A Mt Washington press release confirms Ned Overend and several other top contenders will be at Mt Washington this Saturday. The story does not mention if Lyne Bessette still plans on competing, as was announced earlier this year. I haven't been girled on Mt Washington in several years. If Lyne shows up, that streak would get broken I'm sure.
Forecast is for hot. Anything over 60F on a hillclimb puts me in thermal duress. Gorham, NH forecast is calling for high in upper 80's. It will be slightly cooler at the auto road base and much cooler at the summit. Summit high is expected to be 61F, a warm day indeed. I hope it is way cooler than that at 8:30am. The problem for me is I can't get high quick enough for the natural cooling to kick in. I expect to start out my normal hard, hit thermal deflection about two miles in, struggle a couple miles until I get above tree line with some breeze, then slowly be able to kick it in again as the core body temp comes back down. Been there. Sucks. Nothing I can do about it. I don't think starting slower helps. It's a heat dissipation problem. At 300W output, I'm expending over 1000W of wasted energy. Yeah, we're only about 20-25% efficient.
Supposedly the ideal marathon temperature is 50-55F . Running 26.2 miles in 75F will supposedly add 7% to your time. Bicycle hillclimbing speeds are slower than marathon runners on average, so there is even less air cooling. Wind above tree line will actually be a good thing this year, but calm is predicted. My only goal is keep the KOM leaders jersey. Several riders will bump up close behind me, as this will be their fifth race. I've done five already, so my best five will be counted here on out.
If the forecast holds, I think most Mt Washington competitors will experience one of the best August race days in years. Last year was not bad if you exclude the hail pummeling before many racers finished. 2007 was cancelled. In a few of the years prior to that we had 50mph wind, cold and rain. It snowed the night after my first Mt Washington race back in 2000.
I've been taking it pretty easy this week, two easy weeks in four weeks. This isn't just for Mt Washington on Saturday. I want to hit Durango trails on Monday with fresh legs. The rest of the competitive season will all be on dirt in fact - the SM100 in Virginia in a few weeks, VT50 in Vermont end of September, Ironcross in Pennsylvania, and the Mt Mansfield hillclimb in Vermont. No more skinny tire races are on the books.