Friday, August 20, 2010

Pikes Peak Goals & the Big Race Weekend

Tomorrow marks the first day of the two-day Pikes Peakalooza down Manitou way. I'm doubling-up on the weekend, running the Ascent on Saturday and the Marathon on Sunday. I've been thinking a fair bit about goals for each race. The Ascent is where I intend to work the hardest, just taking what comes with the Marathon. That said, I still will bust my a** to get down the mountain as fast as I can on Sunday.

The trail from Manitou Spring to the top of Pikes Peak is on the Barr Trail

For the Ascent, I want t break three hours. Missed it by seven minutes last year, after blowing up at Barr Camp. I hope I learned a few things from that experience and will ease up through the Ws and on the short, steep climb out of No Name Creek. Great post from GZ on Pikes Peak lessons learned here. I intend to take those lessons to heart and see what happens.

On the Marathon, I think I predicted a finishing time of 4:45 when I registered. I completely pulled that time out of thin air in the rush to register. I had never even thought about it. I ran up and down the mountain in July in 5:07, starting about a half-mile from the official start line (and jumped on the Barr Trail at the official trailhead, pausing a number of times to take pictures). So, we'll see how close to 4:45 I can get.

My most ambitious race-weekend goal is a bit more daunting, a challenge that may test my mettle in ways it has never before been tested. I want to have a least one of my Marathon Foto race pictures feature yours truly running with his mouth closed! I know this may sound daunting, but what the hell, goals should require pushing one's limits, eh?

The Weekend

This weekend is probably Colorado's biggest trailrunning race weekend all year. Between Leadville, the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon and the start of the three- and six-day TransRockies stage race, a lot of folks I know and follow will be running and putting it all out on the line. Good luck to all the runners testing their mettle in the glorious hills of Colorado.  Some of the folks I'll be following:


Brandon F. - Pursuing the big buckle granted to sub-25 hour finishers at the Leadville 100. Got to be one of the most organized and mentally ready 100-mile rookies out there.

JT - He and Brandon have been trash-talking all summer on who will finish. A great bit of competitive drama to add to the drama of getting oneself across 100 miles of roads and trails at over 10K elevation.

Tim W. - The best trained guy around. Can he keep his head in the race and use that training to bust out an impressive finish in his debut 100-miler?  I say yes.

Tony K. - Back to Leadville, no doubt in pursuit of a course record. It should be cooler out this year.

Shad M. - Looking to complete his first 100-miler, after dropping at 76 miles at last year's Leadville 100.

And, there's a host of talented runners out pacing at Leadville this year, each also will have great stories to tell, including Todd G., Footfeathers and JP.

Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon

Nick C. - Big year. Now, off to the Pikes Peak Marathon. A strong race is assured. How high will he place?

GZ - No one better articulates the lure of Pikes Peak than George. He's taken a more Zen (for him) approach to the race this year. Will that translate to a PR and no trips to the medical tent?

JV - Remarkable mountain runner whose easy jogs up Boulder's Green Mountain's best my tongue-dragging PR by multiple minutes. Doesn't race too much. Will he exceed his own expectations?

Jim M. - He's doubling at Pikes again this year.  Great PR on the Ascent last year.  More to come this year.

Woody - a fellow newbie(ish) to the ultrarunner world. Been running well all summer and is looking to drop significant minutes from last years PPM time.

JM - Coming off a big American at the London Marathon, pacing Nick C. to an amazing finish at Western States. There's a lot of competition in the PPM this year. Will all the road running translate again into a top-five finish at the PPM?

So many good little time. Good luck to everyone!


  1. Good luck, give me a shout down there.

  2. Jim - I think your ascent PR / marathon goal are in the bag....not so sure about the mouth closed photos. :)

    I know I'll see you down there but I'll say it here as well. Best of luck this weekend....I know you'll kick ass!!

  3. JM - will look for you.

    Jim M. - Many thanks. See you both days!

    GZ - that sounds familiar.

  4. May you travel swiftly with clean shorts.

  5. Congrats Jim! 2:56:30...way to smash that goal time!

  6. Thanks, Woody! Was that you that called my name just a bit up from the start?

  7. I wish it was me. I'm getting antsy to be around all the action! Well done and congrats on the AG award!