36 short stories from the 1999 Pikes Peak races

Stories from the 2000 races

Rock line

Name: Tim Erickson

Marathon Goal: Between 6:30:00 and 7:00:00

Result in Marathon:
322 39/61 TIM L ERICKSON 32 HIGHLANDS RANCH CO 4:16:40 2:44:18 7:00:58

General Summary: I had to walk more than I expected on the way up. I attribute that to not getting enough long runs in while training. I completed the Mosquito Marathon in 7:16:32 (July 17) but did not run longer than 2:00 between that race and Pikes Peak. On the way down I felt good and ran almost all of the way. Today, my body is not very sore other than a little bit in the quads a few areas that chaffed.

Things Done Right: I stayed well hydrated, wore sunscreen, wore sunglasses, took a windbreaker, carried water and food.

Things Done Wrong: Not enough long runs while training, need more high altitude training, I also need to stay away from food on the course at the aid stations that I did not train with.

Rock line

Name: Bill Lhotta

Marathon Goal: Beat last years time (5:17:14)

Result in Marathon:
39 14/100 WILLIAM LHOTTA 38 COLO. SPRINGS CO 3:19:29 1:46:39 5:06:08

General Summary: Weather was great and I felt strong at the very end

Things Done Right: 40-30-30 diet and sleep at altitude prior to race

Things Done Wrong: Need to start my running earlier than July 1st! (Too busy climbing!)

Any Other Stuff: Used my heart monitor to pace myself going up Mt. Manitou otherwise I would have gone out too fast!

Rock line

Name: Greek Goddess ???

Goal: 5:00

Result: 5:30

General Summary: Seemed really crowed this year

Things Done Right: Trained on the hills all summer.

Things Done Wrong: I went up with my sister. She has a real mental problem with the Peak. I stayed with her until she decided to turn around about a mile before Barr Camp. I tried to make up time but I got stuck behind the walking dead. Next year I am going solo.

Any Other Stuff: Weather it was perfect

Rock line

Name: David Eckley

Goal: To win both events for the masters division

Results in BOTH races:
11 2/218 DAVID W ECKLEY 42 TELLURIDE CO 2:37:15
4 1/116 DAVID W ECKLEY 42 TELLURIDE CO 2:46:43 1:31:54 4:18:37

General Summary: Slow and strong

Things Done Right: Pre-race conditioning, didn’t go out too hard for the ascent on day one. Hydrated well, had a massage by Marty.

Things Done Wrong: Lack of speedwork.

Rock line

Name: Nicole Rosa

Ascent Goal: under 4 hours, feel good at the top, not end up in the hospital.

Result in Ascent:
52 20/115 NICOLE E ROSA 39 COLO SPGS CO 3:45:34

General Summary: I didn’t push too hard, stayed hydrated and fueled, and felt great the entire race!

Things Done Right: Rested up the week before with only 1 swim and 1 bike ride on Tuesday. Ate extra carbs the day before, and a decent-sized breakfast the morning of the race. Drank a lot of Gatorade and nibbled peak bar chunks from Barr Camp on.

Things Done Wrong: Didn’t push hard enough (???)

Comments on Calculator if Used: I input my time after race, and my splits were almost exactly what the calculator said they should be.

Any Other Stuff: Next year I’m a masters! Old ladies may slow down, but they never die. It’s a wonderful feeling to do that race and feel so good the entire time!!!!!!!!!!!!

Rock line

Name: Joe and Brenda C

Marathon Goal: 8:00

Results for Marathon:
163 34/37 BRENDA V COWELL 43 WOODLAND PARK CO 6:18:51 3:01:28 9:20:19
531 81/92 JOE T COWELL 45 WOODLAND PARK CO 6:00:26 3:19:54 9:20:20

General Summary: The race got off to a bad start for us with Brenda having an asthma attack about mile 2. It slowed us down to a walk and we lost about an hour before No Name Creek (bummer). Used an inhaler and did better; managed to make the cut-offs so we were happy to finish the race. Anyone have any experience or advice on exercise induced asthma??

Rock line

Name: Chris Tschan

Marathon Goal: between 6 and 7 hours

Result in Marathon:
293 70/116 CHRISTOPHER TSCHAN 43 COLO SPGS CO 4:24:35 2:26:27 6:51:02

General Summary: 1st time in a race on Pikes Peak, 1st marathon since 1990. Didn’t want to go out too fast and fade, rather wanted to finish to see how hard it would be.

Things Done Right: Came down at a comfortably fast pace.

Things Done Wrong: I backed off training when Anne Marie left for South Africa in June. Started too far in the back, went up too slowly, and wasn’t dressed for the colder weather above tree line. Probably the most serious is: I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the altitude at 11,000 feet and above.

Any Other Stuff: The advice I got to run with the Incline Club is probably the best thing I did this year... I would never’ve tried the marathon without it.

Rock line

Name: Steve Bremner

Ascent Goal: 2:39

Result in Ascent:
22 7/218 STEVE BREMNER 44 USAFA CO 2:49:04

General Summary: At the top of the W’s I was in 11th, but had already dropped a couple places. By Barr Camp I was 4 minutes ahead of pace (2:16) but dropped to 18th. Ran the space between Barr Camp and A-Frame about four minutes slower than in training and above A-Frame I slowed another five minutes. Maybe running a flatland marathon 10 days beforehand was a factor. Also arriving from Europe after 30 hours travel time three days before the race couldn’t have been a positive factor.

Things Done Right: I didn’t fall.

Things Done Wrong: Too fast before Barr Camp.

Comments on Calculator if Used: Showed I was too fast before Barr Camp. I think it’s quite a good guide to follow for pacing.

Any Other Stuff: First time for me racing up the peak. Great experience and a good lesson in humility.

Rock line

Name: Timothy Edwards

Goal: 3:57:00 “save” my legs for the Marathon. Finish both runs with good memories, no injury.

Results in BOTH races:
194 44/218 TIMOTHY EDWARDS 42 WOODLAND PARK CO 3:35:33 A new PR!
238 53/116 TIMOTHY EDWARDS 42 WOODLAND PARK CO 4:07:25 2:21:32 6:28:57 one hour ahead of my time goal.

General Summary: My first Marathon (started running 22 months ago after smoking for 22 years). Recent training involved running to the summits of ten different 14’ers, setting a new PR of four in one day (Quandry, Grays, Torreys, Evans). Also rode my bicycle 2 hrs to the summit house of Mt Evans for alpine time. Enjoyed the Pikes Peak workout, the main result of a lot of alpine training.

Things Done Right: Started at correct speed, felt great above treeline.

Things Done Wrong: Last two weeks of my training involved too much bicycle / not enough distance running.

Comments on Calculator if Used: Calculator seems to work perfect.

Any Other Stuff: I have a lot of pride in being an Incline Club member. The club has improved my performance significantly. I hope my changing schedule will allow me to continue. I want to do the double header again next year.

Rock line

Name: Rick Hessek

Marathon Goal: 4:30:00

Results in Marathon:
14 2/61 RICK HESSEK 33 COLO SPGS CO 2:53:08 1:47:09 4:40:17

General Summary: Can’t blame the weather. Ran my race. Wasn’t concern about anybody that was ahead of me going up. Like I’m faster then them so I should be ahead of them. Eventually I reeled those people in. Passed people going up all the way after the first water stop. Helps mentally being the person passing. Going down I was the person being passed. Some people are better down hillers. Calves started to cramp at about 1 mile to top. Coming down was very taxing on legs until A-Frame. Then cramping went away but my legs felt heavy from braking the first 3 miles more than I like to. Couldn’t stretch my stride out much. I finished knowing I gave everything I had going up and coming down. Sometimes you finish a race and say I could have run faster, I saved too much. This race I gave 100% plus. I’ll be back next year.

Things Done Right: Didn’t go all out to Barr Camp. The race can be even longer if you use all your energy during the first 6 miles uphill. Like the signs that told you how many switchbacks to A-Frame. Going up I could count without the signs, coming down it help more because I lose count. Drank 2 cups of water at each aid station. Used GU. Those grapes don’t do me much and the Peak Bars are too heavy. Stomach is pretty much shut down. The last thing it needs is more blood to help digest solid food. I prefer to keep the blood flowing to the legs.

Things Done Wrong: Drink more? Maybe, I had 2 cups at each aid station. Urine was little pale after run.(A little more than you care to hear) Felt worst this year coming down but was 3 minutes faster than last year on the down hill. Perhaps have some more runs going up and coming down to try to simulate the pounding of what your legs will see race day .I don’t feel I took enough rest after the Sky Marathon at the end of June. Felt tired more than past years approaching the P.P. Marathon. Rest is important after a race like that.

Rock line

Name: Mike Kolesnik

Ascent Goal: 4:00

Result in Ascent:
696 144/218 MICHAEL D KOLESNIK 40 CHANDLER AZ 4:38:49

General Summary: A very challenging race with great support.

Things done right #1: I followed your excellent guide and did not go out too hard at the start.

Things done right #2: I followed your advice on high altitude training and it paid off. In the last 2 miles I got my second wind and passed almost 50 people and got passed by no one!

Things Done Wrong: I started off at the back of the pack thinking I could get into my pace and work my way through the pack at my leisure. Instead, I got caught behind a huge line of walkers which was almost impossible to negotiate.

Comments on Calculator if Used: Surprisingly accurate and it seemed to take into account the slowing down of the runner as the race progressed. I also used it during my one training run on the mountain.

Any Other Stuff: Biggest disappointment: Seeing how soon the pack started walking. I trained very hard for this race expecting to be challenged and driven by the other runners to achieve my best. Instead, the pack started walking right at the end of Ruxton St. at the start of the dirt trail! It was almost impossible to pass anybody due to the continuous line of walkers. I was embarrassed to be walking in a race of this stature. Hell, almost anybody can walk up the mountain.

Rock line

Name: Larry Miller. I timed people in both the ascent and marathon on top of the mountain — that is 16 hours of being high. My main goal was to survive the weather changes. With my goal well in reach the next step was to push that red button as people crossed the finish line. That went OK Saturday until Lynn, our leader, sat down and hand wrote the names and times of the people who came in well after the cut off time. I explained to her that they are not official and that we only take official results and then she stopped.

Then came Sunday. I was at the start with a watch that kept the official time that I had to drive to the top. Then the fun started — push that button, keep track of Incline people and take pictures. Then I saw something that floored me — Big John at 3:03 after he had run a 2:56 ascent the day before! Doing both is outstanding, that’s what Rick and Cindy did last year, but John is like 6ft 4 and 205lbs a former pro football player no less. Then came the dip that cussed out everybody and threw a water bottle and hit somebody with it. That was not called for and I hope I never see an Incline person do that.

But the day was saved by a young couple when he asked her to marry him at the top and she never knew it was coming! It really got the people on top clapping for them and brightened the day. Then the cut off came and we left. I took one runner who was not going back down off the mountain. He was from Portland, OR and last week ran the Carter Lake Marathon at 8500ft. We had a lot to talk about since I am from there as well as the fact that we got 20 extra minutes to talk after we failed the brake check at Glen Cove.

Keep running and I’ll see you ALL at the FALL SERIES!

Rock line

Name: Marilyn Turner

Ascent Goal: Under 4 for first time Ascent.

Result in Ascent:
72 15/94 MARILYN S TURNER 34 COLO SPGS CO 3:54:04

General Summary: First half was hot and difficult to push hard. After Barr Camp the kick was there to finish strong.

Things Done Right: Enough rest prior to race, fluids during, and not looking up to the summit to get psyched out!!

Things Done Wrong: Wore a pair of street running shoes because those I trained in wore out.

Any Other Stuff: It was interesting to note... while expecting my body to be in an abused state following the ascent, I actually felt better (once the muscle spasms stopped) than after some 10K races done on pavement. The unique benefits of training on the W’s, Hydro St., Incline, and some track runs were all very distinguishable. The sweat equity really paid off.

Rock line

Name: William M Page

Ascent Goal: 3:30

Result in Ascent:
288 33/160 WILLIAM PAGE 47 COLO SPGS CO 3:47:02

General Summary: The race went well initially, I tried to be very consciences of time splits, for example the corner of Ruxton Avenue. I paced for a 4:30 to the corner, and sure enough, most people passed me right away, but I caught most of them further up the trail. I made Barr camp in 1:45, but was delayed getting to the A frame, (2:40) for some reason. I felt good, it just didn’t happen. Between A frame and the summit, I was OK, but dragging some. The previous weekend, Marilyn and I ran from the summit to A frame and then back. On that run, I made the 3 mile trek in about 55 minutes. Anyway, it was a great experience, and fun to see a lot of the folks that we run with do well.

Things Done Right: well rested, well hydrated, took the right amount of GU along, paced myself for a 3:30.

Things Done Wrong: Too slow between Barr camp and A frame. This was the one part of the course I never trained on this season.

Any Other Stuff: Incline club training helped dramatically. Bottlenecking of people walking on the Ws and the last 200m cost me some time. Not much you can do about it though.

Rock line

Name: Cindy O’Neill

Ascent Goal: 2:40

Result in Ascent:
1 1/115 CINDY O’NEILL 37 MANITOU SPGS CO 2:45:17

General Summary: Was on pace to Barr Camp, and lost several minutes from barr Camp to A-frame. I ran the top three miles on pace after the bad spell.

Things Done Right: Stopped and drank at every aid station.

Things Done Wrong: Went out way too fast the first mile (on the road). Should have eaten a GU before Barr Camp, probably after 30 minutes of racing.

Comments on Calculator if Used: I think its pretty accurate for me. I usually am a little slower (a minute or less) on the Barr Camp to A-frame section, and also on the last mile. I probably just need to work on those sections.

Rock line

Name: Yvonne Franceschini

Ascent Goal: sub 4:00:00

Result in Ascent:

General Summary: Thought I could pull a 3:45 in the beginning, but had no endurance to make it happen.

Things Done Right: Did not truly expect anything better than 4 hour ascent! When exhausted at Barr Camp, still talked myself into running the flats - got a second wind on last mile maybe due to the amount of time I spent at the top the 2 weeks before - did my second best time on the last mile (best time was done on an Elk Park run). Practiced drinking only at water stops during training runs. Worked great during race - I never felt I needed water when not at an aid station - made sure I had 2 full cups of water at each station - that might have saved a total fiasco given how tired I was.

Things Done Wrong: Almost everything else. 1) Different shoes and socks on the day of the race so found out socks were too thin for the shoes 2) started out way too fast - was 3 minutes ahead of 4 hour pace at top of W’s - I guess I thought I could still do the 3:45. Maybe took too many PowerGels. I had one at each aid station. I was so full at the end!

Comments on Calculator if Used: Every time I am ahead of pace at the bottom, I get behind at the top so I guess the calculator could be right after all — If I could just find the humbleness to go slower at the bottom and see what happens at the top then I would know for sure :-)

Any Other Stuff: STINKS to go in knowing you are not prepared. I knew no PRs were happening this year for me, but at least I can wear the shirt ! It was awesome to see so many people from the club finish so well. Some of us made mistakes, but still did not quit and finished in a "Longs Ranch Road style" with pain in their eyes. For those of us that blew it, there might have been a little pain in our hearts too - I know there was in mine.

Rock line

Name: Matt Strand

Ascent Goal: Early summer my goal was a sub 3 hour race. Within two weeks of the race I did two Elk Park runs and didn’t break 1:40 from Barr Camp to the summit. I changed the goal to 3:05 to 3:10.

Result in Ascent:
61 16/143 MATTHEW J STRAND 32 COLO SPGS CO 3:10:23

General Summary: 2nd Ascent race - improved by over 6 minutes from last year.

Things Done Right: Finished.

Things Done Wrong: Not proper training for the time I initially wanted (under 3 hours). Got an adrenaline rush and ran too hard at the beginning. Perhaps could have run faster and definitely would have enjoyed the race more if I went out a bit slower.

Comments on Calculator if Used: Probably didn’t rely on it enough. I did get my splits, however.

Any Other Stuff: I’m a road runner trying to learn how to run on the mountains. I’ve always held my pace well on the roads, passing people in later miles. In fact, I’ve had coaches get upset with me for not going out fast enough. (The reverse of what seems to have happened in the two Ascent races I’ve done.) Mountain running takes a lot of patience and self-discipline. I’m not sure how much of it I’ll do in the future, but it sure has been interesting. (Although I don’t consider myself a mountain runner, I’m sure I could break 3 hours in the Ascent with proper training and racing.)

Rock line

Name: Charlie Nuttelman

Marathon Goal: 5:00, so I was pretty close!

Result in Marathon:
51 4/18 CHARLIE R NUTTELMAN 22 COLO. SPRINGS CO 3:16:40 1:54:58 5:11:38

General Summary: Great race for my first PPM!

Things Done Right: I took it really easy on the way up. I couldn’t believe how far back in the pack I was even up to the 2nd aid at the incline. I kept telling myself to stay relaxed and then I just started passing people left and right - they went out way too hard! At Barr camp I was in excellent condition and made it to the A-frame before feeling a little sluggish. I set my watch for 30 minute intervals to remind myself to eat something - GU in this race. This was the end of doing things right, though!

Things Done Wrong: First, I am having trouble knowing what and what not to eat the night before the race and the morning of the race. Usually I run in the evening so when I run in the morning my body isn’t used to it - I should run in the morning at least once a week to solve this problem! Two hours before this race I had two bagels and a yogurt - I am open to any suggestions on eating both the night before races and the morning of the race. Second, I pushed myself a little too hard on the last two or three miles coming into Barr camp. I held back on the top section below the summit while descending, but right before Barr camp I sped up a little. Then, on the last three miles coming into Manitou I was hurtin’!

Comments on Calculator if Used: I remembered the splits to Barr camp and I stuck to them. My goal was a 3 hour ascent. I was two minutes behind at Barr camp but was feeling really really good. Then from Barr camp to the summit I didn’t use splits, I just tried to stay relaxed and not to overexert myself.

Any Other Stuff: I only got “girled” (beat by a girl) three times! Each race I get girled less and less!

Rock line

Name: Jim Swinehart

Marathon Goal: 5:30, place in male 50-55

Result of Marathon:
267 22/73 JAMES M SWINEHART 52 DENVER CO 3:55:55 2:45:51 6:41:46

Things Done Right: Took enough power gel and dressed lightly (warm weather)

Things Done Wrong: Started too fast (41 min to top of "w’s" — too fast for me). Ran mts. Sat. and Sun. of weekend before. Went too slowly downhill — not enough downhill training. I need to train more on bottom-to-top runs at altitude — not just Waldo Canyon, which is up & down. How do you do well on the last 3 miles after running up the first 10? My time from "A Frame" to top was 70 minutes. First 41 min. heart rate 90% of max; rest - 85% to top.

Rock line

Name: Marty Toetz

Ascent Goal: 4:30 and beat last year’s Ascent time of 5:28

Result in Ascent:
845 114/143 MARTY TOETZ 33 COLO SPGS CO 5:07:12

General Summary: My race went as planned until 2 miles to go. I hit the wall. At the 1 mile to go sign I was 4 hours. I thought for sure 4:30 was doable but it took all I had to walk and not throw up. I should have brought gloves and a heavier shirt. At the top I was told I was extremely hypoxic. All I know is I was white as a sheet and my hands and lips were purple. Also, both my quads cramped up after running thru Barr Camp until A-frame then they were ok. I made Barr Camp in 1:50 and A-frame in 2:58

Things Done Right: I did start slow, I think if my quads did not lock up I would have made A frame in 2:35 - 2:45.

Things Done Wrong: Needed a heavier long sleeve shirt and gloves. MORE altitude training.

Comments on Calculator if Used: I like the calculator.

Rock line

Name: Kevin Bruno

Ascent Goal: Better than 3:30 Ascent

Result in Ascent:
191 42/218 KJ BRUNO 42 COLO SPGS CO 3:35:06

General Summary: It was a good day to run up Pikes Peak. There wasn’t the unbearable heat or freezing temperatures that I have encountered in some past races. In fact, the cloud cover above the Peak was quite a welcome sight to this warm blooded runner. It kept things comfortable above timberline. The only things I missed were an uncrowded trail and my ascent time goal.

Things Done Right: Seeded into the first wave. Stretched, applied 30 weight sunscreen, ate a banana, and downed 1 quart of water prior to the race. Wore sunglasses. Did not carry water, but relied on race support for hydration. Took in water at every opportunity. Sucked down a Gu packet followed by water at Barr Camp, A-Frame, and just before the Kazoo players somewhere between 1 and 2 miles from the summit. Donned a cap after A-Frame. Didn’t push anyone out of the way.

Things Done Wrong: Did not train above 10,000 feet. Unable to take Friday off — entered the race a little sleep deprived and stressed from the previous work week. Maybe, just maybe, I could have benefited from a Gu packet at the top of the W’s. Found myself talking once or twice with fellow runners (is that such a bad thing?) above timberline instead of staying focused.

Comments on Calculator if Used: I roughly recalled 3 of the calculator splits based on a 3hr:30min ascent time — Hydro Street(13min), Barr Camp (1hr:46min), and A-Frame (2hr:30min). My time at Hydro Street was 10min:43sec and I consciously kicked down a gear. I said hello to Matt at the top of the W’s at about 38min:06sec; he responded back that I was 209th so far. Barr Camp came at 1hr:37min:50sec. At first I thought I was 8min too slow believing that Barr Camp should be 1hr:30min. It wasn’t until I thought about the next A-Frame time mark that I realized I was really 8min too fast! A-Frame was reached at 2hr:25min:38sec. I was delighted that I could actually run some sections above timberline, but admittedly those sections were connected by long, fast, power hikes. All in all I would say the calculator has merit.

Any Other Stuff: Always said a thank you to the support crews. Stole glances of Manitou and Colorado Springs going up the W’s and of Pikes Peak along the “flats” on the way to Barr Camp and also at some of the switchbacks above timberline. Wondered how early Matt had to wake up in order to position the switchback count signs just before A-Frame (I noticed his web site address at the bottom) and yet get to the top of the W’s before the race. Found it psychologically difficult to watch runners go by when I stopped to drink water.

Rock line

Name: In the “been there, done that, got the T-shirt (again!) and lived to tell about it (Thank God)” category, we have... Carol Sauceda

Marathon Goal: To participate, run as well as I could, and to finish (no delusions of new PR’s this year!)

Result in Marathon:
115 25/37 CAROL SAUCEDA 44 MONUMENT CO 4:38:43 3:17:50 7:56:33

General Summary: I have encountered significant physical challenges this year which have not enabled me to train at the level required to perform to the best of my ability. I was able to train adequately, to be able to participate in this year’s PP Marathon, and do what I LOVE to do.

Things Done Right: PACING... maintained a strong consistent pace over the course, i.e. did not hit the wall, bonk, or fall apart at altitude or in the last three miles. The training at altitude I did this year really paid off!

Things Done Wrong: Forgot my peanut butter and honey sandwich in the car... bummer !

Comments on Calculator if Used: It has been very helpful in setting expectations and pacing over the entire course.

Any Other Stuff: I felt really good above treeline, passed a BUNCH of people who cheered me on. Great people to run with in the Marathon!

Rock line

Name: Tim Allison

Marathon Goal: I always have at least two goals. This year: break 2:55 going up (did it), set a PR (did it by 8 minutes), be the fastest Allison to ever run the Peak (failed, again, this time by about 80 seconds — see Margie Lloyd Allison’s (Roger’s wife) age-group record)

Result in Marathon:
10 4/100 TIMOTHY ALLISON 38 COLO SPGS CO 2:52:14 1:45:40 4:37:54

General Summary: Note this is very detailed. Perhaps it will help Matt tune his calculator for non-altitude adjusted types, and also help others use their heart monitors. I am in the fortunate position of being a techno-geek runner who has done the marathon for 7 straight years.

Things Done Right:
1) Bred a cheering section
2) Made friends with an even bigger cheering contingent
3) Felt as good for my friends as for myself — and still felt good for myself
4) Used my heart rate monitor instead of Matt’s calculator (see below).
5) Wore shoes with rubber insoles in them for the trip down. For the first time, my feet were just a little beat, not blistered or anything. I did change shoes at the top, which cost me about 2 minutes. (Paul S. showed up as I left.) I think wearing lighter shoes to the top may have saved me more than two minutes, but I will need more training on the peak to know.
6) Drank at least two cups at every stop, but the very first where I had one. When Gatorade was offered, I drank it first, then a water so I wouldn’t feel thirsty.
7) Took plenty of Power Gel (a Gu equivalent). The energy is worth the weight. I took them right before French-No-Name Creek, Barr Camp, and the Circ. On the way down, just at Barr Camp, because I dropped my other one and stomped hard enough on it to send the stuff about 10 feet to my side. Made a neat noise, though.
8) Pushed hard, even though tired. In fact, I passed three people in the last 0.9 miles, including John R, who had just past me.

Things Done Wrong:
1) Didn’t train above Barr Camp. I only had time to venture above Barr Camp twice, once I walked with Rick H. to the Bottomless Pit sign, once I walked/ran with Paul S most of the way to the A-Frame.
2) Didn’t train with enough Gu type stuff — I would take one every long run. I should take two or three to better simulate the race. My stomach was on edge the whole way down.
3) I am an ungainly downhill runner. I need to work on my foot speed and agility. I suspect that is why "football John" ran down about 7 minutes faster than me, not counting my shoe change, even though I could outrun him for the last mile.

Comments on Calculator if Used: I didn’t feel the calculator would apply to me, and I was right. It assumes you have trained at altitude and I hardly ever went above Barr Camp, and only ran to Barr Camp two or three times. However, I know I can run uphill well, and I knew that last year I ran too fast at the start. I know from the study last year, that I should be able to run a marathon with my heart rate between 160 and 170. (At 160, I have no lactate build-up. By 170 I have build-up, but I should be able to exceed that even for a 10K.) From last year’s marathon, where I shot for a 160 average and was too tired at the top. This year, I kept my heart rate down. My average at the Incline water stop was 150, with a high of 157. My average at what I call little No-Name (the false French-No-Name Creek) was again 152, but a high of 162 (oops). At French-No-Name Creek they were 153 and 164. I had three splits going from there to Barr Camp, all with an average of 148 and two with a high of 159, the other with a high of 155. Despite the fact that I was basically cruising, my splits were phenomenal (for me). I hit Hydro street at 9:12, the incline H2O stop at 27:47, little no name at 37:05, French-No-Name at 45:30, the first Iron sign at 1:01:47, the lying sign at 1:13:02, and Barr Camp at 1:19:56 (and actually that was basically at the end of Barr Camp.) I knew I was on pace for a 2:40 ascent. I also knew I wouldn’t do well at the top and that the Barr Camp to the A-Frame section is my nemesis in both directions. So I downshifted from Barr Camp to A-frame with an average heart rate of 145 and a split of 1:58:28, still two-three minutes or so ahead of a 2:50, according to the calculator. At the two miles to the top sign, I was 146 and a split of 2:15:45. At this point, started walking because I lacked confidence more than anything else. I wanted to be sure I would make it, and I would be able to come down. I knew ahead of time this would happen, and I knew I had actually taken it relatively easy for the first half of the ascent. (Note, even hiking my heart rate stayed in the high 130’s, which is my recovery run level.)

Notes from Matt: Since Tim was nice enough to provide this info to help me “tune my calculator” I thought I would use him as a case study;-) First I plugged different Ascent times into the calculator until I came up with a Barr Camp split that matched Tim’s. I focused on Tim’s Barr Camp split because that was the last place (by his own admission) he was able to keep up his pulse. Here is what we get:

             Tim     Calc   Pulse
Hydro       9:12     9:53   
H20        27:47     N/A    150 avg high 157 (Calc split at top of W's not at H2O stop)
French     45:30    46:00   153 avg high 164
7.5 sign 1:01:47  1:02:20   148 avg high 159
Barr     1:19:56  1:19:45   148 avh high 155
The calculator was dead on here. He was ahead a little in the beginning and as his heart rate slowed he came out just a smidge behind. So what is wrong with this picture? These are the splits for a 2:37 Ascent!!! Now Tim is a good runner but he was not in that good of shape. Quite simply he died! Opps, I mean “downshifted.” In fact Tim lost 7 minutes to a 2:37 Ascent in the next split alone after this “downshift:” At this point Tim wrote that he was “still two-three minutes or so ahead of a 2:50, according to the calculator.” Of course he was ahead of a 2:50 there — he had been running splits for a 2:37 — but what is his point because his next “downshift” had him walking! Read it again.

Look, if you really think you should be starting the ascent running “phenomenal splits” with a pulse in the mid 150s (while popping off 162s and 164s) and finishing the ascent walking with a pulse in the high 130s (“recovery pace”) then you really need to rethink your concept of pacing. The calculator is just a tool and yes it does assume altitude training. However if you plug in an unrealistic goal into the calculator don’t complain that it does not work when you die on race day. If it were that simple we could all just plug in 1:59:59!

If Tim NEVER looks at the calculator, fine, but if he is going to claim to be a “techno-geek runner” he needs to learn to use the technology!!! Tim’s pulse monitor clearly showed that he faded very badly over the course of the Ascent. When I race, a pulse rate spread of 5 beats per minute makes a huge difference. Tim was all over the place with a 25 beat spread! Does that mean a pulse monitor does not work for him either?

NO! The pulse monitor is fine and so is the calculator. In fact they both show the EXACT same thing: Tim went out too fast and could not hold it. Learn from this people — no calculator or pulse monitor is going to save you from a silly game plan! Look at his goal again “break 2:55” and look what he wrote after his Barr Camp split “I knew I was on pace for a 2:40 ascent.” Where is the logic in that? Sure he got a PR, but he could have had a bigger one if he would have started slower and kept an even heart rate. In fact he most likely could have nailed a 2:45!!!

Rock line

Name: Steve M

Ascent Goal:3:00:00

Result in Ascent:
90 19/218 STEVE MALLIK 41 WOODLAND PARK CO 3:17:37

General Summary: I was feeling strong and leading the second wave until I ran into the end of the first wave. The extra effort required in passing really took its toll as well as the areas which could only be run in single file at a slower pace.

Things Done Right: I stuck with the calculator times for my goal.

Things Done Wrong: 1. I tried to drink while running. 2. Got placed in the second wave.

Comments on Calculator if Used: The calculator works. Use it!

Any Other Stuff: This was my first Ascent. Everything learned will pay off big next year. Also, listen to what the veterans have to say. It’s worth its weight in gold!

Rock line

Name: Jim Schreiber

Result in Ascent:
298 62/218 JIM L SCHREIBER 41 PUEBLO WEST CO 3:47:43

General Summary: I had some mid season problems with my Achilles Tendon and missed a lot of the group workouts, boy did this affect my race on Saturday! I thought wrongly that I could rely on distance workouts to compensate for the lack of big hill stuff. I used the calculator and determined that my target would be 3:23 or so and set out for a great day despite my lack of training above 12,000 ft. the start was great and I was on target at Barr Camp with a 1:42 which felt very slow, I hit the A frame at 2:24 and still felt great. The next mile was alright but slow with a lot of congestion and confusion on my part as I had not ever run above Barr Camp before. I did more altitude training in Westcliff for a change of pace and less traffic. I spent 1:43 from the A frame to the finish and had more strange contractions to muscles that I had no idea were there. My toes formed fists making it very difficult to run and my knees cramped every time I took a step longer than 11 inches. I know this because my left foot never moved further than the end of my right shoe. What a trip!! I was passed by no fewer than 125 people who looked fresh faced and some ladies with their makeup still in place. After a trip to the med. building with the help of a volunteer, I recovered and enjoyed one of the greatest views and feeds of any running event I have ever been involved in.

Rock line

Name: Tony Eckel (Frederick Eckel in the official results)

Marathon Goal: Run a smart race, have fun, and finish under 5:30:00

Result in Marathon:
78 8/61 FREDERICK A ECKEL 32 COLO SPRINGS CO 3:19:21 2:05:51 5:25:12

General Summary: To reach my goal time with time to spare, I was shooting for a 3:20 ascent to give me around 2 hours to get down (Generally, I am a fast downhill runner but I had no idea how it would go when I was really tired. Also, I got tendonitis in the knees a few months ago so I had to cut my running mileage way down. I knew this would hurt my endurance for the down trip.). I had a great ascent and felt fantastic the whole way up. After turning around, I cruised down to A Frame then started to slow up in the rough stuff down to Barr Camp. After that, I was able to keep a steady pace (even on the ups) but not as quick I as I wanted to go. When I started to pick it up in the W’s, I got a wake up call to slow back down. One of those little trail gremlins sent me flailing to catch my balance and I nearly ate some serious gravel.

Things Done Right: I kept well hydrated, taking two cups of water at each aid station. I stuck as close to the pace calculator time for my goal as I could.

Things Done Wrong: I think I went too fast from Peak to A Frame after turn around. I was very excited at that point and it felt so good to cruise. A more reasonable pace on the first part of the down may have allowed me to go stronger on the lower part where I began to fade. An embarrassing thing also happened at the finish line. All I saw was a sea of cones and guessed that the finish was right at the bottom of Ruxton where an official looking guy was standing. I figured that the thing going off to the left was a chute so I slowed down there. After two runners went zipping passed me, I realized my stupid mistake. So, in my mind I really finished 76th, not 78th!

Comments on Calculator if Used: YES, it worked for me. By Barr Camp, I was about 3 min ahead of the calculator’s time for a 3:20:00. I lost a couple min between there and A Frame then held on up to the Peak for a 3:19:21 ascent.

Any Other Stuff: If anybody ever asks you how I came up with those amazingly accurate weather forecasts, tell them I sold my sole to the devil. That is easier to believe than saying that It was due to a combination of 10 years of forecasting experience, good guidance from computer models, and a close study of the Peak’s weather patterns.

Rock line

Name: Gary Hellenga

Ascent Goal: Wasn’t clearly set, but probably about 3:45.

Result in Ascent:
129 31/208 GARY A HELLENGA 38 COLO. SPRINGS CO 3:26:15

General Summary: I’ve had a nagging viral infection, or something, for months, so I’ve not been able to train much this year - so I’m satisfied with my time, which was 13 minutes slower than my ascent time in the Marathon last year. I was disappointed I had to walk so much of the trail above Barr Camp, though.

Things Done Right: Training on the Trail! I think my experience and knowledge of Barr Trail, and knowledge of when to slow down when altitude started bothering me, helped me do as well or better than others who were actually in better condition for the race.

Things Done Wrong: No glaring errors that I can think of - but see next item.

Comments on Calculator if Used: This was the first time I tried to follow calculated splits. While I’m sure they are optimal for an unimpeded run, I found that I got stuck behind too many walkers/slow runners on the W’s. In the past two years, I’m sure I ran the course to beyond Hydro Street at much faster than the recommended pace (and my overall race pace), but found that my speed through the W’s was very close to the others I was running near, so there was little bunching. This year, I was faster in the W’s than most everyone else, but had a heck of a time passing people - I frequently felt the urge to just pick up the person in front of me and toss him/her over the railing! For me, I still think it’s better to go out a little faster to Hydro Street, then throttle back a bit on the W’s so I don’t burn out up top.

(This data also submitted by Garry Hellenga)

Name: Lynn Hellenga (Galleger, in results)

Ascent Goal:3:45 (maybe 3:30, if feeling good)

Result in Ascent:
44 19/115 LYNN GALLEGER 37 COLO. SPRINGS CO 3:41:24

General Summary: Did OK despite training fall-off in Spring and early Summer. Had to walk more of the Barr - A-Frame segment than desired, though.

Things Done Right: Trained at altitude. Married a great guy! (Submitter’s comment!;) )

Rock line

Name: Valerie Prothe

Ascent Goal: 4:10

Result in Ascent:
179 53/115 VALERIE J PROTHE 35 COLO SPGS CO 4:23:28

General Summary: Good learning experience. Physically felt great the entire trek, mentally found it frustrating. Truly believe I could have made my goal time. I spent a minimum of 11 miles trying to pass a continuous stream of people, it was very difficult and unexpected. I expected to have to pass many people, but the majority of the second wave took off and I (staying true to my splits for a 4 hour Ascent :-) quickly fell to the back of the crowd. As I watched hundreds of people pass me I started stressing out since I knew I’d be passing most of them later (and I did). Once on the trail, I fell into line behind hikers, unable to run at my planned locations, and immediately started losing time on my splits. Most people were good about letting me pass (and even gave me encouragement), but the trail did not always allow for that and it took a lot of effort to pass only a few people before jumping back in line. Many times, I had to jump on top of large rocks. Only about 5 people passed me that I never saw again. Made great time on the last 3 miles and it was easier to pass, I even ran quite a bit of the last mile!

Things Done Right: HIGH ALTITUDE TRAINING!!! This was the best thing I had done right (confirmed when passing the rock huggers at the top)! HILL TRAINING!!!! A close second! Drank small amounts of a sports drink frequently. Ate Power Gels before I started feeling hungry. Never wore myself out (I guess I can’t take credit here).

Things Done Wrong: Probably should have gone out ~1 minute faster to Hydro (before you yell, allow me to explain). With the reasoning being that once on the trail, the crowd went so slow that there was plenty of time to recoup AND I wouldn’t be spending as much energy passing as many people.

Comments on Calculator if Used: I really like the pace calculator, but I don’t think it works very well for the second wave (for my goal time) up to Hydro St. I was following the pace calculator for a 4 hour Ascent and believed (being in the second wave) that I would be towards the front of the pack, but too many 5+ hour Ascent runners pushed me to the back immediately and (I felt) really added to my time. I believe that in the first wave, next year, this will work great for me as most runners in the first wave will be faster than I the entire journey.

Any Other Stuff: I felt very prepared and great during the entire race, the only thing that I failed to expect was how difficult passing would be and just how many people I would be passing. I know you are completely against going out faster than the pace calculator denotes, but I think in certain circumstances you have to.

Note from Matt: Well said and I agree. If you are shooting for a 4 hour Ascent you should not be in the second wave because like she said you will get stuck behind a buch of people who go out way too hard and end up walking 90% of the Ascent.

Rock line

Name: Mike De Sordi

Ascent Goal: My goal was 5 hrs no more than 5 1/2 hrs

Result in Ascent:
607 58/90 MICHAEL L. DESORDI 28 MILLARD NE 4:24:24

General Summary: Having spent many summers as kid in Manitou I always saw the race start and wondered what’s the big deal, it’s just another race. Now I know the reason it is different for everybody! For me it was the challenge of getting to the top as fast as I could. That is why the race for me can be summed up in one word. Great!!! It was a race I was scared of running having doubt in my abilities but I was able to do just fine. Once I reached the summit I had tears of joy. this race will be one that I will tell everyone that I did. Still I can’t wait till next year I am even thinking of doing the Marathon next year.

Things Done Right: I felt I stayed calm when everyone was passing me on Ruxton but I knew I would catch them later and I did catch some of the other runners.

Things Done Wrong: I should have pressed a little harder towards the end, I felt I had a little left and did not use it but I always feel that way.

Rock line

Name: Brent S. Ashmore

Ascent Goal: Run 2:29:59

Result in Ascent:
14 6/143 BRENT ASHMORE 30 YELLOWSTONE N WY 2:41:18 — 8 minute PR

General Summary: Weather was ideal, competition was available — better than in the past couple of years — just couldn’t put it all together.

Things Done Right: Lowering body weight this year from 165 to 155. Spending multiple nights at Barr camp. Knowing the course, target splits, length of flatter sections etc..

Things Done Wrong: Not enough time spent on the mountain. Being at Yellowstone from 4/26 until 8/9 didn’t allow me to create enough red blood cells. In 98 I had better high fitness in 99 I had better overall fitness.

Rock line

Name: Sid Rubey

Ascent Goal: Very seriously, 3 hours

Result in Ascent:
1046 204/208 SID RUBEY 38 COLO SPGS CO 6:14:39

General Summary: Last year I got caught in the pack and finished 3:52, this year expected to do much better, I regularly get to Barr Camp in 90 minutes, and anticipated this all year, it was very dissappointing... So... not my day, felt terrible from the start, at Barr Camp in 98 minutes, downhill from there, started to cramp in my inner thigh, one mile from the top had to stop at the aid station with EPS&R, went hypothermic, hobbled across the finish line in a blanket on O2, really not even a finisher, although the newspaper listed me.

Things Done Right: My lungs were there, I believe. Trained a lot on hills, on Barr Trail. Did speed work, knew my splits like my birthday, really looked forward to a good run, told myself all summer not to take anything on the trail for granted, or the race itself — this helped to minimize my dissappointment.

Things Done Wrong: Need to be right at the line at the start, not get stuck in the pack, more strength conditioning for my legs, more really long runs.

Comments on Calculator if Used: worked great — you freely give away the best training regimens.

Rock line

Name: Matt Von Thun

Ascent Goal: 2:40

Result in Ascent:
48 13/143 MATT S VON THUN 33 COLO SPRINGS CO 3:06:25

General Summary: I thought by staying with Cindy O. at the start I would be assured of proper pacing, but I still went too fast on the roads. I got back on track through the middle section hitting my No-Name, Barr Camp and Bottomless pit splits within 30 seconds of target. From the pit to the A-Frame I slowed down and above the A-frame I began getting dizzy spells and staggered up the last 3 miles.

Things Done Right: Trained on the upper half of the course once a week starting 6 weeks before the race.

Things Done Wrong: Spent a week at sea level the week before the race (This is the only thing that I can think of to explain how I felt above treeline). Went out too fast at the start.

Comments on Calculator if Used: It is almost impossible to run the flat road to Ruxton slow enough. During my easy trial run three weeks before the race I recorded all the splits but did not look at my watch until after I completed the run. Other than the split at Ruxton I hit every split very close to the calculator except the split between bottomless pit and the A-frame where I lost 3.5 minutes.

Rock line

Name: Annemarie Wiesner

Ascent Goal: Beat 3:17

Result in Ascent:

General Summary: Took it easy as I wasn’t sure how I would feel after completing a ultra in June. Struggled after Bar Camp until I reached the A-Frame. From there I was able to run more comfortable till the end.

Things Done Right: Training with the Incline Club on Pikes Peak. Taking it easy after the ultra to recover in time for the ascent. Taking it slow in the beginning of the race to make sure I had something left at the end.

Things Done Wrong: Suffered from leg cramps. Not sure if this was due to dehydration or the result from running 56 miles in June.

Any Other Stuff: Enjoyed running on the mountain!

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