Every year that George Etzweiler of State College, Penn. participates in the Mount Washington Road Race in New Hampshire, his many fans wonder if it might be his last. But 11 days from now, God willing, Etzweiler will tackle the extremely challenging 12K ascent for the 14th time, at the impressive age of 99.
Described as “one big hill,” the race is a gruelling climb up Mount Washington, the highest peak in the northeastern U.S., an ascent of 1,417m over 7.6 miles (12.16K). Just over 1,000 people finished the race last year. According to elite athlete liaison Paul Kirsch, Etzweiler, a retired engineer, will be accompanied on the climb by his son and his grandson.
Etzweiler is actually getting faster. In 2018 he finished the race in 4:04:48, a minute faster than his time the previous year. Considering how hard he trains, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him bring his time down even further this year.
New Brunswick’s Shelley Doucet will also race again this year, and will hopefully finish on the podium again. (Doucet finished third last year.)