One Big Hill
Mount Washington Road Race determines U.S. Mountain Running Team
Sage Canaday’s debut as a mountain runner was memorable. The two-time Olympic Marathon Trials participant and former member of the Brooks-Hanson Distance Project ...
Photo by Dennis Coughlin
Sage Canaday’s debut as a mountain runner was memorable. The two-time Olympic Marathon Trials participant and former member of the Brooks-Hanson Distance Project won the U.S. Mountain Running Championship Saturday at New Hampshire’s Mount Washington Road Race by over a minute. In the process, he qualified for his first U.S. Mountain Running Team (USMRT) and punched his ticket to the World Mountain Running Championship in Italy in September.
“My main goal was to finish in the top five,” says Canaday, who trained for the race by running on a treadmill with a steep incline setting. “Being in the lead was not part of my pre-race plan at all, but I figured that it might be a good strategy at that point. When I came through the halfway mark in just over 28 minutes, I was a little worried that my pace was too fast and that I might hit a wall before the finish line.”
Yet Canaday found his lead increasing as the finish approached. “By mile six, I did a little mental math and figured that as long as I kept my mile splits under 8:20 pace I would finish in under one hour,” he says. “The time goal became a huge motivator for me.”