DERRY — For nearly two decades, avid runner Craig Fram has been a man of the tallest mountain in New Hampshire. Now, he’s a Hall of Famer.
The 55-year-old runner has competed in the 7.6-mile Mount Washington Road Race regularly, taking top honors and setting several records along the way.
He has also earned $10,920 in prize money since 1995, the most won since the race started its annual run in 1961, race publicist John Stifler said.
His name will soon join those on the Mount Washington Road Race’s Hall of Fame.
“He was an easy choice,” Stifler said. “It’s great to watch him run. You see terrific concentration in his face.”
Road races are common throughout New England, but few pit runners against gravity from the starting line to the finish, Stifler said.
That takes special conditioning — even though Fram says he doesn’t do much ahead of race day. He did nothing to prepare for his first year.
“I went up with absolutely no idea what to expect. I had never run a mountain race before,” Fram said. “I remember warming up for the race, looking around. There were different faces than I was used to run against, and I decided to run against Dave Dunham.”
Fram and Dunham, a Bradford, Mass. resident, have a history. They were on the same running team for years leading up to the race, and Dunham had recruited Fram to run Mount Washington that year, Fram said.
In fact, they crossed the finish line holding hands, a symbolic move to force a tie for second place. Judges ultimately handed the runner-up cup to Fram because he “finished a nose” ahead of Dunham, Stifler said.
In 1996, Dunham finished second and Fram took fourth. Fram won the race outright in 1997.
After a three-year hiatus, in 2001, Fram ran at the age of 40, qualifying him for the masters age group of runners 40 years and older. His final time was 1:04:29, breaking the master’s record, set in 1962, by 27 seconds.