MacLaughlin and Gray lead record field at Loon Mountain Race

Joseph Gray won his 14th USATF National Championship by over a minute and set the fastest ever time on Upper Walking Boss. Allie MacLaughlin won her second USA Track & Field Mountain Running Championships en-route to making her third US Mountain Running Team. The 6.6-mile course climbs 3200 feet and includes grades of up to 48%.

Allie MacLaughlin winning the Loon Mountain Race.

The 13th annual Loon Mountain Race was host to a trio of championship events; the USATF Mountain Running Championship, the North American, Central American and Caribbean (NACAC) Mountain Running Championship and Collegiate Mountain Running Championship. Also open to all runners, 1051 athletes registered for the event which boasted a nearly 50 percent female participation rate thanks to a partnership with Trail Sisters.

Joseph Gray winning the Loon Mountain Race.

Yet another race within the race took place with $1500 in prime money courtesy of Northeast Delta Dental, awarded to the 3 fastest men and women up Upper Walking Boss, the final half mile to the finish boasting 700 feet of ascent. Gray and McLaughlin set the fastest times in 7:04 and 8:20 respectively. Allie’s time was also the 8th fastest overall Upper Walking Boss time of the day.

Top 5 men at the Loon Mountain Race.

The Loon Mountain Race also served as the sole selection race for the US Mountain Running Team comprised of 4 men and 4 women who will compete for the United States at the 34th World Mountain Running Championships in Canillo, Andorra on September 16. In addition to Gray (50:28) and McLaughlin (57:45), athletes making the team include 2nd place American finishers Andy Wacker (51:49) and Addie Bracy (1:00:26), 3rd place American finishers David Fuentes (51:56) and Annie Bersagel (1:01:19) and 4th place American finishers Matt Daniels (52:37) and Kasie Enman (1:02:50).

Top 4 women at the Loon Mountain Race. (Photo by Tim Van Orden)

In the NACAC Mountain Running Championships Gray and McLaughlin took overall top honors. 2nd place went to Mexico’s Citlali Cristian (59:11) and American Andy Wacker. 3rd place NACAC finishers were Mike Popejoy (55:51) and American Addie Bracy. In the NACAC team event, the top 2 male runners and top 3 female runners from each team scored with the Americans winning the men’s and women’s titles. Canada took the silver medal position for men and women’s teams. El Salvador took team bronze in the men’s team race while there wasn’t another full team on the women’s side.  This was the first year athletes from El Salvador competed in this championship. According to their coach Pamela Allie-Morrill, “WOW, the boys did awesome and I am so proud of them! They did it….they made history, they are the first outside USA, Mexico, y Canada to compete in the NACAC Mountain Running Championships.”

Kelsey Allem grinds it out on Upper Walking Boss.

In the Collegiate Mountain Running Championships the top 3 men were Austen Dalquist (9th overall), Drew Best (19th overall) and Peter Bulter (22nd overall). The top 3 collegiate women were Addie Bracy (2nd overall), Amber Zimmerman (11th overall) and Kassandra Marin (16th overall). According to Jon Molz from the Collegiate Running Association (CRA), “The CRA continues to be grateful for the support of all those associated with putting on the Loon Mountain Race. We had another great morning at Loon, with wonderful weather, competition, spectators, and organization. It’s a top notch event that continues to grow each year and we are proud to be part of that growth, having hosted our championships here three times.”

The Loon Mountain race was also part of the USATF New England Mountain Running Series and included awards for juniors and 5-year masters’ age groups. USATF Age Group Winners:

Female 40-44, Leslie O-Dell, 42, Albany, NH, 1:12:40
Male 40-44, Justin Freeman, 41, Campton, NH, 58:07
Female 45-49, Christin Doneski, 47, Hopkinton, NH, 1:07:18
Male 45-49, Chris Grauch, 45, Nederland, CO, 56:49
Female 50-54, Kelly Brown, 54, Lewiston, ME, 1:19:35
Male 50-54, Dave Dunham, 54, Bradford, MA, 1:01:47
Female 55-59, Suzy West, Brattleboro, VT, 1:20:36
Male 55-59, Warren Angell, Chepachet, RI, 1:13:14
Female 60-64, Bonnie Stoeckl, Pequea, PA, 1:28:48
Male 60-64, Stephen Reed, Penacook, NH, 1:12:10
Male 65-69, Richard Larsen, Shelburne, MA, 1:14:37
Male 70-74, Gene Fahey, Holderness, NH, 1:35:25
Male 75-79, Peter Orni, Ashburnham, MA, 1:53:45

Athletes were subject to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) certified drug testing after the race. Those athletes were Joseph Gray, Andy Wacker, David Fuentes, Allie MacLaughlin, Addie Bracy and Annie Bersagel. This is the first time there has been WADA certified testing at a USATF Mountain, Ultra and Trail Running Race.

WADA certified anti-doping testing station at the Loon Mountain Race.

863 athletes finished the race including 447 men and 415 women.

Find complete results for the 2018 Loon Mountain Race and USATF Mountain Running Championships here:

Photos of the 2018 Loon Mountain Race:

Photos by Joe Viger and 3 other professional pool photographers can be found here.

Photos by USATF LDR Chairperson Michael Scott can be found here and here.

Joseph Gray on Upper Walking Boss. Photo by Michael Scott.