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99-year-old George Etzweiler DNF’s at Mount Washington

The inspiring senior ran out of steam before reaching the top this year, but says he'll be back

George Etzweiler of State College, Penn., who is 99 years old, did not finish the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race this year, but he’s OK and says he’s coming back next year, according to elite athlete liaison Paul Kirsch.

RELATED: 99-year-old George Etzweiler will race Mt. Washington on June 15

We reached Kirsch by email. “George participated but did not finish,” he wrote, referring to Saturday’s race in New Hampshire. “He and his team decided to call it quits at about the 6.5-mile [10.5K] mark… I think it was a combination of the wind and also time he was at, which was around four hours and 10 minutes at that point.”
“He did seem in great spirits afterwards and said he’s coming back next year.”
It was the 14th time Etzweiler, a retired engineer who took up running at age 49, has run this race, a 12K road ascent of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. He always wears the same pair of green running shorts bought for him by his wife Mary, who passed away in 2010, as he explains in the video below, which was made two years ago (when Etzweiler was only 97).

Etzweiler jokes in the film that “The rules of the running club are that if I collapse, you make sure I’m dead before you call 911.”

This year’s race produced a first-ever tie, between Brittni Hutton and Heidi Caldwell, who broke the tape together in 1:16:17. Kim Nedeau took third place, in 1:16:49. In the men’s race, Eric Blake was the winner, in 1:02:52, followed by Francis Kamiri in second place (1:03:51) and Lee Berube in third (1:05:44).