Race Report: 2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

The Pikes Peak Marathon is listed as the second most difficult marathon in the world. The cutoff time for the race is 10 hours – most “normal” marathons have cutoffs between 5 and 6 hours.

It’s not just the climb. There is also the altitude. The height of Pike’s Peak is 14,110 feet. The air gets very rarified at that altitude. In fact, they even had an aid station a mere mile from the top of the mountain. Normally, I would take between 11 and 14 minutes to cover that distance. On the day of the race, it took me nearly 40 minutes.

So the race isn’t easy. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. But the race is well run, you really can’t get lost, and if you’re living at sea-level – best get there the week ahead to acclimatize to the altitude.

Temperatures can be drastically different also. At the top of the mountain it can be chilly – less than 35 degrees or even snowing – while at the start it’s a balmy 80 degrees plus. On the day of our race the conditions were nearly perfect.

My race was pretty much a disaster. During early training I hoped to finish around 6-7 hours, and on the day of the race was looking to average about 8 hours. Unfortunately for me, my training was poor, my preparation prior to arrival poor, and only a perfect couple of days prior to the race and the loving support of my wife allowed me to stagger across the finish at all.  My lack of training discipline, dietary discipline, gaining weight, not lifting weight, foot injury, and a host of other issues all contributed to a dead-last Age Group finish.

Yes, I suppose finishing at all is an achievement. But it’s getting really, really old racing cutoffs.

Yesterday’s success is no indicator of future performance.

I proved that during this race.

So pack wisely, remember it’s a trail race, and enjoy the journey!

Pikes Peak Marathon – Colorado Springs, CO

This is not your ordinary semi-flat 26.2 miles. Pikes Peak, a massive 14-er just outside of Colorado Springs, CO, hosts one of the toughest elevation-gain marathons in America. Over its up-and-down course, you’ll gain 7,815 in elevation for the first 13.1 miles—the last three of which are a scramble using hands and feet to crawl up shale. And once you hit the halfway point, the 13.1-mile descent doesn’t get easier— it’s a guaranteed ankle-breaker and knee-twister. Beware of weather, too. At 14,110 feet, lightning and hailstorms roll in with just a few second’s notice—even in mid summer. (pikespeakmarathon.org)

Badass Score: 7

– See more at: http://www.mensfitness.com/training/endurance/worlds-most-extreme-adventure-races/slide/1#sthash.BixvCCJp.dpuf

Course Details

Pikes Peak Marathon

Trail Running

Sun, Aug 17, 2014 7:00

Summary

Distance26.77 mi
Time9:29:55
Avg Speed2.8 mph
Avg Pace21:26 min/mi
Calories4,126 C
Moving Time9:12:25
Elapsed Time9:30:01
Avg Moving Speed2.9 mph
Avg Moving Pace20:38 min/mi
Max Speed8.0 mph
Best Pace0:07 min/mi
Elevation Gain7,320 ft
Elevation Loss7,251 ft
Min Elevation6,322 ft
Max Elevation13,512 ft
Avg HR146 bpm
Max HR167 bpm
Avg Run Cadence112 spm
Max Run Cadence254 spm
Avg Vertical Oscillation6.1 cm
Avg Ground Contact Time514 ms
Avg Stride Length0.67 m
Avg Temperature72.1 °F
Min Temperature60.8 °F
Max Temperature82.4 °F
Less Detail

Laps

SplitTimeDistanceAvg Pace
112:321.0012:32
220:031.0020:03
323:041.0023:04
422:561.0022:56
522:371.0022:37
617:521.0017:52
717:261.0017:26
824:311.0024:31
924:571.0024:57
1031:111.0031:11
1132:001.0032:00
1234:441.0034:44
1336:081.0036:08
1438:211.0038:21
1524:481.0024:48
1620:181.0020:18
1719:311.0019:31
1820:061.0020:06
1915:571.0015:57
2017:091.0017:09
2114:141.0014:14
2213:021.0013:02
2313:301.0013:30
2414:331.0014:33
2516:081.0016:08
2613:121.0013:12
278:520.7711:33