'M' Mountain Run Official Winners Announced

SOCORRO, N.M. November 4, 2010 -- The official results from the 'M' Mountain Run have been released.
Paint The M Results

The Top 20 Students
(Groups and Individuals)
These results include only those who carried a a full 50-pound bag of marble
Individuals   Times
1. Garrett McKee*    1:03
2. Phillip Martinez*    1:16
3. Marcus Chavez*    1:20
4. Sean Martinez    1:21
5. Zachary Speer    1:21
6. Will Reiser    1:22
7. Jacob Douglass    1:22
8. Fred Hanson    1:22
9. Ben Bean    1:25
10. Daniel Nava    1:27
11. Will Ross    1:28
12. Eric Angelos    1:30
13. William Roger Frankland    1:30
* Earned cash bonus, above the $50 award.

The top finishing teams:
1. The Nerdys*       
    Rob Aumer    0:56
    Gunter Leguy    1:08
2. Unnamed Team*       
    William Kessler    1:02
    Garth Rohr    1:02
3. Breen Bros*       
    David Breen    1:09
    Daniel Breen    1:09
4. Sofa Kings       
    Lane Pablo    1:13
    Zach Taylor    1:13
5. Team Ω       
    Allen Erickson    1:19
    Adrian Blair    1:19
    Kent Carson    1:20
6. The 'A' Team       
    Travis Cannady    1:22
    Brian Stanley    1:22
7. 1א       
    Drew Uhlmann    1:29
    David Hunter    1:29
    Darrel Beckmann    1:29
    William Laub    1:29
* Earned cash bonus, above the $50 award.

Overall Top Finishes
1. Rick Aster    43 minutes
2. Robert Gonzales    51 min
3. Erik County    55 min
4. Rob Aumer*    56 min
5. Lewis Gillard    56 min
6. Andy Heid    57 min
7. Peter Mozley    58 min
8. William Kessler    1:02
9. Garth Rohr    1:02
10. Garrett McKee*    1:03
* Carried marble

SOCORRO, N.M. October 24, 2010 -- A record number of Techies made the arduous hike up 'M' Mountain on Sunday morning to give the 'M' its annual facelift. More than 280 students, faculty, alumni and community members gathered at EMRTC at 8 a.m. to join the traditional closing event for 49ers weekend.

Dr. Van Romero, a Tech graduate and current vice president of research, welcomed the hikers and thanked them for the record turnout.  Romero caused a stir earlier this year by suggesting the 'M' be changed to a 'T'. That publicity apparently worked in energizing the Tech community to help maintain the 'M' and participate in the annual event.

Most students showed up in appropriate hiking apparel, but a few showed up in Mardi Gras costumes or kilts. Many of the hikers were first-time participants, but others are regulars. Alumnus Lewis Gillard made the hike for the 11th time. He said he remembered makign the trek in the late 1990s when only 20 people braved snowy weather to climb the mountain.

More than 50 people lugged 50-pound bags of crushed marble to the 'M' just beneath the summit of Socorro Peak. Once at the university's iconic letter, the hikers spread the marble on the rocks, giving the 'M' a shiny new finish. Dr. Jeff Johnson, geophysics professor, carried 100 pounds of ballast. His colleague Dr. Rick Aster, chair of the Earth and Environmental Science department, was the first to reach the 'M', clocking in at 43 minutes. The hike is roughly two miles, with an elevation change of about 2,000 feet.

The fastest 20 individuals and teams (full-time students only) earn $50, with the top three in each category getting additional cash prizes. Complete results are being verified this week and will be released Friday. All participants received a commemorative T-shirt, an ample lunch and the satisfaction of having completed Tech's most arduous extracurricular activity.

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A throng of mostly students in line to register at 8 a.m.
The Search and Rescue Club ready for action
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Hikers gather for a pre-climb briefing The 'M'
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Dr. Van Romero (left) prepares for the countdown Students grab their bags of marble dust.
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The bags don't look big, but they weigh 50 pounds. The faithful students prepare for the trek.
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50 pounds is heavy when you hike two miles straight up The final touch -- strapping on your weight
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A record turnout for the 'M' Mountain Run. ... and they're off
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Hiking through cactus Dr. Rick Aster, this year's first finisher
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Only two miles left to go It's called a "run", but it's really a hike
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Watch out for rattle snakes We're going up there?
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Party time! Hikers fan out across the first incline
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Techies reaching for the summit. Aster approaching welcome center
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Lewis Gillard makes his 11th 'M' Mountain Run Almost there
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The penultimate climb The line of climbers spread out near the top
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Hot, tired and exhausted ... with one final climb
The masses reach the 'M'
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The first few climbers relax and enjoy the view The final climb is the steepest and most brutal
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Welcome to the 'M', folks Celebrating its 99th birthday ... 'M' Mountain

Photos by Thomas Guengerich/New Mexico Tech