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
Pikes Peak Marathon
Sun, Aug 17, 2014 7:00
|Avg Speed||2.8 mph|
|Avg Pace||21:26 min/mi|
|Avg Moving Speed||2.9 mph|
|Avg Moving Pace||20:38 min/mi|
|Max Speed||8.0 mph|
|Best Pace||0:07 min/mi|
|Elevation Gain||7,320 ft|
|Elevation Loss||7,251 ft|
|Min Elevation||6,322 ft|
|Max Elevation||13,512 ft|
|Avg HR||146 bpm|
|Max HR||167 bpm|
|Avg Run Cadence||112 spm|
|Max Run Cadence||254 spm|
|Avg Vertical Oscillation||6.1 cm|
|Avg Ground Contact Time||514 ms|
|Avg Stride Length||0.67 m|
|Avg Temperature||72.1 °F|
|Min Temperature||60.8 °F|
|Max Temperature||82.4 °F|