Former World Mountain Running champion and former Manchester Central cross country runner Kasie Enman will lead a host of competitors with local connections in the 54th edition of the Northeast Delta Dental Mount Washington Road Race.
The 7.6-mile uphill race begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at the base of the Mount Washington Auto Road on Route 16 north of Pinkham Notch.
Three other notable female runners in the field along with Enman are Larisa Dannis of Strafford, Diana Davis of Exeter and Abbey Woods of Laconia.
Kasie Enman, a resident of Huntington, Vt. who graduated from Central in 1997, became the first American woman to win the World Mountain Running Championship three years ago in Albania. Her time was 40:39 over the 8.59 kilometer course and she won the race by one minute, eight seconds. Enman has also had two third place finishes in the Mount Washington Road Race, those coming in 2011 and 2012.
In 2012 Enman, a former cross country All-America from Middlebury (Vt.) College, finished fifth in the Loon Mountain Race in Lincoln. She was 28 seconds shy of earning one of the top four spots on the women’s United States Mountain Running team. She did qualify for the team in 2010 and 2011. In 2006, Enman won the United States snowshoe racing championships and ran 2:37 to finish 11th in the 2008 Olympic trials marathon.
Dannis, just 26-years-old, was the second fastest female from New Hampshire to finish this year’s Boston Marathon, posting an impressive time of 2:44:14.
Last year in the Mount Washington Road Race, Dannis was the Crossan Cup winner after becoming the top female finisher from New Hampshire. She placed seventh among all women in 1:26:59.
On the men’s side, brothes Justin Freeman of New Hampton and Kris Freeman of Thornton will try to become the first New Hampshire runners to cross the finish line. Justin, 37, an Olympic Nordic skier, was the top Granite State runner last year in the Mount Washington Road Race. He placed eighth overall in 1:06:52 to win the Crossan Cup.