For the first time, the Mount Washington Road Race has two winners.
Brittni Hutton of Lubbock, Texas, and Heidi Caldwell of Craftsbury Common, Vt., crossed the finish line Saturday in one hour, 16 minutes and 17 seconds Saturday at the 59th run up the Mount Washington Auto Road.
The computer chips the competitors wore confirmed the tie, as did a video review.
Hutton, 29, was seeing the ultra-steep auto road for the first time. Taking the lead at the start, she ran alone for most of the race and was leading Caldwell by half a minute with the mountain’s 6,288-foot summit in her sights. Caldwell, however, a two-time Ivy League 5,000-meter champion at Brown University, caught Hutton at the foot of the 22 percent grade in the final 50 yards.
“I had no idea she was that close until she was right there behind me,” said Hutton, herself a former all-American at Oakland University in Michigan. “I saw her, and it was like lightning struck. I told myself I could do it.”
Kim Nedeau, 39, of Leverett, Mass., was third, finishing in 1:16.49. Kassandra Marin, 29, of Merrimack, finished fourth, in 1:18.54.
Eric Blake, 42, of West Hartford, Conn., won the men’s race, besting Francis Kamiri of Kenya by more than a minute.
“I went out slow today,” said Blake, who finished in 1:02.52, and who won this race in 2006, 2008 and 2013 and was runner-up last year. “I wanted to be smart. I thought if (Kamiri) could run 61 minutes he could win. When I passed him, he didn’t give up, and you never count someone like that out.”
Kamiri, who like Hutton was seeing Mount Washington for the first time, gave a thumbs up to spectators on the upper slopes as he held his pace and took the runner-up prize in 1:03:51. “I will come back next year,” he said.
Lee Berube of Syracuse, N.Y., who finished fourth here last year, and Nadir Cavagna, of San Pellegrino, Italy, a Mount Washington first-timer, traded places back and forth for five miles of the race before Berube passed Cavagna for the last time and ran on to third place in 1:05:44. Cavagna, fourth in 1:06:30, was well ahead of Nick Aguila, 29, of Manchester, who reached the summit in 1:09:41.
Aguila and Kassandra Marin won the Crossan Cup, awarded to the top male and female finishers from New Hampshire.