Central Connecticut head men's and women's cross country and track coach Eric Blake finished ninth at the 2011 Mount Washington Road Race held on Saturday. Blake posted a time of 1:06:53 in the 7.6 mile race up Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
This year marked the seventh time that blake has competed in the race. The Mt. Washington Auto Road covers 7.6 miles of pavement and packed gravel, the road is completely uphill with the finish line at an elevation of 6,288 feet. In elevation the road ascends 4,727 feet between the starting gate and the finish line. The average grade of the course is 12% with the final 100 yards covering a grueling 22% incline.
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Blake has been extremely successful in his first six trips up Mt. Washington. In 2004, he turned in a fourth place finish in his first start at the event. Since then Blake has run the race every year, except 2007. Blake's victories came in 2006 and 2008. He had been the runner-up the last two years and has a third silver medal from the 2005 race. He finished last year's race in 1:00.40 that was just one second off his personal best of 1:00.39 that he ran in his 2008 victory.
A veteran of the United States Mountain Running team, Blake has run some of the most difficult courses around the world.
The 2010-11 year marked Blake's first campaign as the women's coach at CCSU and his second in charge of the men's team. The women improved their team performance during each season this year while the men captured their second consecutive Northeast Conference Cross Country Championship. During the indoor season, Blake led the CCSU men to their first NEC Track Championship, only three years prior the team had finished last in the conference.