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Sunday, April 23, 2006 -- Hopwood, PA
Mount Summit Challenge (iPO Event Id#: 7311)
Summit Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003] [2004] [2005]

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results] [Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]
[Set 10] [Set 11] [Set 12] [Set 13] [Set 14] [Set 15] [Set 16] [Set 17]

Story and Photos by Jason Black

Photo by Jason Black
Cool and calm before the climb
Part of Fayette County, Hopwood, Pennsylvania is known for it's nearby attractions. World famous Frank Lloyd Wright designed homes such as Fallingwater and Kentuck Knob are a short drive away. Ohiopyle State Park, Laurel Caverns, and Nemacolin Woodlands Resort are all in close proximity. Just in between Pittsburgh and the Laurel Highlands, Hopwood sits in the perfect location.

This town, rich with history and tradition boasts of a 23-year old mountain race up historic Route 40, a national roadway. U.S. Highway 40 is an east-west United States highway. As the "0" in its route number suggests, US 40 was once a coast-to-coast route, stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. In 1926, the U.S. 40 Association promoted the highway as "The Main Street of America."

Photo by Jason Black
Strike a pose...
Over 400 runners and walkers challenged Mount Summit in Hopwood, a town of only 2,006 full-time residents of it's own. The race has become a local icon, starting at the Fire Department in town, the course heads uphill 1,200 feet on Route 40, and ends at the top of a 3.5-mile steep climb in the Historic Summit Inn parking lot. First opened to the public in 1907, the mountaintop landmark features a unique panoramic porch view of 5 counties.

Greensburg, PA runner, Bill Fisher finished 5th last year. This year, he tied last years winning time of 25:37 and took home first place honors. Overall 2005 winner, Geo Toomey (25:46), claimed 2nd this year. Evan Beach (26:13), climbed the finish ladder from a 4th place in '05 to 3rd in '06.

Photo by Jason Black
Jeff Pawlak, quote of the day
Julie Lipnikas of Smithfield, PA finished first for the women in 31:13. Lisa Cimbala (31:38), finished 2nd. Cimbala was 3rd in the women's overall last year. Debbie Conner (32:38), rounded out the top spots in 3rd.

Frank Mulich of Uniontown, PA was first overall in the 5K Walk with a 38:10. Don Slusserfollowed at 38: 23, and Donald Echard rounded things out in third at 38:56. Jamie Brooks finished fourth overall and first for the women with a time of 40:46.

Jeff Pawlak said it best at the end of the day, "It's one of those races that when you get to the top you're just happy you made it."

Special thanks to SERJ Racing Services for excellent results. Thanks to Jeff Pawlak for submitting extra photos (Set 17).