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Pikes Peak Marathon - RunMarathon

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Manitou Springs, Colorado
United States
The Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc.
50'sF / 0C
Total Time = 5h 31m 37s
Overall Rank = 86/711
Age Group = 35-39
Age Group Rank = 24/97
Pre-race routine:

Normal routine: Got up 3 hours prior to race start and had the usual breakfast. My gut was wrecked cuz I knew it was going to be a hard day. I've done absolutely zero marathon training, zero altitude training, and zero hill running. This was actually my first marathon outside of Ironman. I decided to do this race the Wednesday prior and I had a nonchalant attitude leading up to it. Then all of the sudden I realized I was about to do a marathon...a marathon up Pikes Peak and back! Oh well, this was a bucket list race for me and I knew I would at least finish. Knowing that in itself was my first goal eased my tension a bit.
Event warmup:

Nothing. I figured I would jog the first mile anyways and that would be all the warming up I needed.
  • 00m
  • 26.2 miles
  •  min/mile

The race started out easy for the first mile. The goal was to get an average heart rate in the mid 150's for the entire race with the Ascent portion in the low 160's and low 150's for the return. I was really comfortable the whole climb and I kept dialing back my effort when I saw my hr exceed the predetermined levels. I was nailing all my splits, consistently hitting the markers at about 4 minutes ahead of schedule. I went with Carpenter's pace calculator so splits were taken at the Top of the W's, No Name Creek, Barr Camp, A-Frame, and lastly at the mile to go to the summit. I hit tree line as was still feeling good. However my run did turn into a rhythmic shuffle, but still not quite walking yet. Hit the 16 Golden Stairs and it was almost all power walking at that point. That section is so technical and there was still a little ice on the rocks. Got to the summit at 3:10 and change. I knew if I wanted to make my goal of a sub-5 hour run I had no time to lollygag. Got my bib marked and immediately headed down. I wanted to get down to under 12,000 feet as soon as possible cuz I could feel the effects of the altitude. At this point I was feeling slightly hypoxic so I took it easy until the long east facing traverse. When I got there I started drilling it and made some serious time. I was still dizzy but all I could think about was getting down in 1:50. Just before treeline things went horribly awry. I didn't even see it, but I nailed a large rock with my left foot. This sent me hurdling through the air and landing square on my right hip bone. I laid on the ground for a minute and spit out what I thought were pebbles. I stood and I realized the fall shattered my left lower molar. I thought I was spitting pebbles, but I was spitting tooth! My shoulder, arm, hip, and knee were pretty scraped up. So after collecting myself I stood and continued my descent. Every time my right foot struck the ground the impact would travel all the way up my leg and into my hip. I was pretty much in survival mode. I saw a Search & Rescue buddy of mine and he asked if I wanted a ride down, but at this point I only had 4 miles to go and there was no way I was quitting. It was serious gut check time. I wanted to walk so bad. I would slow down, realize my pace was slow, tell myself to HTFU, and try to speed up. I finally came out of the single track and almost wanted to bend over and kiss the pavement. Put my head down and drilled the final mile. Hit the finish line and stumbled into a chair. I was done. It was over. I was shelled.
What would you do differently?:

Do some high altitude training. What bit me in the rear was getting dizzy and losing focus. This was my ultimate downfall.
Post race
Warm down:


What limited your ability to perform faster:

Lack of specific training.

Event comments:

This was a serious soul searching race for me. I was in more pain than I've ever voluntarily subjected myself to. It was beyond the bonk and fatigue I've felt in any previous race. I went into this race as a one time bucket list race, but I feel like I have unfinished business on that mountain now. I will come back and do it again. Not sure if it will fit into next year's race plan, so I may do it on my own. If anyone wants to do it with me, let me know and we'll come up with an attack plan. I don't care about official results... the next time is just for me!

Last updated: 2009-04-06 12:00 AM
00:00:00 | 26.2 miles |  min/mile
Age Group: 24/97
Overall: 97/711
Performance: Good
Avg HR:155 Max HR:170
Course: Elevation gain (start to summit) is 7,815' (2,382 meters); the start is at 6,300' (1,920m) and the summit is 14,115' (4,302m). The Ascent finish/Marathon turnaround is at approximately 14,050'. The Ascent (and ascent leg of the Marathon) has very few stretches which are not going uphill with the average percent grade being 11%.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-08-17 9:41 PM

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Colorado Springs
Subject: Pikes Peak Marathon

2009-08-17 10:32 PM
in reply to: #2354706

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
I would do it with you because that is not one I really care about as far as official results go either.

Anyway, nice freaking job. You are seriously one tough motherf*cker that is for sure! I enjoyed the race report as well. Now, rest up, get that toof fixed and start training for Clearwater because I have my own little debt to settle and I think you know what I am talking about!

I'm not sure why you chose to do that race, but it is a cool thing to check off the lifetime list. Congrats!!
2009-08-17 11:22 PM
in reply to: #2354706

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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Holy $hit.  Amazing!!!!

Edited by skarl 2009-08-17 11:22 PM
2009-08-18 8:15 AM
in reply to: #2354706

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

yep, Pikes Peak always leaves you wanting to come back for more.  sounds like she really punished you on Sunday!  way to hang in there though...broken tooth and all!  great time on the ascent portion...especially considerring your lack of training for the race.  I'd go up there with to so you can get your revenge but I'd kill myself on the down-hill. Great job Dave!

2009-08-18 8:49 AM
in reply to: #2354706

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Official BT Coach
Englewood, CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon

Well all I can say is Damn!  That was one hell of a race.  I didn't know the fall was that bad.  Get that tooth fixed with one of those fake ones you make.  Anyway, great job gutting it out, I know it was tough!

2009-08-18 10:51 PM
in reply to: #2354706

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Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
oh my gosh Dave, I can't believe that race! when I saw you, you looked GREAT, no hint of the things to come. I have mad respect for you... what an incredible obstacle to overcome. congrats dude. and I have no doubt you'll run the race that you know you have in you!

2009-08-19 1:23 PM
in reply to: #2354706

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Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
great job to finish. you need to get yourself a paul wall iced out grille! good luck in your build for FL. after that its time to prepare for a showdown with me in utah
2009-08-19 1:39 PM
in reply to: #2354706

Subject: ...
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2009-08-19 6:31 PM
in reply to: #2354706

Colorado Springs, Colorado
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Geez Dave, that is a seriously tough race to do with such little training. Nice job on finishing after you got banged up. You still had a decent time too. Heal fast and finish the year strong.
2009-08-19 7:54 PM
in reply to: #2354706


Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Every once in a while you have to remind yourseld how BAD you really are....I'm thinking you'll remember that one for a long time! 
2009-08-20 9:33 PM
in reply to: #2354706

Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Congrats to you and freckles....tough MFers.

2009-08-21 7:24 PM
in reply to: #2354706

Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
Dude, you rock. I freaked myself out while training for the ascent and took a tumble a week before the race. The downhill is way harder mentally and physically. You are a stud in my book. Nice work. I'm tuning up for the harvest moon half so maybe one of my really hard days you can take an easy day and we can ride / run or both!!

2009-08-30 11:31 PM
in reply to: #2354706

Denver Colorado
Subject: RE: Pikes Peak Marathon
FANTASTIC dude! Always awesome and amazing to see what you are able to put yourself through! Great job and a fantastic finish Dave! Laughing
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