with the real climb beginning just after entering Rollins State Park at the 5-mile mark. Typically racers will run about the same time for the first five as they do for the last 3-¸ miles! The final 3-¸ miles are very tough; there are a few breaks in the climb and a very rare drop to really take something out of your legs. The entire route is paved, although the last 3 ¸ miles are un-plowed in the winter (in 2001 the race had to stop at the 5-mile mark due to dangerous road conditions). Amenities include mile markers, water stops (3m/5m), baggage delivered to the finish, transportation back to the start, awards in seven age groups, and excellent homemade post-race goodies.
Wachusett Mountain, 4.3 Miles
Contact: Kevin Fallon, Email:
Web site:
Course records: Open Eric Morse 24:14 ('99), Julie Peterson 29:38 ('00).
Start: Mt.Wachusett Ski Lodge, Westminster/Princeton MA.
The race climbs over 1400 feet with 400 feet of drop in 4.3 miles.
Wachusett has been in the circuit since 1996. The first race was held in 1977, but it was not contested for many years. The current incarnation has been held continuously since 1992. The course is paved from start to finish. The last 3.3 miles are within Wachusett Mountain State Park on the "up" road for the Wachusett Mountain ski area. The first mile is the toughest in the race; the course flattens out and drops as you enter the park There is a long downhill from just after 2 miles until the hairpin turn at 3 miles. The final 1.3 is a long grind. Some nice views of the "windmill farm" at four miles and on a clear day you can see Boston to the South and the Wapack range to the North. The final climb in the parking lot adds insult to injury with a gut busting 200m stretch. This is a tough mountain race as it is something of a "sprint"; times are generally equal to a 5-mile flat race. Amenities include a very reasonable entry fee, baggage to the finish, prizes in five age groups to age 70, and excellent management by the Central Mass. Striders. Although the miles are not marked, here is a description of where they are located for anyone interested. One mile, on (the aptly named) One Mile Hill Rd., about 100m before turning into the park. The two-mile is just after passing under the chairlift to the summit. The three-mile mark is at the hairpin turn, just before you start climbing to the top. The four-mile mark is at the point where there are cliffs on the left and a turnout on the right, a nice flat spot with a scenic background where many race pictures have been taken in the past.
Pack Monadnock, 10 Miles
Contact: Steve Moland
Web site:
Start: Wilton-Lyndeborough High School, Wilton NH (near the center of town).
The route climbs 2000 feet, drops 300 feet in 10 miles.
Pack has been held continuously, except for 2004, since 1990. The course is mostly paved with a couple of stretches of dirt road from Wilton to the summit of Pack Monadnock. Pack means "Little" although there is nothing little about the final climb! The race features some very scenic back roads of New Hampshire. The first mile is a tough long climb that was the signature of the now defunct Wilton 15k. The next 7 miles are rolling hilly roads; there is a fine view of the finish line from the 5-mile mark (be sure to look up!). Eight to the nine-mile mark are the first major test, a long climb on route 101, then a brief respite before turning into Miller State Park. The last mile in Miller State park has climbs steeper than Mt Washington (11.5% average grade). The final 200 m has a grade of about 30%. Amenities include mile markers, water stops, baggage to the finish, a fire tower view (if you are willing to climb it), and good post-race eats.
Northfield Mountain, 8.2 Miles - traditional
(15.6km/9.6 mi for men in '05, 10.4km/6.4mi for women)
Contact: Dave Dunham
Web site: USATF Mountain Page
Start/Finish: Northfield Mountain Recreation Center, Northfield MA.
Directions: From Route 2 junction with Route 63, proceed 2 miles north to the park entrance on right.

The Northfield Mountain race was first part of the circuit in 2003. The recreation area is the site of year-round endurance activities; hiking, fall cross country, winter cross country skiing and snowshoe racing.
Course: 13.2K (two loops, not point to point). Water at Start/Finish and 7K. Mostly grass, dirt, and trails. The race starts with a short loop of approximately 1500m, passing through the finish line (this small loop is only done once). The racers then climb steadily (about 800') with a few steep downhills interspersed; most of this is on single track trail. The course hits its highest point at 5K and proceeds downhill for 2K on wide grass trail. The runners loop through the finish line and repeat the large uphill loop.

The 2005 race is a qualifier for the World Mountain Trophy race. The top US citizen, male and female, will earn an automatic berth on the USA team. The course length will be adjusted in '05 to match the world course lengths for men and women.

Ascutney Mountain, 3.8 Miles
Contact: .
Race Info, Windsor VT, 3.8 mile, 9:30 a.m. Registration.
Start: Mt.Ascutney State Park, Back Mountain Rd, Windsor VT.
Located off of I-91 south of White River Junction along the NH border.
The course climbs 2300 feet in 3.8 miles.
The race was first held in 2001 as part of the circuit. The course is a paved toll road to the summit of Ascutney. The average grade (12%) and the many twists in the road will remind many of the Mount Washington road race. A very tough race with extended sections of 19% grade, but thankfully not a long run; fast times hover around 35 minutes. Amenities include mile markers, baggage to the summit, one water stop, and post-race refreshments.

Mt.Cranmore Hill Climb, 14.8km in 2005
Contact email:
Web: White Mountain Milers site.
This is a new addition to the circuit, and the standard 3+ mile race is being lengthened to 14km, as it will be a men's qualifier for the 2005 World Cup event.
Description to follow.

The USATF New England Mountain Running Circuit is the only one of its type in the country. Races in the circuit may vary each year, and a best of four race point totals are scored.

USA Track & Field New England

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