Eric Blake Finishes Second at Annual Mount Washington Road Race

It's become an annual ritual for head men's track and cross country coach Eric Blake. The Mount Washington Road Race, a 7.6 mile race straight up Mount Washington in New Hampshire, celebrated its 50th anniversary last Saturday, June 19, and Blake celebrated with a second place finish. The race is 4,650 vertical feet from start to finish. Blake's second place finish is his fifth top-two finish in the last six years (he did not run in 2007). His time of 1:00:40 was one second behind his best time at the annual race. His finish qualifies him as a member of Team USA at the World Mountain Running Championships in Slovenia on Sept. 5.

Blake also finished second in the race in 2009. He won the race in 2008 with a personal best time of 1:00:39. He also won the race in 2006 with a time of 1:01:09. Blake has competed at Mount Washington six times since 2004. He finished fourth in 2004, second in 2005, 2009 and 2010 and first in 2006 and 2008. He has qualified to compete as a member of Team USA at the World Mountain Running Championships five times. This year's team will compete in Slovenia. In the past Blake and his teammates have competed in Italy, New Zealand, Turkey and Switzerland.

It's been an eventful year for Blake, both racing and coaching. He recently finished sixth at the Litchfield Hills Road Race on June 13 in a tune-up race for Mount Washington. He posted a time of 35:49 on the 7.04 mile race. His finish was featured in the Hartford Courant in an article by Lori Riley, who also followed Blake to Mount Washington to report on the race. On the coaching front Blake led the Blue Devils to their first-ever Northeast Conference cross country title in 2009. Central will host the 2010 NEC men's and women's cross country championships on Oct. 30 at Stanley Quarter Park in New Britain. He also led the Blue Devils to a program-best third place finish in the 2010 NEC Outdoor Track Championships in May.