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State College’s Etzweiler completes another run up Mount Washington

State College resident George Etzweiler, 95, heads to the finish line at the summit of the Mount Washington Road Race in New Hampshire on Saturday. The oldest runner to complete the race, he finished in 3 hours, 28 minutes.
State College resident George Etzweiler, 95, heads to the finish line at the summit of the Mount Washington Road Race in New Hampshire on Saturday. The oldest runner to complete the race, he finished in 3 hours, 28 minutes. Photo courtesy Mount Washington

George Etzweiler continues to amaze.

The State College resident and retired Penn State electrical engineering professor completed the Mount Washington Road Race on Saturday — and won his age group.

At age 95, he also was the only member of his age group, breaking his own record for the oldest runner to complete the event, held for the 55th time this weekend.

Etzweiler completed the course in 3 hours, 28 minutes, 41 seconds, the 10th time he has made it to the summit.

He was the last of 1,052 runners to complete the race, and was 11 years older than the next-oldest runner to reach the 6,288-foot peak, the highest point in the northeast. The race is 7.6 miles long, and features an elevation gain of 4,650 feet with an average road grade of 12 percent, and better than 20 percent over the final 100 yards.

While most competitors have to submit to a lottery to gain entry to the race, up a two-lane, mostly paved road, Etzweiler has an exemption for as long as he wishes to continue.

A pair of Colorado residents were the winners on the men’s and women’s sides under sunshine and blue skies, and the top seven finishers were all residents of the Rocky Mountain State.

Joe Gray, 31, of Colorado Springs defended his title on Saturday, completing the climb in 58:15. He was the only runner to break the one-hour mark, he had the second-best time in race history and was 1:34 off the course record. He also is the first repeat winner since 2003.

The last four winners have all broken the one-hour mark.

Kim Dobson, 31, was the top women’s finisher in 1:11:39. The Grand Junction, Colorado, resident was 3:18 off the women’s record.

Organizers say this is the second year in a row and fourth time in the last five years that Colorado runners have won the men’s and women’s races.

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