Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mind Over Hills

The October 2008 Runner's World Magazine ranks "The greatest, most daunting hills in U.S. races". I can't find it on their web page so I will list them for you:

1. Heartbreak Hill, Boston Marathon (Boston, MA)
2. Hayes Street Hill, Bay to Breakers 12K (San Francisco, CA)
3. Queensboro Bridge, NYC Marathon (New York, NY)
4. Doomsday Hill, Lilac Bloomsday 12K (Spokane, WA)
5. Mt. Washington Auto Road, Mt. Washington Road Race (Gorham, NH)
6. Cardiac Hill, Peachtree 10K (Atlanta, GA)
7. Hospital Hill, Hospital Hill Half-Marathon (Kansas City, MO)
8. Gallows Lane, Litchfield Hills Road Race (Litchfield, CT)
9. Diamond Head Avenue, Honolulu Marathon (Honolulu, HI)
10. Hurricane Point, Big Sur Internat'l Marathon (Big Sur, CA)

Whoa! Have you been to Mt. Washington? That is not even on the same scale as these other hills! I understand that there is a big mental component to "daunting" beyond simple elevation gain or percent grade, but only #5? Really? Admittedly, I've never had to run up Heartbreak Hill at mile 20, but my CAR could barely DRIVE up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. (Side note: NH's Presidential Range is where I got engaged.) So that is almost 8 miles, rising 4,650 feet. Mt. Washington averages 12% grade vs only 4.5% for Heartbreak Hill (less than 90 foot elevation gain over 0.37 miles).

I've run over Diamond Head Ave (#9) many times both with and without my jogging stroller too and that it ranks a measly 4 places after Mt. Washington also baffles me. It just isn't that hard. In the marathon, it is dark the first time you go over, so that barely counts. Perhaps that I have run over it so many times with Maddie in the stroller, makes the races over it that much easier. At least I was by myself!

So run big hills with your jogging stroller! It will be much easier when you are racing later and not pushing those extra pounds on wheels! But who will hold your water?


wyosinclairs said...

I'm telling you, Jen - you want hills you gotta come for the Wyoming hundred miler!

Sarah Jo

runningfor3 said...

Is there a Wyoming 10 miler?