MIT Outing Club Wins 19-Mile Relay Race, Ignores Relay Aspect

The MIT Outing Club won the 4th annual intercollegiate Presidential Range Relay Race, a 19-mile race across New Hampshire’s rugged White Mountains last weekend.

Schools from across New England — including Tufts University, Brandeis University, Olin College, Northeastern University, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Vermont, and the University of Connecticut — participated in the race, organized by Tufts. Over 100 racers participated on thirteen teams. Two MIT teams competed: the Crazy Alpine Beavers and the Lucky Alpine Beavers.

On the winning Crazy Alpine Beavers team, which finished in 4 hours and 32 minutes and beat the nearest competitor by over 30 minutes, were Eric W. Gilbertson G, Matthew W. Gilbertson G, and Philip Kreycik. This was the second victory for Eric Gilbertson and Matthew Gilbertson, who were also on the winning team in the 2006 race. The Lucky Alpine Beavers came in fourth place with a time of 5 hours and 45 minutes and included team members Ian P. Tracy ’11, Rishi Gupta ’11, David M. Wentzlaff G, Tom Laakso, Stas Trufanov, Justin W. Butler G, and Scott B. Raymond G.

In previous years, the race course went over the mountains of the Presidential Range, but because of the high likelihood of bad weather, the race was held at Franconia Ridge instead. The course ascended a total of 6,000 feet along the way. Temperatures in the mid 40s, patches of rain and snow, and 40 mph winds on Franconia Ridge challenged the competitors.

Although all other teams chose to run the race as a three by six-mile relay race, the Crazy Alpine Beavers decided to complete the whole 19 miles without any exchanges.

The Crazy Alpine Beavers started near the end of the wave start but passed all other teams before the first exchange. The team maintained its pace to widen its lead through the end of the race, even beating the event organizers to the finish line.

Team Crazy Alpine Beavers plans to compete again next year to try for a third title.