Robert H. Reid
Hall of Fame Class of 1975
Information submitted in a nomination letter to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame by Enzo Serafini, Ski Hall of Fame Committee.
Robert H. Reid was the first American-born athlete to puncture the myth of Scandinavian supremacy in Nordic ski competition. Reid performed brilliantly in cross-country events in the United States and Canada. His duels with John Satre, one of the ”ironmen” of the day and one of Europe’s best athletes, sprinkled the record books for nearly a decade.
Robert H. Reid was the 26-year-old langlaufer who won the national cross-country championship in 1924 at Brattleboro, Vermont. Before and after that signal triumph, he competed brilliantly in America and Canada against the era’s finest Nordic skiers.
A contemporary of Ski Hall of Famer, Alf Halvorson, Reid was born in the skiing stronghold of Berlin, New Hampshire on May 27, 1898. After serving a youthful apprenticeship in Nordic skiing and graduation from Berlin High in 1916, Reid began serious competition by entering the Canadian championships in Montreal in 1921. He finished ninth in the eleven-mile cross-country race.
In 1922, he came in second in ten and eight- mile races in Gorham, New Hampshire. In 1923, despite a dislocated shoulder, he was third in the 20-mile Mt. Washington race which was won by Rolf Monson. The following year, Reid won the Weeks Trophy in the Mt. Washington event, setting a new record in the process. Rupturing himself in the 1925 Vermont championship, in which he took second place, Reid was laid up for the remainder of the year.
In 1926, Reid won the 100-mile race from Portland, Maine to Berlin, New Hampshire. He came in second after John Satre in the Mt. Washington race that same year. He and Satre seesawed in their head-on competition. The 1927 national cross-country race at Steamboat Springs, Colorado saw John Satre edging Reid out for first place. The latter led the field in the Ottawa championship. John Satre won the eleven-mile Berlin cross-country championship of the same year with Reid in second place and Otto Satre in third. Reid won the Canadian cross-country championship.
Reid was known in his heyday for his remarkable endurance, gained from long and continuous tramps through the north country woods in his capacity as a surveyor for the American Realty Company.
While the 100-mile Portland-to- Berlin marathon was impressive because of the distance covered, the Mt. Washington race to Berlin was a grueling 23 miles. Entrants started at the Mt. Washington Halfway House and covered a tortuous up-and-down course en route. Reid’s record of 2 hours 55 minutes still stands. He capped his outstanding competitive ski career by winning a berth on the 1932 Olympic Ski Team at age 34 and running the 50-km cross-country event at Lake Placid. Afterward, he competed in races of less, local importance but retained enough zing to win the Berlin Club championships.
Robert H. Reid was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1975.
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