August 18, 2002
Teen falls short of record but garners big praise
By Kurt Eilmes Special to The Gazette
Not because the 38-year-old Carpenter is bored with his recent domination of any running event on Pikes Peak. But because he believes the fourth-place finisher, 19-year-old Andy Dimmen, has a brighter future than Carpenter's present.
"I wish I was really like lil' Andy, we all call him lil' Andy," Carpenter said. "Training for this event we had 38 Sunday long runs. He goes to school up in (Golden) and he still made it to 36 of them. I never had that kind of dedication."
Dimmen, a graduate of Wasson High School and student at the Colorado School of Mines, trained for this year's Ascent with several goals as motivation.
First of all, he coveted breaking the 16-19 age-group record, which was set by Dave Casillas in 1976. Dimmen also wanted to improve on consecutive 11th-place finishes.
While he missed the former by five minutes, Dimmen did accomplish the later, finishing in fourth place with a time of two hours, 27 minutes and 43 seconds.
"I kind of died in at the end. ... I ran a little too hard," Dimmen said moments after crossing the finish line. "I think I started out at a 2:20 pace but I lost it a little bit. I expected to be a little faster but I'm pleased."
And so is his mentor - Carpenter.
"Andy was shooting for the oldest record in the book but didn't quite get it," Carpenter said. "But he's 19, he has a long way to go, but he's also so far ahead. I think big things await him because the only thing better than talent is dedication and he's got it."
"It's an honor for him to call me his mentor," he added. "Because in a strange way, he was the one pushing us this year."
Dimmen not only considers Carpenter his mentor but his training partner and friend as well.
"That's why I train with him on the incline club," Dimmen said. "He tries to help me along. I guess he wants to groom me to take over after him."
Not only take his place, Carpenter said, but surpass him.
"I'm hoping he's a guy who sticks around and takes all the records ... and someday goes under two hours," Carpenter said. "A lot of kids his age, the last thing they think about is running two or three hours a day. But Andy does. He gives me some hope for the future of the sport."
Copyright 2002, The Gazette, a Freedom Communications, Inc. Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.