53 short stories from the 2003 Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

Rock line

Name: Keith Lonnquist

Marathon Goal: 6:30

301 47/110 Keith J Lonnquist 49 Colo Spgs CO 4:05:15 2:51:49 6:57:04

General Summary: More than a little bit slow this year. I got to the top 10-15min slower than expected, then had nothing left in my legs. Nothing. I had to walk about 10min down then start a long, slow “jog” to the finish. Distressing seeing 100+ runners pass me on the downhill.

Things Done Right: I did stay hydrated & fed. I took the start easy & stayed on my splits. And, as usual, so many runners go out too fast at the start. I passed dozens & dozens of ‘em on the way up past the W’s. And in spite of the slowness & fatigue, after the first 10min heading downhill, I did run all of the way to the finish.

Things Done Wrong: I cut back on 4 training areas this year: altitude training, overall volume, hill/speed work, and weight training. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know you don’t get or stay fast by remembering past years. It takes miles & miles.

Any Other Stuff: As always, the course & volunteers were great. My son Kenn set a PR on the Ascent & my daughter Eryn did the PPM for the 1st time!

Rock line

Name: David Hendrix

Ascent Goal: To be in the top 100

Results: 142nd over all men and women but PR by 5 minutes 3.19.51
128 32/194 David J Hendrix 39 Colo Spgs CO 3:19:51

General Summary: The race starts on Manitou Av. and leads up Barr Trail and ends at the top of Pikes Peak.

Things Done Right: The main thing to do right is to know your pace, the best way to do this is to train well. The 3 things that I did right would be first to get strong by running the hills and putting in the miles. The 2nd thing for me was to run at altitude and try to get accustomed to the thin air, I think even if a person drives to the top and spends time walking around will help but if you can run its always better. Lastly to keep in mind is to know your pace, don’t go out to fast I always have a tenancy to run too fast on MT. Manitou and by Barr camp I’m burned out.

Things Done Wrong: Things I did Wrong this year was getting hurt this slowed me down. I was stronger this year but I think should have done more training on speed running. The week prior I should have taken vacation from work, I needed the rest.

Any Other Stuff: A GREAT race Look forward to next year.

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Name: Duane Rorie (virtual ICer)

Ascent Goal: 3:15 — 3:30

69 12/142 Duane D Rorie 34 Fort Collins CO 3:07:25

General Summary: Overall was really pleased with my results. Didn’t believe that I could run faster than 3:15. Only was able to train 3 to 4 days a week on average. Plan on continue training and having a faster time next year. Must beat my PR Ascent time of 2:56 that I ran in 1996!

Things Done Right: Training: Did 4 runs on the Barr Trail (1 a week for the 5 weeks preceding the race) starting from Elk Park and running to the Summit or parking on the summit and running down to Timberline and back up.
Race day: Brought bottle of Gatorade and a flask of Cliff Shot Gel. Sucked down most of bottle and about 4 servings of Gel. Drank plenty of water at the aid stations. Ran with a really positive attitude, and if/ when I walked, then I didn’t get bent out of shape about it. Felt tired but otherwise really good at the summit. Wasn’t nauseated!

Things Done Wrong: Training: Could have benefited from higher mileage and runs longer than 3 hours. Was injured this spring and lost a lot of training time and miles to recovery time.
Job: Worked a lot of hours this summer that cut into my training time.

Any Other Stuff:

Rock line

Name: Karen Smidt

Marathon Goal: Better than last year (5:49)

Results: Worse than last year
28 7/35 Karen J Smidt 36 Brighton CO 3:54:31 2:04:03 5:58:34

General Summary: Perfect day for a PR. Weather was beautiful, competition was tough, and I had to spoil it all by going against the wisdom of all who ran the mountain before me...
Things Done Right: I ran more mileage than last year (average of 39 vs 25 over six months). I shaved 6 minutes off of my GOG race and 4 minutes off of the Summer Roundup. I spent a lot more time at altitude and on trails.

I used the pace calculator for most of my PP workouts leading up to the race and was always right on. Using the calculator, I was able to target the middle miles of my training long runs (between Barr Camp and A Frame)and nail them without much effort. I also did a few 3-2-1 workouts from the top where I easily maintained the calculated pace for a 3:30 ascent.

I learned that it’s okay to have a bad race even if it’s one you’ve been focusing on for over 6 months. There’s always next year...

Things Done Wrong: I didn’t run enough miles to race a marathon (uphill no less). I didn’t taper.
AND I didn’t listen to Matt’s #1 rule about running the mountain--DON’T GO OUT TOO FAST! Actually, I’m not really sure that the pace was too fast for me considering I was in much better shape than last year, but I will admit that it was too fast for that particular day in August. Against Jack & Glenn’s judgment, I ran a marathon 4 weeks before Pikes Peak. Although I ran it at training pace, I think the pavement plus humidity took a larger toll on me than I had expected. I didn’t feel as fresh as I should have for the PP marathon and I didn’t listen to my body when it was telling me that it wasn’t ready for anything spectacular. With this said, I should have backed off of my quest for a sub 3:30 ascent (I ran a 3:47 last year).

I was really excited to PR knowing how much hard work I put into my training, but I should have known something was not right when I had trouble even hiking the top three miles the week before the race. It was then that I should have re-evaluated my goal.

Come race day I was right on, if not a bit faster, than the calculated pace. It didn’t feel as smooth as it had in training, but I attributed that to nerves. When I got to Barr Camp, I was exactly on pace and feeling okay, so I was shocked when I lost 3 minutes at Bottomless Pit. Thinking it was a fluke, I pushed on but continued to lose time as we climbed. The mental blow was too much for me as I watched more and more women stream past me on the top 3 miles. I felt so awesome last year at this point in the race that it was almost inconceivable to be going through the dreaded death march. I managed to push through my unexplained misery and reached the top in 3:56--almost a full 10 minutes slower than last year. I was about 50th woman to reach the top before we turned around for the return trip.

I played it smart and didn’t try to hotdog it down the mountain because I knew I had already blown my chance at a PR. I did manage to make up a lot of places (from 50th to 28th), but it was only good for a 5th place in my age division. I finished about 9 minutes slower than last year and just squeaked under 6 hours.

Any Other Stuff: It’s good to take risks to see what they may yield, but it’s equally good to learn from any mistakes those risks reveal.

Rock line

Name: Matt Carpenter

Marathon Goal: Asc < 2:15:44 became < 2:13:29, Mar < 3:46:33, Win

Results: Asc 2:14:42, Mar 3:43:46, Won
1 1/87 Matt Carpenter 39 Manitou Spgs CO 2:14:42 1:29:04 3:43:46

General Summary: One of the hardest parts of doing Pikes this year was figuring out which race to run. While I wanted to “mix it up” against some of the runners in the Ascent at age 39 this was my last chance to get an age-group record in the marathon. I toyed with the prospect of another double but that would pretty much eliminate any chance of a marathon age-group record so thankfully I did not have to think about that too long. In the end, I choose the marathon because marathoners can set records for the ascent, as well as get bragging rights by besting the ascent runners from the day before.

The next issue of course was to figure out how to train with Kyla now in our family. Yvonne saved the season here by doing her harder runs on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday so I could do mine on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. This was a team effort for sure. Aside from those three days just about all my runs were with Kyla. In fact, I had a few weeks where I ran 14 times with 11 of them pushing a baby jogger. While this does nothing for one’s speed it does build up some strength or at least that is what I convinced myself. I did this type of running from June on. Before that I was mainly relying on the club runs for the bulk of my mileage. One thing to note was the paper said I ran to the summit 30 times. I wish! I thought he asked me how many times I ran on the Barr Trail and so I took a guess at the number of Thursdays and Sundays I did on it. In reality I did 6 summit runs and 7 runs from Elk Park or the summit working on the top miles. I was fairly pleased with that esp when my summit runs started getting faster than what I ran to win the Ascent last year:-) However, as is almost always the case, I went into the race wishing I had done more and had more time.

I had to tweak one of my goals by a couple of minutes the day before the race after the age-group record got lowered during the Ascent. I took splits along for a 2:12 to give me about a 1.5 minute cushion on the new 2:13:29 record. By Hydro Street I had already lost 10 of them, by the top of the Ws I was down 31 and I was off 47 at No Name. Over half my cushion was gone and I was only 30% up the mountain. It was not going well! However I dared not try to pick up the pace because I was paying the price of my stupidity (see things done wrong). I was really getting down so I did a little trick I have done before and I reached out and touched a tree and left all my negative thoughts on that tree and just relaxed.

I started to feel pretty good through the flats and without trying when I got to Barr Camp I was back down to just 34 seconds off — or still about a minute ahead of record pace. The reversing trend was short lived however and I began losing time again; 48 seconds off at the BP sign and 1:25 off at the A-frame. This meant I was then only 4 seconds ahead of the Ascent record pace. It was also at this point I started to worry about having enough gas in the tank to get back down so I was for sure not about to start pressing it. When I got to 2 to go I was 1:58 off 2:12 pace which also meant I was 28 seconds behind the course record. My cushion had vanished in the thin air however I just could not stop dwelling on the downhill. I lost another 32 seconds on the 2 mile so with one mile to go I needed a 12:34 to get the record. This was doable in the Ascent but in the end the new record holder had the one thing going for him that I did not — he was able to tell himself that the finish was at the top. I kept thinking back to 1992 when I hammered the last mile for the Ascent record where I passed out momentarily. After that I had one of the longest days of my life as Ricardo Mejia passed me near Bob’s Road and from there to the finish I lost 20 freaking minutes on him as I stumbled down the mountain while he was setting the Marathon record!!!

I played it safe and cruised the top mile in 13:47 which I was rather pleased about since 2:12 pace required a 13:36. My time was 2:14:42 — 1 minute and 13 seconds off the new age-group record. I am pretty happy about that time all things considered and I am really jazzed to have run negative splits to/from Barr Camp with a 1:07:37 bottom and a 1:07:05 top:-) However I did not dwell on time or the lost record during the race because the day was not over.

I grabbed a bottle of diluted Gatorade from Larry and down I went. I had about 3/4s of it gone by the basin aid station where soon after I crashed into a rock and dropped the bottle as I fought to keep from falling. That was close but things were about to get worse. I had more problems passing uphill runners than in past years. While everyone was very nice and courteous with several apologizing profusely they just were not getting out of the way fast enough and it was getting frustrating because I could not maintain a rhythm. Little did I know that there were about 80 more runners in the race from two years ago. It would be interesting to know if the TCR did this on purpose or if they overcompensated for the low numbers from last year’s fire year. Either way, I came to a complete stop about 6 times from the 2 mile mark to the Bottomless Bit sign and this has never happened before. Fortunately, I knew that I had a large lead and because of that the next runner would be going through the same thing unlike when the race is closer and the next 10 or so runners get a free path carved by the first runner. Things started to thin out fast after the BP sign and for the most part the rest of the trip down was uneventful. I did go through a panic session above No Name when one of the mile markers had me thinking I was going to miss the marathon record as well. However I used this as an excuse to pick up the pace and at the same time the clouds came out and for a welcome change from previous years it actually felt like it was getting cooler:-)

I finished strong and started a cool-down which I promised myself I would not forget and I actually felt really good!!! However as soon as I stopped and the various reporters started in on the interviews I got really dizzy and had to lay down for a while. I propped my feet up on a chair and just allowed my body to recover for a while. I felt pretty good by the time the next runner came in about 25 minutes later and it was awesome to see Angela and Erica finish! Great day with 2 out of my 3 goals accomplished. I firmly believe that if we reach all of our goals we are not setting them high enough.

Things Done Right:
- Quit thinking that my back injury was going to go away on its own and from the beginning of the season I have been treating it aggressively by getting frequent massages (thanks Dana) and doing a strict sit-up and back-up (laying on my stomach and lifting my head and back) routine. While it still acts up here an there it is almost a non issue:-)
- It felt a little warm race morning so I decided to start with a water bottle in my hand. I worked on it hard and finished it by about the 9th switchback where I just set it on the side of the trail and relied on the aid stations for the rest of the way up.
- I ate a gel about 5 minutes before most of the aid stations and then made sure to get a least one whole cup of water at each station.
- I kept working hard to get rid of the negative feelings I had about being off on my time goals on the way up.
- Did not go for it on the top

Things Done Wrong:
- OK, I hate to admit this but since we are supposed to share our stupidity with others I totally messed up my timing getting to the race! The end result is that I got there about 5 minutes before the start and did not get even 1 step of a warm-up in:-( I can flat out say that this was about as stupid of thing as one can do and I felt terrible for the first 30 minutes of the race! I am sure this cost me my ascent goal and there is simply no excuse for this kind of asinine mistake!!!!
- Did not go for it on the top

Any Other Stuff: On the way down just after Bob’s Road I actually started to think I was hallucinating in that I thought I saw Roger Recon walking towards me. Turns out others saw the duct tape wonder as well so I was not going crazy after all.

This year was just down-right exciting for me again:-) It was fun all year to speculate who was going to get let in on competitive entries and to train again out of fear — fear of the unknown! Well done to the new TCR!

Rock line

Name: Nicki Rosa

Ascent Goal:

54 13/115 Nicole E Rosa 43 Pueblo CO 3:48:04

General Summary: I had a great race, with the EXACT same time as 2000 and 2001. I may be slow, but at least I’m consistent! I always struggle with trying to go out as fast as possible, in order to avoid early traffic jams on the trail, and trying not to go out TOO fast in order to save myself for the top. As I’ve gotten older, my strategy is to take it easy, make sure I feel good all the way to the top, and be able to jump right back into Normal Life the next day with very little recovery time.

Things Done Right: Ate enough the morning of the race, but not too much. Was well rested for race, and didn’t go out too fast.

Things Done Wrong: Maybe went out a little too slow? Didn’t bring my own Gatorade.

Any Other Stuff: Everything was great at the aid stations, but I was disappointed to discover that there was no Gatorade above Barr Camp. I hope they had some for the round-trippers the next day. Please e-mail the race staff if this was a problem for you, so they can be sure to fix it next year.

Rock line

Name: Doug Laufer

Double Goal: Improve on last year cumulative time for the double; complete both races to hold or move up in overall races run

Results: Was 26 seconds slower than last year: 3:36:04; 5:54:00; have 27 total finishes, think that is third
216 9/100 Doug Laufer 50 Palmer Lake CO 3:36:04
128 8/68 Doug Laufer 50 Palmer Lake CO 3:41:17 2:12:43 5:54:00

General Summary: Went into race feeling prepared, best fitness level in several years. Some minor concerns: R foot Plantar Fasciitis; fractured left finger, minor strain R hamstring. For first time in many years did not were bottle belt, just pinned a few Gu’s to shorts. Plenty of aid stations did not miss belt. Did carry light gloves and ear band, did not use.
Felt fine at start of ascent, got out pretty good, but not too fast. Felt fine but not relaxed. Maybe pressing a little, people not effort driven (getting around folks going slow on W’s); time to No Name a bit slow (based on planned pace), bit disappointed. Felt OK going to Barr Camp split was off even more, then things started to unravel. Poor section (bad splits!) Barr Camp to A Frame, lots of walking, stomach which had been bit blah, started to bother me more. Hung in there, at A-frame seemed to click back in, last three miles passed by no one and passed 48 people (high times do pay off).
Tried to “reload” food and fluids adequately for Sunday. Felt pretty good (relatively speaking) Sunday morning, more relaxed. In general the mood/energy in the air Sunday morning is more relaxed — interesting contrast between Ascent and Roundtrip day, not unique to this year. Used bottle belt with Carbo Fuel, carried light gloves and ear band also carried Gu and some “ultra trail food” in belt (Gummi Bears hit the spot). Used gloves for first 3 downhill miles.
Sunday I started easy, walked the two steep sections on Ruxton — have never done that before — it paid off! Time to No Name slower — bit faster on section to Barr Camp, by A-frame ahead of Saturday’s pace. By top was 5 minutes slower than Saturday (3:41), lost 3 of the minutes above 16 Golden Stairs — attribute slowing on top to not “pushing” (saving for decent) and slowing for downhill runners, past by just a few and passed quite a few in top 3 miles. Feel if Sunday was another ascent only, with no concern about trip down, I would have been a couple minutes faster. The decent was about 12 minutes faster than last year — relaxed good pace until top of W’s then wheels came off — body out of gas, pace dropped way off — think I lost 4 or more minutes.
After roundtrip muscles were ok — could walk better than other years — just exhausted, no energy at all in body — not sure if need a little more over distance work or just need to figured out how to reload better or spread energy over both days better.

Things Done Right: Ran to level of fitness I think. Great taper J, good diet leading up to race, hydrated, early dinner early Friday (think that is good approach). Ok mileage base (compared to last year), adequate amount of time “up high.” Had number of nagging injuries early in season — consistent in doing strength & stretch work, as well as cross training which eliminated problems. On Ascent Day kept focus during bad stretch from Barr Camp to A-frame and had a pretty good last three miles. Ran easy early Sunday — paid off later.

Things Done Wrong: Last year I said I needed to do more quality work (run fast). I did not — so guess I still need to, can not expect to run fast if very limited number of fast training miles. My times have gotten much slower over the years, not sure how much is age, how much is that I do not train like I use to. Would like to try to train harder for a year and see what happens. [side note: there has been discussion in trail running community about developing age graded times for trail races, I have not been supportive of this concept, however I must say it would be interesting to have age graded tables for the Peak — there is plenty of data to utilize — would be interested in view of others].
Saturday it seemed I worried about something all the time; concerned about minor foot and hamstring problems, wondered if fractured finger would hurt a lot. Must have been concerned about splits because I kept looking at watch. Nothing really bothered me Saturday, except stomach was upset — think it was do to worrying about all those things that turned out to be non-issues. Sunday I was relaxed, no worries think I ran better and it felt easier. Lesson — so much of the effort is mental — relax and enjoy do not let concerns and negative thoughts get in the way of your effort.

Any Other Stuff: Comments on Peak split Calculator: Using 3:30 pace: Saturday about 3 minutes too fast, top of W’s; on pace from there until Barr Camp; was six minutes off pace (lost NINE minutes) at A-frame. On pace for last 3, netting a 3:36. I also looked at 3:20 chart — but it was clear early that was not going to happen.
Sunday — based on 3:30 again — on pace to Barr Camp; 3 minutes off at A-frame, lost another 8 minutes on top (time 3:41); 5 of the 8 were lost in last mile, attribute slowing on top to not “pushing” (saving for decent) and slowing for downhill runners. Decent was about a minute slower than average for a 3:30 ascent, was well ahead of “average” until top of W’s.

Rock line

Name: Jack Ramsey

Ascent Goal: 3.20

162 1/40 Jack C Ramsey 60 Manitou Spgs CO 3:28:15

General Summary: nice day, temp. in the mid 80’s for high, nice on top with a little wind.

Things Done Right: Hydrated properly, made sure to drink (actually get it inside me) at least two cups at each aid station, drank three at the top station. Took a total of three gels, one prior to race start, one at no name creek, one at Barr Camp, and one at A frame. Additionally, drank a full water bottle prior to race start, ran with an empty bottle to no name, filled it up there and used it to supplement the aid stations from there on.

Things Done Wrong: Went out too fast (as usual), two min. fast at 7.8, one min. fast at Barr Camp. Lost two min. from Barr to A Frame, and six min. on the top three miles as a result. Didn’t train enough to attain my goal, will have to work harder next year. Life is a trade off, had a great summer with my family. Total training deficit ytd vs last year was 93 miles. Might add those are not easy miles, but necessary to do well on the peak. Oh well, next year!!!

Any Other Stuff: Well organized race, great support for the runners. Kudos to the TCR board for their hard work. Thanks also for allowing elite runners to enter late, makes for a much more interesting race on Marathon day!

Rock line

Name: Mary Begemann (Vitural ICer)

Ascent Goal: 4:30

161 16/51 Mary Begemann 27 Kansas City MO 4:21:49

General Summary: This was my first time doing the Pikes Peak Ascent, or any trail race, for that matter. I didn’t really know what to expect, but it turned out to be a very challenging, fun race. I felt fantastic at the end, which is always a good sign.

Things Done Right: Trained hard in the Kansas City heat and humidity all through the summer, doing the majority of my mileage on hills. I came out nearly a week early to get some short runs in at altitude, but took plenty of time to rest also. The day before the race I loaded up on carbs as I have never loaded before, and it made a huge difference (though I really don’t know how I managed to consume all that food and beverage). I got good rest the night before the race and got up two hours early so I could have breakfast and kick around a bit to warm up before the race. I felt calm and relaxed the whole way up, and surprised myself with my time.

Things Done Wrong: I should have had another GU at the one mile to go mark, but I figured it was just one mile, so why bother? Consequently I had to allow myself a couple of ten second breaks before I made it to the finish. The biggest thing I did wrong, though, was after the race. I chose to change first as opposed to eat and drink first. Not smart! Luckily, I’d stuffed a big bag of chocolate teddy grahams into my duffel so I just sat on the floor for a minute mid-change and had a little snack.

Any Other Stuff: Everyone was so nice and encouraging--I will definitely be back next year. Thanks to all you locals for sharing your mountain with me!

Rock line

Name: Vicki Martin

Marathon Goal: Under 6 hours

Results: 6:09:38
33 3/29 Vicki K Martin 49 Colo Spgs CO 3:51:25 2:18:13 6:09:38

General Summary: What a great day for the Marathon. Calm and cool weather, even coming back down wasn’t too bad this year compared to the heat of the last two years. I felt strong although my right leg, from the knee upwards has been bugging me off and on all summer. I wasn’t worried about the uphill just the coming down. And as I had expected by the time I got through Barr Camp I was feeling it. Well, my time suffered (thought it would) but I really wanted to finish decently and I’m happy with 3rd in my age group and finished 1st in age group for Tri-Crown.

Things Done Right: Trained through the winter as much as possible. When my leg was bothering me, off to the gym for some cross-training to keep up the cardio. Took it easy a couple of days before the race, ate well, drank lots of liquids(notice I didn’t just say water). I felt ready to go!

Things Done Wrong: Probably should have had my leg looked at early on. But well you know..... This isn’t anything I did but, my very weird neighbor whom I really don’t know or want to know decided to call the Humane Society on my cat that night for no other reason than AmberSue was scratching at her door. Now... my cat comes home every night for almost 7 years and here it is 8pm, getting ready to settled down and my cat is NO WHERE...so calling her off and on all night, we’re both up and down and at 1am Steve goes for a drive to see, of course thinking she’s dead by a car or a fox has eaten her needless to say my sleep was very interrupted. Steve met me on Ruxton on my way down to say he found her at the pound, and she’s okay! I don’t know what to say about this but I guess life sometimes sucks and then you move on!!

Any Other Stuff:

Rock line

Name: Timothy Edwards

Double Goal: Completed my fifth consecutive “Double"

552 89/187 Timothy M Edwards 46 Florissant CO 4:13:39
312 48/110 Timothy M Edwards 46 Florissant CO 4:26:27 2:36:30 7:02:57

General Summary: Was down 3 months for Medical LOA — back trouble. The Physical Therapist got my legs “working properly” again quite late in the season. My goal was to “be able” to run / finish the Double.
Was surprised to see I beat my two prior years times.

Things Done Right: Trained w/full load of fluids (water -and- electrolyte)Remained consistent in my technique for both races and did not cramp.
Went down the mountain from the summit numerous times — a difficult part of the Double for my tired legs — which helped me a lot in the Marathon — I barely missed a new PR.
I had a good race both days.

Things Done Wrong: Job moved to Albuquerque in Nov: drove an old car 1,000 mi each week just to get to work — heck of a “commute.” That aggravated a functional problem in my lower back: legs were numb, feet were cold. Had to face the possibility of neurosurgery. Missed a lot of running time.

Any Other Stuff: Ran next to a girl who wore no shoes. She was really scooting along the trail — pretty amazing.

Rock line

Name: Fred Wright

Ascent Goal: 3:45

Results: 3.53:25
368 3/11 Fred R Wright 68 Manitou Spgs CO 3:53:25

General Summary: On race morning I didn’t feel like running, but once underway generally felt quite good, with one bad spell around the Cog (one mile?!), where I walked and talked myself into continuing.
Good splits through the Bottomless Pit sign, more towards a 3:50 rather than a 3:45, though. Gradually slipped back from there, with the last mile costing me with a 25 plus time.

Things Done Right: Consistent training.
Starting speed (fartlek) workouts about a month before the Thursday evening sessions.
CADENCE, CADENCE, CADENCE. Revising my running style to get quicker turnover and better cadence made an enormous difference, adding confidence through much faster training runs. Thanks, Matt!

Things Done Wrong: Because I can’t run the start quickly, I found myself expending a lot of energy passing people from the time we hit the Barr Trail proper, just trying to go forward, and keep a footing, on the slope at the edge of the trail.
Not enough sleep in the week prior to the race.
Breaking my left big toe in the BTMR. It got sore after a couple of hours.

Any Other Stuff: Great weather. The course was in good shape and pleasure to run on — as always!
A small criticism: some of the aide stations did not seem to have sufficient workers, and some were not trained to be out where the runners were. Result was lost time or drinks/food.

Rock line

Name: Valerie Prothe

Ascent Goal: 3:40-3:45

Results: 3:47
5316/103 Valerie J Prothe 39 Colo Spgs CO 3:47:12

General Summary: Overall, it was a great race. I felt good the entire time, but I could tell early on that I was having to push a little for each split and that 3:40 was most likely out (despite my desperate attempt to replace actual speed with gels and Gatorade). As I completely blew my Aframe split I knew that 3:45 was questionable, and that a 3:50+ Ascent time may be my fate! :-o However, I think this was the best I’ve ever felt on race day and I certainly can’t complain. Even had enough energy at the end to push a rather large, rather “out of it” man out of my way on the 16 Golden Stairs...that kinda felt good...oops, was that out loud?

Things Done Right: Pre race:
Had a good base of long runs that included high altitude. Got in plenty of hill workouts. Added a wee bit of speedwork this year (which helped significantly). Dropped some weight a month out. Carbo loaded a few days prior. Packed up everything the night before. Got plenty of rest.
Race Day:
Paced myself and let many runners (later turned hikers) blow past me at the start. Didn’t stress about being stuck behind hikers, just tried to spend the time recovering. Drank plenty of water and Gatorade. Ate gels and a few grapes.

Things Done Wrong: Maybe pushed a little too hard on the lower 4-5 mi (to make up for the slower hiker thingie parts), I think it cost me more time on the top than it saved on the bottom...yes I’ve heard Matt’s spiel on that whole matter...and yet, 5 years later, I continue to prove the theory....

Any Other Stuff: Felt very prepared and felt great!

Rock line

Name: Derek Griffiths

Ascent Goal: 2:50

90 12/89 Derek Griffiths 28 Denver CO 3:14:59

General Summary: Started out well, but things got bad. I only ran the ascent for 2 reasons. First, I am doing the Golden Gate Heardlands 50K on 8/23/2003 and thought it would not be wise to race down the peak one week before the USATF champs. Second, my wife was doing the marathon and she wanted me to pace her on the way down. That would have been difficult to do if I was doing the marathon.

Things Done Right: I trained with the Incline Club, so this got me ready to run uphill (which I am not very good at). I also did a lot of running at the Jeff Co parks with big hills (Mt. Falcon, Apex, Deer Creek). SO I felt confident that I could run the whole way. I did the BTMR and ran really well at that, so I thought I was in decent shape for the ascent.

Things Done Wrong: When I did the BTMR, I wore my racing flats so I thought I could get away with wearing the racing flats for the ascent. MISTAKE!!! I forgot how much more technical the trail is above Barr Camp and I paid for it. I stepped on a rock right after the 2 bridges before the Pit sign and it went right through what little padding there was on the balls of my feet. It felt like a stone bruise (which it turned out to be). However, after that, every little rock that hit that spot caused a sharp pain in the ball of my left foot. I decided at the Pit sign to bag it and just walk the rest of the way up from there so as not to cause any more damage. I went through Barr Camp in 82, which would have put me well under my goal. But, I finished in 3:15. Luckily, the next day, my foot was OK (nothing broken). I was able to run down with my wife (in trail shoes of course). We passed 92 people on the way down!!

Any Other Stuff: Next year, if I do the ascent, I am going to wear training shoes and not racing flats!

Gary Smedley

Marathon Goal: 6:15 (place in AG)

Results: 6:19 (3rd in AG)
191 3/16 Gary L Smedley 64 Colo Spgs CO 4:04:36 2:14:49 6:19:25

General Summary: Had a good race. Did not hit the wall or do a face plant! Race seemed very well organized and had very good water stops.

Things Done Right: Did not run out of energy. Took plenty of Hammer Gel with me. And munched on those yummy grapes! Choose not to carry water--but fine because there were plenty of water stops--and I did stop! Took a long sleeved shirt which was welcome above A-frame. Carbo loaded good prior to the race. Hit all my splits, except for the last mile (to crowded).

Things Done Wrong: I only did the ascent only once before race day. I should have done it many times starting as early in the season as possible. Will try not to make that mistake next year! This was my first PPM--wanted to make sure I could finish. Now I know about how much to save for the downhill.

Any Other Stuff: It was really crowded that last mile to the top, with runners going up and down. About all I could do was queue up and slowly walk to the top. Any passing was nearly impossible. Don’t know how to avoid that problem---maybe get there sooner (not likely)!!

Rock line

Name: Bud Reynolds (non ICer)

Double Goal: 4:00 Ascent, 6:30 Marathon

524 25/64 Benoni Reynolds 58 Colo Spgs CO 4:10:30
385 16/42 Benoni Reynolds 58 Colo Spgs CO 4:38:41 2:52:13 7:30:54

General Summary: I’m 58 & have not run longer than 10 miles since over 13 years ago. Back then I had run 2 Pikes Peak Ascents & 1 PP Marathon as well as about 4 flatlanders. This year I had originally signed up for both the Ascent & Marathon because I couldn’t make up my mind which I wanted to do & was planning to do one & bag the other. However, as race day approached, I began to see that doing both was a possibility. After doing a dry run of the Ascent & Marathon 2 weeks before the race, I realized a little “secret.” Its not much harder to do the Double than it is just to do the Marathon. That’s because, for me at least, the Ascent is very fatiguing but isn’t that hard on your muscles/bones. So if you can get your strength back quickly, doing the Marathon the next day is not that much harder on your body than if not done the Ascent. My times were not that great, but after a 10 year layoff, I was pleased. I looked back over Matt’s postings of the Doubles since 1981. Only 27 people have done it age 58 or above, so Ill settle. But again, I feel that any decent PP Marathon (and a lot of the Ascent) runners could also do the Double if they wanted to.

Things Done Right: Reading all the things done right from previous years. I learned a whole lot from you guys (girls)! Thanks.
Using my heartrate monitor on Sun. & staying within my limits.
Staying well hydrated throughout the Marathon.
Working out from the Summit 5 x before the races.

Things Done Wrong: Going way beyond my heartrate limits on Sat. I was 6 min ahead of pace at Barr but lost 16 min above Barr. I think this was because I went out way too fast.
Not drinking enough water/electrolytes on Sat.
Not working out enough from the top before the race. It only takes an additional 45 min to drive up there, you don’t have all the hassles of parking, heat, etc that you have at the trailhead, & the payoff per hour spent is much greater- not to mention the doughnuts.

Any Other Stuff: Great attitudes & help from the Aid Stations

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Name: Gina Basile

Marathon Goal: 5:40

19 8/35 Gina Basile 31 Colo Spgs CO 3:51:22 1:54:43 5:46:05

General Summary: Good day for the race. Was much cooler than last year. I had put in a lot of time above timberline this year and trained hard with the Incline club. I may have been expecting miracles on the peak, but I really thought 5:40 was very realistic and 5:30 was a if a have a really, really good day goal. Went out about 1 minute 30 seconds too fast to hydro. Really talked myself into slowing down to the top of the W’s and running my own race rather than being obsessed with all those people in front of me. Hit my split at the W’s. Minute off at no-name. Read things done wrong for the rest of race. Had a 3:46 ascent in training, so I really believe that 3:40 was a good solid goal for the ascent. Turns out that’s only valid if I actually race how I train. You would think this is an obvious point. Thank god half this race is downhill.

Things Done Right: Trained with the incline club. Brought my jacket. Did a lot more altitude training this year. Consumed a lot of water and some Gatorade on the way down to compensate for being stupid on the way up. Really pushed hard from no name down to make up some time.
Despite my disappointing ascent, I still took 15 minutes 11 seconds off last year’s time.

Things Done Wrong: I started my day questioning my usual drink mix, which is fairly high in protein. Although I know I’ve heard a million times not to do anything different on race day I decided not to carry water and to not take my usual drink mix. Started with a PowerAde/water mixture in my bottle and my plastic 4-gel bottle, 3/4 full. Result, began to feel tired before I even hit the half mile to go sign. Did not drink enough water, and dehydration began to come on by the bottomless pit sign. By then I didn’t feel like taking gel so I didn’t (duh!). The last two miles were a crawl. I ended the entire race with 1/2 a gel bottle (which is equivalent to consuming 1 maybe 2 gels the entire race)

Any Other Stuff: Read the race reports BEFORE the race. Those who met their goals tend to drink a full glass or two of water at each aid station. Lesson learned.

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Name: Richard Hedlind

Ascent Goal: To finish

786 73/89 Richard Hedlind 27 Colo Spgs CO 4:48:11

General Summary: I knew before the race that it would be a tough race this year. No training that last months and only one visit to Barr Camp this season didn’t fit in to the category of sufficient training. Happened to be in town on race day so I decided to do it anyway. I will only go back and do this race if I can do a lot of training. Flying in from sea level the day before without sufficient training turned the race into a struggle.

Things Done Right: Previous experience from the Ascent kept me from going to fast in the beginning which saved some energy for later. Brought a lot of GU. Having my mind set on a slow time made me feel alright with the split times.

Things Done Wrong: Well, after moving to sea level (Boston) in July I have done no training whatsoever. Especially at altitude. I did a, one hour, run in mid July and before that I did a marathon in mid June. Not sufficient. I was actually only 20 minutes behind my time from last year up to A-frame but then I saw the Pike’s Peak granite wall right before it hit me. For the last three miles I was taking baby steps and experienced a severe head ache and dizziness as soon as my HR went over 160 (which it did as soon as I tried to keep up a normal walking pace). I was trying to come up with what my last words on the death bed would be. Somehow I made it to the top.

Any Other Stuff: Fun to see so many people with Incline Club shirts. Faces I have never seen before. I must have been gone for a long time. :(

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Name: Name: Matt Von Thun

Ascent Goal: 3:15

43 10/194 Matthew S Von Thun 37 Colo Spgs CO 2:58:06

General Summary: Without going into details, my training since the 2002 Pikes Peak ascent lacked both quantity and quality which left me going into this year’s race with the lowest fitness level that I have been at in about 10 years. However, banking on the fact that I could offset some of my fitness short comings with a smart race strategy, I figured that I should still be able to set my race goal somewhere between 3:15 and 3:00.

I used Matt C’s calculator to work up a set of splits for a 3:15 pace, but my overall plan was to just run at an easy comfortable pace so that I would not be worn out at the end. Through the mid-section of the course, I had trouble maintaining consistent pacing between the various landmarks. I attribute this to the fact that I had not run the sections of Barr trail above No Name yet this year and just wasn’t used to the course. The race went on without incident until just past the one mile to go marker where my legs began getting significantly more sore and stiff. I slowed down markedly over this final section and lost a little over 4 minutes. I think the fact that I had not been running long runs in the 2 hours or more range played the biggest role in my leg fatigue during the last 20 minutes of the race.

Things Done Right:
1. Drank about 3 water bottles worth of fluids during the race:
2. Ate 3 gels during the race
3. Set a conservative goal

Things Done Wrong:
1. Poor Training: For a variety of reasons, I was not able to do consistent hill work outs or long runs this year. I also did not do any speed work and only ran at elevation twice this year.
2. Pre race week sleep: In the week before the race, I was up until 4:30am, 3:30am and 2am on different days, completing projects for work.
3. Pre race week hydration: I did not pay much attention to hydration until the day of the race.
4. Pacing: Due to a lack of long runs on Barr Trail this year, I didn’t have as good a sense of pace as I had the past couple years. Relative to Matt’s calculator I would run one section 2 minutes fast and then the next section 1 minute to slow and then the next section too fast again.

Any Other Stuff: Calculator
Below are my pre-race goals and Actual splits. The goal splits are from a slightly customized version of Matt C’s calculator.

               Race Split Goals 2003
               Enter Goal: 3:15:00
                                       Actual          Dif
Goal/Loc       Split    Cumulative Split   Cumulative
Ruxton          3:40.8     3:40.8   3:01    03:01    -0:40
Hydro street    8:12.9    11:53.7   6:42    09:43    -1:31
Top of Ws      26:09.4    38:03.2     na     na         na
No Name        17:32.8    55:35.9  40:02    49:45    -3:39
7.5 Summit     19:47.2  1:15:23    15:51  1:05:36    -3:56
Barr Camp      23:03.3  1:38:26    20:41  1:26:17    -2:22
Bottomless Pit 15:06.0  1:53:32    12:47  1:39:04    -2:19
A-Frame        28:31.7  2:22:04    24:23  2:03:27    -4:09
2 to go        17:49.9  2:39:54    16:54  2:20:21    -0:56
1 to go        15:56.9  2:55:51    15:04  2:35:25    -0:53
Finish         19:09.2  3:15:00    22:37  2:58:02     3:28
By feeding my finish time back into the Matt C. calculator I get the following table. The table shows inconsistent pacing, as well as the time lost when my legs started felling bad in the last mile.

Difference between “Actual Time” and M.C. Calculator

               My Time    Calc   Behind   Ahead
Ruxton          3:01.0   3:55.3              54.3
Hydro street    6:42.0   7:19.0              37.0
Top of Ws               24:36.0 
No Name Creek  40:02.0  16:24.0            1:00.0
7.5 Summit     15:51.0  18:32.4            2:41.4
Barr Camp      20:41.0  19:47.8     53.2
Bottomless Pit 12:47.0  13:11.5              24.5
3 to go        24:23.0  24:11.6     11.4
2 to go        16:54.0  16:48.5      5.5
1 to go        15:04.0  15:09.7               5.7
Finish         22:37.0  18:21.2   4:15.8

Rock line

Name: Gordon Barnett

Marathon Goal: PR with No Blood Donations

Results: 5:34:38 PR by 4 Minutes
77 11/110 Gordon J Barnett 48 Colo Springs CO 3:27:47 2:06:51 5:34:38

General Summary: Great race day conditions. Cooler temperatures than last year, which made the descent and Ruxton much more bearable. Another well organized race. Weren’t those grapes the best?

Things Done Right: 1. Trained with the Incline Club.
2. Hydrated well, carried 1/2 bottle of water with dissolved Hammer Gel — just in case, carried 4 gels with me — finished with 2.
3. Consistent Tuesday night track workouts — thanks Ted!

Things Done Wrong: 1. Not enough long runs this season.
2. Could have spent more time on the top 3 miles.
3. Getting tired of saying this... work on my descent, but heck at least I’m consistent (2:07 2003/2:07 2002).

Any Other Stuff: Great to see stronger competition. The new organization has already made significant improvements which will only attract faster and faster runners. Two women in the top 10 is really cool to see.. and what a battle they had for first!!

Rock line

Name: Howard Brooks

Ascent Goal: PR

Results: PR
176 34/202 Howard Brooks 44 Colo Spgs CO 3:30:20

General Summary: It was a challenging year for training: sinus surgery in April and a knee problem through the summer. Since I could not run, I did fourteeners every weekend in June and July. This resulted in great acclimatization and endurance, and slowly the knee improved. I was able to run up hills in mid July.

Two days before the Ascent I was fighting a bad chest cold. Miraculously, on race day I felt fine.

After all the physical and psychological challenges leading up to it, the race itself was a piece of cake. I ate and drank properly, paced myself fairly well, and felt great up high.

Thanks to all you great ICers for your friendship, and thanks especially to Matt and Yvonne for all you do for us!!!!

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Name: Mikko Ahola

Marathon Goal: 5:30

Results: 5:38
89 16/102 Mikko P Ahola 42 Colo Springs CO 3:30:01 2:08:57 5:38:58

General Summary: Overall, I felt like I had a good race. First time running the Pikes Peak Marathon, so I wasn’t sure how I would hold up on the downhill leg. I beat my Ascent time from last year by 4 min or so, and was 15 min faster (3:30 this year)than my fastest uphill training run this year. Downhill was tougher than I thought but I was a lot stronger from Barr Camp down than coming down the top half (partly because I was afraid of falling).

Things Done Right: Did a lot of high altitude training this year. Thought I could do 10 min faster on the uphill than I did. Kept hydrated well. Finished strong on bottom half of course.

Things Done Wrong: None that I can think of. For the marathon, probably could had tried to get in more weekly miles, but doing the long Sunday runs and some hill runs during the week and a hockey game or two each week was about all I could manage.

Any Other Stuff: Uphill runners seemed very courteous yielding to me
on the downhill leg. Seems like they ran out of post race food at the park a little early this year.

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Name: Mark Cafiero

Ascent Goal: To finish with bad knee

Results: Finished with bad knee
733 72/89 Mark Cafiero 27 Dillon CO 4:39:21

General Summary: Great day for the Ascent. I had to gimp my way through sections after the incline, when my knee started to hurt again. I injured it in an earlier race, 2 weeks ago...

Things Done Right: Trained well all season. Was plenty hydrated.

Things Done Wrong: Hurt my knee.

I was actually kind of worried at Barr Camp, but I learned that small, short strides made it hurt less. So I pressed on and I actually felt strong after A-Frame... but I hardly ran at all and I felt like I could have run really well if only...

Did the Marathon last year and I was glad it was LAST year!

Any Other Stuff: Only one good aid station in my opinion. They had Mike & Ikes, and what a tasty treat those were. I think that was the one where they had the “Hawaiian theme.” That was fun. Oh, and I beat the guy with the Texas shorts who looks like ZZ Top. Passed him with a mile to go. I am sure I am not the only one who noticed the guy. I was happy about that. He was sucking wind at treeline. haha

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Name: Charlie Nuttelman

Ascent Goal: 2:45

27 6/89 Charlie R Nuttelman 26 Boulder CO 2:54:10

General Summary: I was aiming for a 2:45 ascent. Usually, I try to stick to the splits provided by Matt’s pace calculator, but this time I decided to tape over my watch with electrical tape but still take splits and compare at the end! I felt really relaxed and great until the A-frame, and I was still able to run most of the last three miles, just slower.

Things Done Right: Taped over my watch so I was able to focus more on the running and not the splits; usually I get frustrated if my splits aren’t what I aim for and I just get tense and tend to run worse! Also, I drank AT LEAST a full cup of water and a gel at each aid station.

Also, a main goal of mine was to run the entire course and only walk 10-15 seconds at each aid station. I specifically trained for this. If I started getting too tired I would slow the pace and take smaller steps. I only started hiking a bit around the 16 golden stairs, but then was able to run again.

Another note: after looking at my splits after the race, they are almost identical to Matt’s pace calculator up to the A-frame for a 2:45 ascent. The calculator is pretty close!!

Things Done Wrong: I don’t think I really did anything wrong. I think the only thing I should have added was some time at high altitude (which I basically had none of for at least 3 weeks prior to the race).

Any Other Stuff: What a fun race!!

Rock line

Name: Andy Dillon

Ascent Goal: 3 : 40

434 88/202 Andy T Dillon 40 Colo Springs CO 4:01:01

General Summary: It’s races like this that make you want to give up and take up golf or turn to drink! Great preparation, a great season’s training but a horrible race! I ran perfect splits to Ruxton and Hydro then missed every split after that by several minutes. It was so horrible I’ll be back next year to do it all again!

Things Done Right: This year I really trained right. Lots of long runs on the winter, good speed training in May and June and lots of high altitude training in July and August. I did a good taper, I timed the Ruxton split on the final Thursday... felt great the morning of the race. Should have had a good race. However...

Things Done Wrong: I feel like I was the only one who did the correct splits to Ruxton and Hydro. The entire human race was in front of me by the time we hit the spur. I overtook so many people on the Ws, the flats, before the A-Frame and all the way to the top but I just kept falling further and further behind the clock. I believe the constant overtaking is what saps the energy, so at every split I arrived slower than normal but more tired than normal. Next time I’m going to have a new philosophy — “get ahead by Hydro!!!".

Matt advised me to run the Barr Trail Mountain Race to practice running up in race conditions. I should have done it — I may have figured out all this stuff earlier!

Any Other Stuff: Most people who run this race are not high altitude trained, but most of them are experienced marathon runners. Therefore they naturally do well on the lower parts and fade toward the top. By doing the right training and racing at the correct pace you are inevitably behind these people from the start (unless you’re really fast of course) and you will have to overtake them at some point. Some of them even overtake you back and then slow down in front of you so you have to do it all again! Others refuse to move over so you have to climb over boulders or loose stuff to get past! Of course the solution is to train more and get faster since the middle of the field is always the most crowded. If you can run up in 3:30 I imagine you don’t have to deal with such huge crowds. But I’m also convinced that an early controlled surge would help so I’m going to try that next year and see if I can get it to work in training.

Apart from the aforementioned frustrations though this is still a great race. Standing at the start line looking up at the summit gleaming in the early morning sun with America the Beautiful playing is so cool! Somebody ought to make a rap version then it would be even cooler! The volunteers are great too and when you hear all those runners talking about the beautiful scenery it makes you feel so lucky to live in Colorado. And I firmly believe that the training is more fun than the racing — especially those beautiful early morning winter runs when Waldo Canyon or Section 16 are covered in snow. So bring on next season...

Rock line

Name: Connilee Walter

Ascent Goal: 3:07

Results: 3:05:26
5 2/74 Connilee S Walter 30 Colo Springs CO 3:05:26

General Summary: I was just glad to be able to get into the race since my decision to run was a (relatively) last minute one. For that, I want to say thanks to Matt Carpenter for his repeated recommendations to the TCR board and committee to allow for competitive entries to the PPA/PPM. Although I am sure that most of the other runners who got in are far more deserving than I was of receiving a comp entry, I can say without a doubt that on a personal level I would not have run this year without a comp entry and on a competitive level I feel I still brought something to the race to raise the level of competition. Thanks, Matt. And thanks to the TCR board for admitting competitive entries this season.

Things Done Right: With less time and energy to train this year than past years, I focused on quality and consistency over quantity. Tapered for a full two weeks to let the training take hold. Last of all, I paced myself on race day at what seemed to be a painfully slow trot to the top of the W’s. I let loose a little bit to Barr Camp but really focused on conserving energy for the top half. It took a lot of discipline to let other runners move on up ahead of me but it paid off in the end when I passed them up high.

Things Done Wrong: I don’t get to say this very often but I don’t think I did anything wrong this time!

Rock line

Name: Todd Walton

Marathon Goal: Under 5 hours

Results: 4:46:34
17 4/98 Todd Walton 34 Manitou Spring CO 2:59:15 1:47:19 4:46:34

General Summary: A great day for racing the weather could not have been better in my opinion. I loved the climb to the summit and was overjoyed at the top. I flew down the first four miles right past A-frame and then I started feeling the pain. Of course, I do it for the pain and tell myself this is what I expected so suck it up but it did slow me down a bit. I think if I would’ve had a bottle with sports drink and a few extra gels I might have felt better and been able to go faster longer. By the time I made it to Ruxton I felt like a jogger. I ask my wife later if I looked as slow as I felt.
Overall: 19th
Male: 17th
30-34 Age-group: 2nd
Summit: 2:59:15
Descent: 1:47:19
Total: 4:46:34

Things Done Right: After spending Saturday morning cheering my friends to the summit in the Ascent I went home loaded up with carbs early afternoon, took a 3hr nap, woke and ate a light snack then back to bed around 9:30pm. I was well rested and by eating early in the day my body had extra time to digest the food. Sunday morning I ate some oatmeal and copious amounts of coffee. I felt good.

Things Done Wrong: My training has been at best sporadic and my life a bit more stressful than I like which are not positive contributions to race preparation. My taper was...well not really a taper since I didn’t run a single time in the week leading up to the race and only twice the week before that. Race day nutrition although well thought out did not prove to be the right choice. I carried two 7ounce flasks with a mixture of Hammer Gel, Electrolyte powder and a little water to thin the consistency. I planned to hydrate at the aid stations with water and planned to take in the “cocktail” every half hour. I should have carried two 16oz water bottles and my gel flask along with E-caps instead of mixing the cocktail. I don’t like drinking weak Gatorade out of paper cups at aid stations. Also I ran the last six miles of the race without anything and was hurting at the finish from dehydration. I think if my nutrition had been a little better I could’ve shaved a few minutes off my time.

Any Other Stuff: I can’t wait to go back up the mountain...I hear it calling already. Although I may move on to Leadville next year I will always make several trips up the glorious path to the summit of Pikes Peak.

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Name: Michael Hagen

Ascent Goal: Finish as one of the top masters and perhaps in the top 10 overall, with a bit of luck & a good day.

6 2/202 Michael J Hagen 41 Colo Spgs CO 2:34:16

General Summary: First time doing the Ascent! Had a great time training with the Incline Club all winter/spring, and was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, I broke my collarbone 21 May. Luckily, I had already registered for both the Ascent and the Barr Trail Race. This gave me something to look forward to, and helped me avoid sinking completely into the depths of depression. I doubt I would have done either if I wasn’t already entered.

Things Done Right: The setback in my training caused by the collarbone break left me with little idea of a goal to shoot for. I did three things to help me guesstimate: I ran Elk Park to Barr, and then the top 6 miles, two weeks prior to the race; and Hydro to the A-Frame and back a week prior. I also did some research on the Incline Club/Skyrunner webpages, including carefully reading Matt’s course description. I set as my goal the time of the first master from last year, and wrote the splits (from the pace calculator) on my arm. It turned out to be pretty close.

I tried to hold back, as per Matt’s advice, on the Ws. Although it felt like I was holding back, my heartrate indicated otherwise, and my splits were well ahead of goal. So I eased off from No-name to Barr. Consumed a moderate amount of water at each aid station, and 3 gels (one each at No-name, Barr and A-Frame), which seemed about right for me. I started losing time to each split from Barr Camp on, but I expected this based on my limited training.

Things Done Wrong: I probably backed off a bit too much from No-name to Barr, and gave up some time. But it was probably best to be a bit conservative. The top three miles were still plenty tough!

A little more time on the top of the mountain sure would have helped — for learning the footwork thru the 16 Golden Stairs as much as the acclimatization.

Oh, and avoid cutting blind corners on your bike!!

Any Other Stuff: The pace calculator was great. Although I was ahead of schedule to Barr Camp, and started giving it back thereafter, I expected this. Having the splits helped me stay calm and run at my own pace (and have something to think about!) And I ended up coming in slightly ahead of “schedule.”

It was great to finish, and although exhausted, not be especially sore. I admire the Marathoners, but its nice to be able to walk down stairs the next day!

Rock line

Name: Beverly Weaver

Ascent Goal: Beat the cutoff times — survive

444 14/16 Beverly J Weaver 57 Colo Springs CO 5:55:07

General Summary: I just wanted to be able to finish and not be totally out of it. It was a perfect day for the race. Not too warm, not cold or rainy at the top.

Things Done Right: Trained with Incline Club (thanks...)
Planned to take it easy and finish (not go out fast).
Ran once or twice a week for several weeks at the top.
Went out slow for first mile.
Passed people on the flats (or almost flats).
Carried estimated times for points along the race and was at each point 10-20 minutes ahead of schedule.
Drank plenty of fluids, ate my GU.
I carried a half-full bottle of water for the longer stretches (Barr Camp to A-Frame, for example), which was a good idea, because it was pretty warm, and I was moving pretty slow.

Things Done Wrong: Started too far back in the second wave. Lots of people are just out for the hike and never run. I had to pass a lot of people on the first W’s, which was sometimes quite difficult. It was very crowded.
I needed more mileage and more speedwork to have a better finishing time.

Any Other Stuff: This is a wonderful race. The volunteers are all great; there was plenty to drink. I am already planning to do it again next year.

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Name: Lars Duening

Ascent Goal: 1. To finish; 2. Finish under 5 hours

361 73/194 Lars Duening 37 Colo Springs CO 3:52:36

General Summary: This was my first time I on the Ascent, so my goal was just to finish with a time better than it takes me to hike the trail. In particular I lacked the necessary high altitude training to run beyond Barr Camp (partly due to an injury), so I had to make allowances in my race plan for that. Not surprisingly on the last two miles I was really really slow and stopped often.

Things Done Right: Right from the start I got the right pacing; also I started far enough to the front that I didn’t have to pass too many people in order to get to my position before arriving at the trail. I drank at every water/Gatorade station and thus stayed hydrated all the way. Dropping from a run to a walk at Barr Camp helped preserving my remaining energy.

Things Done Wrong: I probably should have eaten more than one and a half power gel along the way, but it was hard to distinguish between lacking food and lacking oxygen. Apart from that and the lack of high altitude training, I can’t think of anything done obviously wrong.

Any Other Stuff: One can lose a lot of time between Barr Camp and A-Frame because the trail very narrow, which makes it difficult to pass people.

It felt a bit weird to stop 0.25ml or so before the finishing line for a little chat with a guy who had already finished, myself still being in the race and everything, but it did give me a motivational boost.

While I only managed to participate in five Sunday runs with the Incline Club, these runs turned out to be crucial preparation in regards to pacing, adjustment to running uphill, and general familiarization with the trail.

Doing a number of flattish 5-mile runs in the weeks prior to the race helped keeping my muscles active without exhausting them, preventing joint and band problems during the race.

And the most humbling experience: being 10 steps behind a guy 20 years older than me, and simply not getting any closer :-)

Rock line

Name: Jen Taylor

Ascent Goal: under 4 hours

75 1/12 Jen L Taylor 24 Colo Springs CO 3:55:12

General Summary: I had so much fun! I just moved here last year and signed up for the Ascent in early spring — so I wasn’t sure if I’d be well-prepared for the race. But I did what I could and had a blast. I feel good about it, being my first time, and now I know what I need to do for next year. . .which will be more challenging since I’ll be in the next age category. =)

Things Done Right: The long runs with the IC on Sundays when I could (and Saturdays when I couldn’t) — DEFINITELY helped! In the last 6 weeks, I did the whole course twice and noticed a huge difference from the first time I did it, to the day of the race. Becoming familiar with the trail and also the time spent above treeline was very beneficial.

Things Done Wrong: Well, it’s not really something I “did” wrong, but my ankles have not been in the best condition for the last 4 months — they’ve both been sprained 2-3 times. . . thankfully not at the same time though. =)

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Name: Darrell Weaver

Ascent Goal: 3:20

177 7/64 Darrell C Weaver 57 Colo Springs CO 3:30:30

General Summary: Very well organized. Everything was smooth and efficient. I have not one negative thing to say about the race. My gratitude to the directors and volunteers.

Things Done Right: We (Beverly and I) worked out at the top twice a week instead of just once per week. This seemed to help with acclimatization and familiarization.

Things Done Wrong: Where to begin. Didn’t take Gu, went out a little fast, didn’t take enough fluid. Was on a decent time (sub-3:20)until I bonked at A-Frame.
Request for Advice (from Grizzled Veterans): Would some racing or speedwork/track training help in addition to mountain trail training? It seems that I’ve fallen into a fast turnover/short stride mode. The day after the race, I felt fresh, which suggests that I didn’t hit it hard enough. However, at the time, it seemed I was going pretty hard. Any suggestions?

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Name: Hans Zimmerman

Ascent Goal: finish under 4:30

577 15/40 Hans Zimmermann 63 Monument CO 4:16:23

Things Done Right: Started slow, keeping to a shuffle, main concern lifting feet
high enough not to bump into every root and rock.

Things Done Right: Crack a rib 4 weeks before the race and not be able to train
Breathing became more strained above 12000 feet which slowed me down
Was rather exhausted after finishing, but by evening felt find.

Any Other Stuff: Passed a lady on Mt Manitou who was running bare foot with
only her toes slightly taped. I asked her where she is from that she is
running with out shoes (remembering growing up running bare foot in
Paraguay), she told me that she is in the Air Force. So I said, OK now I
understand, when you fly one does not need any shoes. She was some what
miffed and said she ran races in Germany up 25K both on paved roads and on
forest trails. Well, I said this is a race up a mountain and you are
running on decaying granite, I wish you luck.

I’m curious to know how far she made it into the race, or ir she finished
it. Does any one know??

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Name: Kreighton Bieger

Ascent Goal: sub 3 hour

Results: (Doubler - see next story)
126 17/89 Kreighton Bieger 29 Boulder CO 3:19:45

General Summary: Trained so long for so hard this year, but no success yet. Last year I cratered above tree line due to no altitude training, this year I got to A frame again on 3 hour pace but started cramping. Things went from bad to worse and I survived the last three miles.

Things Done Right: Trained quite a bit at altitude — never very hard, but just getting above 12.5k and hiking, jogging, etc. Ran above 13k’ at least five times in the month before. This paid dividends in the Ascent (sort of) and the Marathon.

Also started slowly and paced myself well by not going hard before the top of the W’s and really not until the rock arch.

Trained on Barr Trail several times over the last year, which gave me more comfort and confidence.

Things Done Wrong: Cramped! I carried salt tabs and GU, but stuck with water thinking this would work. I’ve only had consistent success with Gatorade (and indeed, it worked on Sunday). Despite a regular regimen of salt tabs and GU, I cramped beyond recovery at treeline.

Probably ran too hard from French Creek to A-Frame, but it’s hard to tell due to the cramping.

Did not train with enough structure in general. Built a good base, but never fine-tuned my lactate threshold pacing.

Any Other Stuff: A friend raved about wearing racing flats — seems like a good idea.

What else is there? I love this race (but it does not seem to love me, yet...)

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Name: Kreighton Bieger

Marathon Goal: sub 5 hours

Results: (Doubler - see previous story)
96 7/39 Kreighton Bieger 29 Boulder CO 3:13:54 2:27:57 5:41:51

General Summary: This was my first time doing the ‘double’ weekend, and also my first time racing the Marathon. I failed very badly in the Ascent with awful cramping, so I actually came into the marathon with very little in the way of true expectations, and was very afraid to suffer and crater again. My good friend Bill Wright has had epic problems with cramping and suffering in the marathon, and I was afraid of that. Maybe it was the loosening of expectations, but I summited nearly six minutes faster and was cramp-free and feeling excellent on Sunday! I started down and about 1/4 mile out of the Cirque aid station rolled my right ankle badly. I wear a brace on the left one (it’s been weak for a long time), so I switched it out and kept running. Eventually I was reduced to a shuffle and simply survived to the finish.

Things Done Right: Trained above treeline and at altitude this year!

Carried Gatorade (which I knew worked for me) and stuck to a strict hydrating regimen by refilling regularly.

Paced well and went out very slowly and stayed comfortably within myself to the summit. I pr’d to the summit! :-)

Did not have a strict goal and was more relaxed and comfortable starting the race.

Trained well for the double weekend by building a solid base and doing back to back weekends several times in a similar ratio to my expected ascent/marathon times.

Things Done Wrong: Probably held back a bit too much on the ascent portion, but it is hard to say.

Blew out my right ankle early in the descent — perhaps a lapse in concentration?

Any Other Stuff: This race is so awesome. Even finishing in survival mode, it was incredibly fulfilling and rewarding. The spectators, the volunteers and even the other racers are excellent.

Hope to be back next year and have more success and a great time!

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Name: Sarah Altonen

Ascent Goal: Sub-four hours

90 12/51 Sarah A Altonen 26 Manitou Spring CO 3:59:57

General Summary: I am laughing because I wanted to get a sub-four hour time and I jokingly said watch me get a 3:59:59, but I beat it by 2 seconds. All I heard at the end was Larry Miller saying “come on 10 seconds you can do it.” It was a great first time experience. I felt a little moody on the trail but kept my composure and managed not to pick any fights. Good weather great people and a great massage afterwards helped me to enjoy the race.
Things Done Right: Slept good the night before
Prepared everything the night before
Drank Gatorade/water mixed up the mountain
Carried my camelback (I think that’s how you spell it)
Dressed right
There is always room for improvement

Things Done Wrong: I didn’t follow Valerie’s lead. I ran out of lead at the top. I was worried about not making sub-four so I didn’t push myself as hard as I think I could have, but this is my first year. I will have to experiment more with altitude to find out.
I let the mental negative get to me. I needed more focus.

Any Other Stuff: I had a throbbing pain in one of my left toes that kept shooting every time I stepped hard on it. There was nothing I could do about it so I just kept going.
The weather was great, the course was tough and by the last two miles I just wanted to be done with it. I will come back stronger next year in the marathon. I look forward to it. Overall it was a great race. I was sad to see the whole weekend end. Oh well, back to the real world.

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Name: Dan Smith (Virtual ICer)

Ascent Goal: sub 4 hours

378 21/100 Daniel C Smith 53 Eden Prairie MN 3:54:09

General Summary: Coming from the lowlands of the Midwest and this being my first Pike’s Peak Ascent I was satisfied with the entire experience. I tried to follow Matt Carpenter’s advice about not going out too fast and this definitely made me stronger at the top. Unfortunately, a bit too strong, as I ran out of mountain to climb with some reserve left in my tank. As much as I pored over the course description, there is no substitute for being there and running the actual trail, so I suspect on my next attempt I will modify my strategy and tactics somewhat so I come closer to pushing the envelope. I wore a heart monitor during the race and my average heart rate was 145, which is way below where I would have kept it during a flatland marathon.

Things Done Right: Plenty of hill repeats, bike riding, flat marathon followed in two weeks by a 50k trail race in late June/July in the muggy Midwest. Took Diamox before leaving MN to assist in acclimatization (correct dose is 125mg every 12 hours starting 2 days prior to the Ascent. I’m a physician, so you can trust me on this. I’d recommend it only for flatlanders who arrive within three days of the Ascent) I also drove to the summit on Friday and spent about an hour and a half just hanging out and hiking to the bottom of the 16 Golden Stairs. Took care to remain well hydrated before and during the race. I had a dry mouth for a bit during the last couple of miles, but otherwise felt well

Things Done Wrong: Didn’t run hard enough at the start to gain better position going up the Ws. I didn’t mind that all those people were passing that early but having to pass them back near the top of the mountain was a chore. I was not assertive enough about passing on the narrow trails. I’d wait for a good spot and slip past, rather than just announcing my intent and waiting for the passee to make way. I know that cost me some time between Barr Camp and the A frame. I forgot to bring my water bottle with me from the hotel, but that turned out to be a good mistake, because there is more than enough water and Gatorade along the course.

Any Other Stuff: First I’d like to thank the Race director and the many volunteers who make the race possible and fun as well as safe. You guys are AWESOME!!!! The only thing I would change ( and maybe this has been considered) would be to create more waves: not necessarily to allow more runners in the race, but to alleviate congestion in the first few miles up the trail. The American Birkebeiner ski race has about 12 waves of 500 skiers each. That race has a pretty wide (50-75 meter) trail for the first 3 km before it narrows to a width that will handle two skiers skiing skate style. I liked the unique down home quality of the entire experience, much more like racing was back in the 70s when I started. What’s that quote? “If you build it, they will come.”

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Name: Andy Kovats

Ascent Goal: 2:55

39 4/202 Julius A Kovats 40 Manitou Spgs CO 2:57:06

General Summary: This year’s race went much better than previous ones primarily due to the extra summit runs. For once it seemed the pacing chart worked fairly well as rather than my usual slow-death/10min-loss above Barr I actually felt pretty good above timberline. Besides enabling the race split calculator, the summit runs really help build confidence for race day. There is no way to have a good race if you are holding back and worried about bonking on the 2nd half of the course. I planned to run a 2:53 pace to Barr and allow a 2-3 minute loss from there to the summit, which is almost exactly how the race went. I think a little more time training above timberline next time would tune the calculator in just about right. This seems to be far more important as I’ve gotten older as when I was in my late teens or 20’s I never trained above timberline and yet usually felt fine (makes me wonder how well I might have done with some better focus in those days).

Things Done Right: Things done right: 1) did more altitude training than in recent years (2 runs to summit, 1 to A-frame and short visit to the top the previous 6-7 weeks), + many runs to Barr Camp helped for 1st half of race; 2) in training tried to focus on my cadence which has historically been big steps taken way too slow; 3) dressed in a light tank top which was about right for light breeze with highs in Co Springs of mid 80’s on race day, a long sleeve top tied around my waist doesn’t add much weight and in past years I have overheated on the first 1/3 of the race; 4) volunteered to help with the Marathon, it’s about time I gave something back to the race!

Things Done Wrong: Things done wrong: 1) somehow missed starting my watch at the start and had to subtract subsequent splits after Ruxton the rest of the race; 2) noticed a bit of traction loss in my lightweight shoes which have a “fishnet” type of tread, probably a shoe with positive lugs would work better on the trail; 3) didn’t leave enough time for a light breakfast to settle before the start and consequently had a slightly upset stomach almost the whole way to Barr Camp; items 2&3 are a violation of the cardinal rule: never do anything on race day you haven’t thoroughly tested in training!

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Name: Jason Jungbauer

Marathon Goal: sub 6hrs

156 15/39 Jason D Jungbauer 29 Colo Spgs CO 3:34:35 2:31:28 6:06:03

General Summary: First time I have done the Marathon and it was as tough as I thought it would be.

Things Done Right: Trained with the IC since November. Did a lot of high altitude training the last month. Set a PR for the ascent by over 10 minutes. Did not go out too hard on the way up still had something left on the way down.

Things Done Wrong: Lost too much time on the way down, I have never been a strong downhill runner due to bad ankles. Next year I will train more on descending and probably put in a few more long runs prior to the race.

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Name: Laura Kelecy

Ascent Goal: 3:07:30

Results: 3:08:43, 7th female overall (1st 40 year old)
7 1/115 Laura I Kelecy 40 Colo Springs CO 3:08:43

General Summary: This is an exciting event that I have been involved in for several years, running the race once before and working at the top calculating results for 3-4 years with the Pikes Peak Road Runners. Since I just turned 40, I wanted to run the race once more to see how I would do as a Masters runner. I enjoyed the journey.

Things Done Right: Used the pace calculator for my goal time (which changed a few times in the last month)and did a few different types of training runs on the Peak. I did a couple of “plain” bottom to top runs (I didn’t do too much downhill running to avoid injury), one “TomK special” interval workout where we used our goal splits and ran each section at or faster than the splits and recovered after each (using the heart rate monitor as a gauge), then one bottom to top run as close to race pace as possible (I blew up on that one, but figured better to do it in training than on race day!). I know my strength is climbing on the bottom half and my weakness is the top 3 miles. I knew I needed to even those 2 sections out. The pace calculator helped and on race day, I really tried to hold back on the bottom so I’d have enough energy to push it on the top. I was hitting the splits perfectly until 3 miles to go and then lost some time. I consistently have a hard time at altitude. During the race, I drank water at each aid station and took 4 Gu’s (No Name, Barr Camp, A Frame, Cirque; that 4th one was hard to get past the teeth!) I had a good taper week-hydrated a lot, rested, swam. This season I cross-trained, supplementing running with spinning 3 times a week. Two years ago, using only running to train for the PPM, by the time the race rolled around, I felt tired and stale and couldn’t wait for the race to be over. This year I was more excited as the race approached. I ran a few shorter races in June & July to use as speed work. I did a lot of visualization, used techniques learned in yoga to focus and relax and breathe. I told lots of people I was doing the race and would appreciate them sending some positive energy my way. I think it worked! I have some wonderful support! Tom & I have been eating differently recently too. We are following The Zone style of eating, getting the majority of carbohydrates from fruits and veggies, instead of bread and pasta, with the goal of keeping insulin levels in a certain zone to eliminate the energy ups and downs. We both feel better. OK, I think that’s enough!

Things Done Wrong: I started out running most of the IC runs, but in March I ran my first Ultra (36.2 miles up Haleakala in Hawaii and finished first woman) so it was hard to get back into training for a while. I went to a few IC Thurs. workouts, but I don’t like to run in the afternoon (it really bothers my stomach) so couldn’t get motivated to go. I might have done better if I had attended those intense workouts. Two years ago, training for the PPM, I went to many of the Thurs workouts, and in looking at my race results from that year and this year, I am only a few seconds slower this year. I probably should have spent more time at the top, running those top 3 miles that I have problems with.

Any Other Stuff: I am now a firm believer in cross-training. Using spinning with running has helped maintain my strength and cardiovascular fitness, as well as minimizing pounding on the old joints and muscles! The camaraderie of the Incline Club has been a favorite part of my training.

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Name: Todd Murray

Marathon Goal: 4:40 — 5:00 hrs

22 5/102 Todd B Murray 40 Colo Springs CO 3:11:57 1:45:07 4:57:04

General Summary: This was my first PPM so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I had talked to a lot of past participants to get an idea of how the race might go, and that helped. I was happy with my overall time but would have liked to ascend quicker. Maybe next year.

Things Done Right: Put in the training miles. Got up to altitude lots of times. Didn’t go out too hard at the start and tried to maintain a constant moderately hard pace the whole way (used my heart rate monitor throughout the race). Hydrated well pre-race and maintained my goal of 20 ounces per hour of my sports drink.

Things Done Wrong: Not enough high altitude training time. I would definitely try to get up high more times before the next race. I would also skip the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race the weekend before this race to properly taper for the marathon next time.

Any Other Stuff: I felt that the training I did with the Incline Club was really helpful throughout the year. Not only did I learn much of the course by running with the club, but I also ran more by meeting the club for the organized runs. A great way to prepare for these races and meet some really cool folks.

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Name: Randy Lindsey

Ascent Goal: 3:45

224 11/100 Randy Lindsey 50 Colo Spgs CO 3:37:11

General Summary: My training this year was very weak after mid-April, so I set a slower goal than previous years. However, my body is apparently just used to the usual pace, so I found myself close to a 3:30 pace in the early going. I consciously reined back, but still beat every goal split to the top, except from Barr Camp to A-Frame. Left hamstring hurt from about mile 2, and right hamstring spoke up after Barr Camp. Calves hurt from timberline to the top. But nothing gave out and I was able to maintain pace. Weather was just right, with a cool breeze above timberline that almost prompted me to pull on my jacket.

Things Done Right: I drank both Gatorade and water at every stop, usually combining cups of water to get a full one. Sometimes felt a little uncomfortable for a few minutes after drinking but it always went away. Walked a lot — I have a fast, long-legged race walk that can keep up with many runners on the uphills. Started slowly compared to most others on my pace, and generally passed continuously from below A-Frame to the top. I encouraged almost every runner I passed, made (bad) jokes, and hyped up spectators along the way. This helped me maintain a positive, outgoing attitude, made for more fun, and I think helped those around me. Experience counts hugely in an event like this. This was my 12th time. Despite my weak training, I was familiar with my body, the course, and the effects of altitude so I knew exactly what I could get away with.

Things Done Wrong: In late April, the ISP I manage moved to a new facility, occupying 3 entire weekends plus a lot of night work. This destroyed my training motivation, and for the rest of the season I put family events first on weekends, and only ran a couple of days during the week. Leg muscle strength was the most obvious casualty. Altitude training was also weak and hypoxia was worse than usual from 1 mile below A-Frame to the top. My wife said my face was “ashen” at the finish, and a volunteer took my arm and walked me up the trail which had never happened before.

Any Other Stuff: Matt’s Pace Calculator was as usual right on for me. I printed the splits for a 3:45 ascent, laminated it with clear packing tape, and hung it (upside down) from my race number. It helps me dial back when I’m too fast and is very reassuring as the checkpoints go by on or ahead of schedule. I was following a woman from just before the 2 Miles to Summit sign, and she was impressed that I could already predict our finish time to the minute.

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Name: Chaz Lalonde

Ascent Goal: 3:20

112 19/202 Chaz J Lalonde 44 Colo Spgs CO 3:17:31

General Summary: Perfect day for this race with some light cloud cover and gentle breezes. A little cold on top after I finished but that’s what the sweat check is for.

Things Done Right: Well rested for this race. Stayed hydrated. I did not go out too hard in the first half. From Barr Camp to the summit; 2 people passed me and I lost count of the # of people I passed at approx. 50.

Any Other Stuff: As usual, the volunteers were great.

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Name: Tom Kelecy

Ascent Goal: Try not to fall “up” and hurt my little finger again

Results: Fell “down” and hurt my little finger again on the bounce “up"
30 8/187 Tom M Kelecy 47 Colo Springs CO 2:54:45

General Summary: I established a pace that would get me to the top in about 3 hours. I new I would be close based on time-trials, but I just didn’t know which side of 3 hours I would end up on. Results (including my 1994 PR for historical perspective):

Place Pos/Div Name Age City State Time Year
30 8/187 Tom M Kelecy 47 Colo Springs CO 2:54:45 2003
37 14/223 THOMAS M KELECY 38 MONUMENT CO 2:50:50 1994

Note that my time 9 years ago was slower, but my placing better! Just for grins, I plugged my finish time of 2:54:45 into Matt’s split-time computer, with the following results

Location MC Split Actual
Ruxton 3:51 3:16
Hydro St 7:10 6:53
Top of Ws 24:07 23:12
No Name Crk 16:05 15:28
7.8 Summit 18:10 17:40
Barr Camp 19:24 18:35
Butt Pitt 12:56 13:28
A-Frame 22:43 22:44
2 to go 17:29 19:19
1 to go 14:51 15:19
Finish 18:00 18:32

So, though I was a little faster than pace at the beginning, and a little slower towards the end, in most cases I was within a minute of the predicted splits!!!

Things Done Right: Paced myself pretty well. Set a reasonable goal based on my training, and a couple of time-trials. Ran several “bottom to top” training runs to prepare my body for the persistent uphill. Tapered well, including getting good rest, and eating and hydrating well before the race.

Things Done Wrong: Might have been able to improve my time a little with more speed-work, and/or Thursday workout types of runs. Work (my real job) and music (practicing for the “big-time” gigs. OK, so I’m really just another guitar hack) prevented me from doing too much during the week. Did the best with the time I had.

Any Other Stuff: Matt Von Thun and I ran most of the race together, though not intentionally, and exchanged encouragement along the way. When I found my 1994 results (on www.skyrunner.com), I was surprised to see the an equally younger Matt Von Thun finished just ahead of me at the finish. I guess both our paces have aged almost equally and well.

By the way, my real goal was to finish the Ascent in under 3 hours, AND try not to fall “up” and hurt my little finger again (I had injured it previously in a training run “up” the mountain).

Tom Kelecy adds:
Right after submitting my “R” report for the Ascent, I (of course) thought of
several additional things I should have included.

Things Done Right:
Kept within a reasonable (perceived) effort over the first half of the race,
and didn’t push “hard” until the second half. Focused on cadence for most of
the race, something I didn’t really do during training. Practiced taking
energy gels during training runs, and knew exactly where I would take them during
the race.

Things Done Wrong:
Didn’t focus more on cadence during training.

There were 7 men in my age group in the Ascent that finished ahead of me.
And that doesn’t include the fast dudes that ran faster Ascent times in the
Marathon (e.g., Mark Koch). I have some room for improvement.

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Name: John O’Donnell

Ascent Goal: 3:45

428 27/100 John D O’Donnell 51 Colo Spgs CO 4:00:10

General Summary: Beautiful day for a race, with a cool light wind on the top miles. Had a strong finish last 1.5 miles to go but got cramps in the calves from low back problem.

Things Done Right: Plenty of fluids and GU gel packs for the race. Good carb load three days before.

Things Done Wrong: The real killer all year too much STRESS and not enough rest during the week. (MY mother passed away in March 03.)

Any Other Stuff: Course in real good shape, a lot of ICER’S ran together with many changing the lead .

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Name: Jackie Burhans

Marathon Goal: Faster than last year (9:45)

166 37/42 Jackie Burhans 42 Monument CO 5:57:24 3:12:58 9:10:22

General Summary: My secret goal that dared not speak its name was actually to meet my last year’s goal which was to run faster than 2 years ago (Huh?) My 2001 time as 9:15 so I got that one too. And my 2000 time was 9:11 so...yay! The training was better this year and the weather was wonderful--love that cloud cover!

Things Done Right: Trained with the Incline Club. Ran longer since my race was going to take longer. Saw a great podiatrist when I hurt my foot. Got a good recommendation from my Dr. to take Pyridium (sp?) for mechanical urethritis--you don’t want to know but it hurts and this stuff makes it not hurt but does make you pee orange. You might not have wanted to know that.

Things Done Wrong: Was not aggressive enough in treating a debilitating allergy/asthma illness that knocked me out 3 weeks before the race. Finally got the right meds and advice and got better. For some reason struggled much more with nausea and asthma during and post high altitude training runs. Have to figure that out.

Any Other Stuff: I did a lot of stuff right in training but need to do a lot of it much more consistently. The run to Hydro was slower than our last Thursday run and I felt miserable to the top of the W’s. Then I felt pretty good til after Bottomless Pit and had to sit down feeling very shaky. This worried me. Due to nausea, asthma and a bad last long run, I was much more uncertain than in past years whether I could finish. I convinced myself that even if I dropped I had to go to the club party--no fair going only if I did good. I was contemplating how I might have to go into work and tell my friends I didn’t make it. And then I got mad and despite my stomach threatening to get queasy I refused to let it. Seriously--mind over body. Of all things I felt strong on the 16 golden steps--that NEVER happens. I held back running down to conserve energy and NOT walk in the last 3 miles and I didn’t. Oh but no musi--where was my mental music to run by?

Next year’s goal: Sub 9 marathon, sub 3 descent and mostly, feel strong and confident. I think I need to run even a touch longer and I need a better end game. Am I REALLY already planning for next year? Gosh I’m even trying to plan my bunion surgery for just after 2004 or 2005 PPM so I don’t miss an Incline training season. Craziness.

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Name: Jonathan Fitton

Ascent Goal: 3:15

76 13/142 Jonathan W Fitton 34 Colo Spgs CO 3:09:45

General Summary: This was my second time running the Ascent. In 2002 I got to the summit in just under 4 hours and felt horrible from Barr Camp all the way to the top and most of the way driving down the Peak. I really wanted to avoid that again this year, so I put in a lot more miles, especially on the Peak. Result: dropped 49 minutes and finished in the top 100.

Things Done Right: Trained on the Peak. I did a number of runs from the bottom to at least Noname Creek and even went as far as the Bottomless Pit sign. I also did several runs down from the summit to Barr Camp and back up.

Proper fueling: Carbo-loaded for several days before the race and made sure I was hydrated. I took along my own energy drink (Hammer Gel in water) and only took water at the aid stations.

Proper pacing: Kept a steady tempo all the way up. Only broke down briefly about 2.5 to go. Had enough left over that I could push the last little bit from the 16 Golden Stairs to the finish.

Things Done Wrong: Started too far back in the pack and had to fight my way through them up Ruxton and the switchbacks. Ended up missing 3rd place in my age group in the Triple Crown series by 6 seconds 8-<

Any Other Stuff: This gave me good hopes of qualifying for Boston this year.

I wish I was going to be around next year. I think I’d have a shot at 3 hours since I don’t plan to quit running from October to January like I did last year.

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Name: Brenda Cowell

Ascent Goal: 5:00

Results: Just missed the cut off

General Summary: Had a good race and felt pretty good to the A-frame. Asthma kicked in at tree line and it took about three hours from the A-frame to reach the top.

Things Done Right: Kept a steady pace as far as I could. Breathing didn’t cooperate the last half of the race. Hung in there at the end and was happy to finish the race course even though I missed the cut off on top.

Things Done Wrong: Longer runs at high altitude and different asthma meds might help. Need to experiment during off season

Any Other Stuff: There is always next year. Can’t wait until November.

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Name: Joe Cowell

Ascent Goal: 4:00

469 77/187 Joe T Cowell 49 Woodland Park CO 4:03:46

General Summary: Race went pretty much as planned. I Didn’t crash too hard the last three miles like I usually do. The congestion on the trail was worse though as I went out slow and was in the second wave. Caught a lot of first wavers but I think I lost a lot of time trying to pass people.

Things Done Right: Went out slow, drank lots and ate power gel.

Things Done Wrong: Need to spend more time on my feet during long runs. Four and five hour runs during training help for a race like PP.

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Name: Tibor Kiss

Marathon Goal: 5:30

34 8/102 Tibor Kiss 40 Colo Spgs CO 3:10:43 1:56:20 5:07:03

General Summary: My first PPM, an incredible experience. Since I never ran it before, I had little clue about what time I should expect. I was hoping for better than 3:15 on the way up, but did not know how much the downhill part would beat me up. Luckily, I wasn’t hurting too much and could keep up a good pace till the finish line.

Things Done Right: I was pretty anal to do the right things before the race. I ate well, I took lots of fluids, I slept well, and I was breathing well for days before the race. I ran pretty hard two weeks before the race but had a week long winding down period and felt strong on race day. I had a big dilemma about carrying my camelback, but at the last minute I decided I would leave it behind. I did not regret it. But I did spend over a minute at each aid station gulping down 2-3 cups of liquid and eating something salty. I think it worked, I did not run out of energy or get dehydrated towards the end.

Things Done Wrong: More high altitude training would have helped a lot. I need better than 19 minute miles near the top.

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Name: Elizabeth Ahola

Marathon Goal: better last year of 6:38

Results: 7:47 or something
105 26/42 Elizabeth C Ahola 44 Colo Spgs CO 4:52:51 2:55:04 7:47:55

General Summary: My training this season has been ‘Hit or Miss’ with my allergies and asthma. Today’s race SUCKED — but I remembered a lesson that probably all racers go through. Painful because it zeros in on your pride and goals.

Last year my race was measured by how many toe nails I lost and how many cups of water I poured over my head at the H2O stations.

This year it is measured by how much air I can get into my chest — I forgot my inhaler.

Times on W’s and Creek were good and my asthma was mild. I figured if I kept it in check I’d be clear of it soon. It tends to disappear as I go higher in elevation.

I started loosing time on the ridge. I couldn’t breath. Asthma was getting worse not better. Even the downhills were not relaxing. I pulled into Barr 8 minutes late debating if I should go on. I thought about how some racers DNF if their times aren’t going to be good and I figured I signed up for it — I’m going to do it.

To make this short --- I got to the top in 5 hours. Man, I thought I’d make it in 4:30 at the max. Must have been all those rests and PEOPLE — :-). Now I’m calculating how fast I can get down and still make a good finish. If I hauled it all the way down — not thinking about that face plant in Dec. — I could do it. NOT!. My breathing got so bad I couldn’t jog slowly and had to walk most of the way down. This became extremely FUSTRATING because my legs were fine by my slow Ascent time. I would give running a few tries and my wheezing became SO loud I couldn’t hear anything else — but I was running. Next I would have outer body experiences of me wildly sucking air.

At the finish the kids — relieved I wasn’t hurt — asked why the man with the busted chin didn’t get someone in a car to take him down and me too. I told them you finish what you start — you hang tough — you do your best and be proud of it — not all races are going to be good ones — AND if you get hurt you get yourself out. I hope they’ll remember this. And that was the lesson. BLAH BLAH BLAH

Things Done Right: Did all the pre-Race norm stuff. Even stopped drinking alcohol 2weeks ago — AH HA — maybe that’s it....

Things Done Wrong: Probably should not have had the window open next to the bed with the fan blasting me last night because I woke up with a really stuffy nose and sneezing. Also, I spent the week before the race painting with some very strong Acetone stuff.

Any Other Stuff: Thankfully, Mik had a good run and finished in 5:38. We are all very proud of him and wonder just how fast he could get up that there hill if he trained.

Congrats to Matt and his family on Matt’s win. It really does take sacrifices from the whole family.

This leads me into — Mik and I are taking next PPA/PPM session off to spend more time with the kids doing fun stuff (not that running isn’t). We’ll be at a few club runs and maybe we’ll do lower elevation races — Good Luck to all and Adios till November. And by the way-- why is it that everyone knows your times on bad races?

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Name: Mary Jo Campbell (virtual ICer)

Ascent Goal: Meet or beat my last attempt 10 years ago: 4:28 & change

195 26/67 Mary J Campbell 46 Colo Spgs CO 4:29:41

General Summary: Nice day, perfect weather. Was happy to be in the first wave. Got a kick out of the announcer with the slight accent at the start who said no matter who won, we were all “weeners.” Several of us women looked at each other and said “But, we don’t WANT to be a weener.” =) Nothing like a good laugh to stem the pre-gun jitters.

Things Done Right: Got altitude training in on several weekends, didn’t donate blood for awhile and have to replace those valuable red blood cells, went out easy and picked people off starting in the W’s and never saw them again. Perfected my fast hike by training on steep trails (and the Incline) with a friend 16 years younger who has much longer legs (thanks, Sarah!), bought a Fuel Belt the day before the race and carried my own diluted GU bottle. (Can’t stand the fruity varieties and never feel like finishing a whole packet, so this allowed for smaller sips as my energy would begin to dip.) Did the Barr Trail Mountain Race. Wore neoprene ankle sleeves to support my wobbly, sprain-prone ankles. Tried out Pearl Izumi trail shoes which are like having studded snow tires (or screw shoes?) on ice. The traction is amazing and the treads don’t clog in mud. How cool is that?! Wrote optimistic split times on my hand from the calculator. Didn’t meet them, but was hopeful. Promised mys elf that I’d say something encouraging, friendly or nice to everyone I passed.

Things Done Wrong: Not enough speed work or long flat runs. Should have committed to Incline Club runs instead of being a virtual member. Tore ligaments in my ankle shortly after sending in my Ascent application and had to curtail/modify training. Wasn’t sure what caused the nausea after the Barr Trail Mtn. Race and had the same feeling the top 2 miles and for a couple hours afterward. I think I need more crackers or pretzels to stem all the sweet stuff...Gatorade, Gu, power bars, etc.

Any Other Stuff: A kind friend looked at the age group results before I did and noticed that in the 20-24 women’s age group, only the first person beat me! Or, as he said, “You soundly kicked the backsides of girls who were in diapers when you were having babies!” Thanks, Scott! I feel better already.

One suggestion — have something else besides hot dogs for runners afterward (back at the Park). Gag! I can barely handle those on a strong stomach. String cheese, PBJ’s, pudding, yogurt, bread sticks,...I dunno, something less hostile to the gut and slightly more nutritious for post-race refueling.

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Name: Curt Krieger

Ascent Goal: 3:15 — 3:25 and an age group award

55 2/100 Curt Krieger 51 Mason City IA 3:01:27

General Summary: Felt relaxed the day of the race. Weather seemed to be cooperating. Good day for a trip up the mountain!!

Things Done Right: Listened to advice of others that had experience with the race. Matt Carpenter (spoke at last year’s pre-race event), Jim Friem (wrote articles for the AATRA newsletters), other ICers when I was able to run on Sunday’s once in March and again in May, and several friends that participated in the 2002 Ascent.

Worked at developing my endurance to feel comfortable on 2 to 3 hour training runs. Did toe lifts regularly during the final month before the race. Practiced being efficient at the transitions between walking and running.

Careful to hydrate and stay relaxed the day before the race. Went to a movie and didn’t spend a long time in the sun at the packet pick-up.

Stayed a bit reserved at the start of the race. Felt held back by some of the runners but passed when I could without any dramatic shifts in pace. I was encouraged by my splits when comparing to the calculator from the website. Walked at a fast rate to recover and then push on at a steady pace. Used gel before three of the water stations, W’s, Barr Camp, and A-frame. Again became encouraged when able to pass other runners above the tree line. (In fact, I was even able to pass a couple runners that were running while I was recovering by walking!!)

Things Done Wrong: In this category I need to plead “unable” rather than wrong. By this I am referring to the fact that I did no high altitude training. I was fortunate to have hosts in Woodland Park and made several runs at 8500 to 9600 feet in March, May, and the week before the race. However, I had never been higher than Barr Camp in training.

I didn’t have the confidence to push just a little harder to reach the summit in under 3 hours.

Any Other Stuff: I love running the trails in the Colorado Springs area and the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon are awesome. I hope to be back sometime for the Marathon.

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Stories from the 2002 races

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