Pikes Peak Marathon facts for kids
Quick facts for kidsPikes Peak Marathon
|Location||Manitou Springs, Colorado, United States|
|Event type||Road and trail|
|Distance||Marathon and half-marathon|
|Course records||Ascent: 2:01:06 (M), 2:24:58 (F); Marathon: 3:16:39 (M), 4:02:45 (F)|
|Participants||606 finishers (marathon) (2020)|
The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon is a trail running competition that begins at the base of Pikes Peak, in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and climbs over 7,815 feet (2382 m) to the top of the 14,115 foot (4302 m) peak. Since 1956, the event takes place each year in late summer, with the Ascent taking place on Saturday (slightly longer than a half-marathon, at 13.3 miles), and the round-trip marathon on Sunday.
On Aug. 10, 1956, Dr. Arne Suominen of Del Ray Beach, Fla., challenged smokers and nonsmokers to race up and down Pikes Peak, a 26-mile (42 km) race, in conjunction with the 150th anniversary of the discovery of America's most famous mountain by Zebulon Montgomery Pike. He enlisted 58-year-old real-estate salesman and holistic-lifestyle practitioner Rudy Fahl as the race director. The 56-year-old Suominen, a Finnish former marathon champion and outspoken critic of tobacco, wanted to prove that smoking diminished one's physical endurance. Of the 13 runners that accepted the challenge, only three were smokers. Lou Wille, champion of two Pikes Peak races in the late 1930s and a two-pack-a-day smoker, was likely to be the biggest threat to Suominen's hypothesis. . . .
Although he had beaten Suominen to the summit, Wille was disqualified for not finishing the race. In fact none of the smokers completed the round trip. "I think I've proven my point," Suominen said afterwards. "I finished the race and none of the smokers did." . . .
It was widely rumored that Jecker's motivation came from an American Tobacco Association offer to reward a victorious smoker with a tidy sum of $20,000.
The Pikes Peak Marathon was the first American marathon to allow female competitors, allowing them from the beginning of the marathon in 1956, although no woman entered until 1958. In 1959, Arlene Pieper became the first woman to officially finish a marathon in the United States when she finished the Pikes Peak Marathon. Her daughter Kathie, aged 9, became the youngest competitor at that time to finish the race to the summit; however, she did not finish the whole marathon.
In 1966 a well-organized marathon was initiated, making the race the third-oldest marathon in the United States. In 1980 a good friend Rudy Faul and fellow runner Carl McDaniel took over as Race Director, he served as Director until 1998 and was named Director emeritus in 1999 until his passing on August 23, 1999 only 1 day after the race was held that year.
The Pikes Peak Ascent race has twice incorporated the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge competition, first in 2006 then again in 2010.
The 2020 edition of the ascent was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with all registrants given the option of either transferring their entry to 2021, obtaining a partial refund and priority registration for 2021, or obtaining a full refund. At the time the ascent was cancelled, the race directors were still hopeful that the marathon could be held, due to the limited number of runners in the marathon and the comparatively lower level of logistics required at the summit, since runners would be making their own way down the mountain. However, registered marathon runners were also given the same options as those registered for the ascent, should they choose to withdraw from the race. Eventually, the race organizers announced that the marathon would be held, with coronavirus considerations, including cancelling or paring down related events, requiring masks or other face coverings before and after the race, enforcing social distancing regulations at the start and finish, starting the runners in small waves, and eliminating some aid stations.
Because of the nature of the run (dirt trails, rock, and other natural obstacles) and the high altitude, the race is much more difficult than standard 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) marathons. Winning times for the marathon are typically just under four hours (compared to elite "flatland" marathon times of just over two hours). Although the average grade of the slope is 11%, some sections are much steeper because the central portion of the race is relatively flat. The initial three miles (5 km) are very steep. The central 7 miles (11 km) start as rolling terrain, but become progressively steeper toward the end. The top 3 miles (4.8 km) are above timberline and require some rock scrambling to reach the summit. Oxygen levels drop progressively as altitude rises, further compounding the uphill ordeal.
Winning race times differ significantly from year to year, often depending on weather and trail conditions. Some races have been associated with hot, dry conditions, and others have been associated with snow and cold at the top of the peak.
The race attracts hundreds of runners for both the ascent and for the round-trip. The USDA Forest Service limits the number of runners to 1,800 for the ascent and 800 for the marathon, and the race registration typically fills in one or two days.
The following table shows the official winners of the marathon. Course records are highlighted with green background.
The race was lengthened by 1.1 miles in 1976, so that 7–8 minutes must be added to the pre-1976 times for comparison purposes.
The most successful male and female athletes in the history of the marathon are Matt Carpenter, outright record holder and winner of the marathon on twelve occasions between 1988 and 2011, and Erica Larson, who has won the women's race five times. Carpenter won six times in a row in 2006–2011, as did Steve Gachupin in 1966–1970. Larson won four times in a row in 1999–2002, as did Danelle Ballengee in 1994–1997.
|2020||USA||Seth DeMoor||3:36:31||USA||Brittany Charboneau||4:25:21|
|2019||ESP||Kilian Jornet Burgada||3:27:28||SUI||Maude Mathys||4:02:41|
|2018||USA||Dakota Jones||3:32:21||USA||Megan Kimmel||4:15:06|
|2017||SUI||Rémi Bonnet||3:37:08||USA||Kristina Marie Mascarenas||4:38:54|
|2016||USA||Alex Nichols||3:40:29||USA||Kim Dobson||4:44:44|
|2015||USA||Alex Nichols||3:46:40||USA||Hirut Guangul||4:29:06|
|2014||SUI||Marc Lauenstein||3:37:21||USA||Anita M Ortiz||5:00:54|
|2013||JPN||Touru Miyahara||3:43:23||USA||Stevie Kremer||4:17:10|
|2012||ESP||Kilian Jornet Burgada||3:40:26||SWE||Emelie Forsberg||4:28:07|
|2011||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:48:08||USA||JoAnna C Masloski||5:09:38|
|2010||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:51:34||USA||Keri A Nelson||4:34:24|
|2009||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:37:02||USA||Anita M Ortiz||4:28:20|
|2008||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:36:54||USA||Keri A Nelson||4:39:00|
|2007||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:48:41||USA||Salynda E Fleury||5:00:42|
|2006||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:33:07||AUS||Emma J Murray||4:21:09|
|2005||ITA||Fulvio Dapit||3:58:49||FRA||Corinne Favre||4:31:20|
|2004||USA||Galen Burrell||4:00:04||USA||Erica Larson||4:28:27|
|2003||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:43:46||UK||Angela Mudge||4:19:38|
|2002||USA||Jesse T Rickert||4:10:15||USA||Erica Larson||4:41:53|
|2001||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:53:53||USA||Erica Larson||4:49:10|
|2000||USA||Stephen D Smalzel||3:54:46||USA||Erica Larson||4:50:37|
|1999||USA||Stephen D Smalzel||3:49:09||USA||Erica Larson||4:46:01|
|1998||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:44:27||USA||Mariko Shirazi||4:54:34|
|1997||MEX||Ricardo Mejía||3:30:55||USA||Danelle Ballengee||4:43:46|
|1996||MEX||Ricardo Mejía||3:29:22||USA||Danelle Ballengee||4:36:52|
|1995||MEX||Ricardo Mejía||3:21:32||USA||Danelle Ballengee||4:38:55|
|1994||MEX||Martin Rodriguez||3:35:04||USA||Danelle Ballengee||4:24:38|
|1993||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:16:39||USA||Karen E Gorman||4:42:03|
|1992||MEX||Ricardo Mejía||3:24:25||USA||Jo H Gathercole||4:44:15|
|1991||USA||Stephen D Smalzel||3:46:43||USA||Deborah Wagner||4:45:59|
|1990||MEX||Ricardo Mejía||3:35:03||USA||Cylinda Engelman||4:44:18|
|1989||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:39:26||USA||Linda Quinlisk||4:41:51|
|1988||USA||Matt Carpenter||3:38:05||USA||Linda Quinlisk||4:29:59|
|1987||USA||Sheldon A Larson||3:41:56||USA||Gail Ladage Scott||4:26:59|
|1986||USA||Stan W Fox||3:41:57||USA||Margie Loyd-Allison||4:55:43|
|1985||USA||Creighton J King||3:39:39||USA||Linda Quinlisk||4:37:32|
|1984||USA||Wesley Smith||3:39:00||USA||Gail Ladage Scott||4:48:26|
|1983||USA||Creighton J King||3:39:50||USA||Margie Loyd-Allison||4:39:59|
|1982||USA||Al Waquie||3:29:53||USA||Gabrielle Andersen||4:25:13|
|1981||USA||Al Waquie||3:26:17||USA||Lynn Bjorklund||4:15:18|
|1980||USA||Chris G Reveley||3:45:52||USA||Linda Quinlisk||4:38:00|
|1979||USA||Chris G Reveley||3:39:08||USA||Sue Gladney||4:42:45|
|1978||USA||Ken Young||3:50:44||USA||Donna L Messenger||5:08:08|
|1977||USA||Rick Trujillo||3:46:21||USA||Ellen O'Connor||5:50:09|
|1976||USA||Rick Trujillo||3:34:15||USA||Donna L Messenger||5:05:40|
|1975||USA||Rick Trujillo||3:31:05||USA||Joan Ullyut||5:20:21|
|1974||USA||Rick Trujillo||3:36:40||USA||Marcia Trent||5:23:10|
|1973||USA||Rick Trujillo||3:39:46||USA||Joan Ullyut||5:28:00|
|1972||USA||Chuck Smead||3:44:21||USA||Isa C Varela||7:25:00|
|1971||USA||Steve Gachupin||3:46:26||USA||Joyce Swannack||7:07:36|
|1965||USA||John R Rose||3:53:57|
|1963||USA||John R Rose||4:01:22|
|1959||USA||Calvin Hansen||4:20:18||USA||Arlene Pieper||9:16:00|
The following table shows the official winners of the Ascent. Course records are highlighted with green background. The men's Ascent record was set during the Marathon in 1993 by Matt Carpenter with a time of 2:01:06.
The 2018 Ascent was run on a shortened course of 7.6 miles, finishing at Barr Camp, due to inclement weather being forecast.
|2020||cancelled due to coronavirus pandemic|
|2019||USA||Joseph Gray||2:09:00||USA||Kim Dobson||2:41:44|
|2018||ERI||Azerya Tekay Weldemariam||1:06:28||USA||Kim Dobson||1:15:51|
|2017||USA||Joseph Gray||2:08:19||USA||Serkalem Biset Abrha||2:42:19|
|2016||USA||Joseph Gray||2:05:28||USA||Kim Dobson||2:34:39|
|2015||JPN||Touru Miyahara||2:15:42||USA||Kim Dobson||2:40:44|
|2014||USA||Sage Canaday||2:10:03||USA||Allie McLaughlin||2:33:42|
|2013||USA||Eric Blake||2:13:45||USA||Kim Dobson||2:41:43|
|2012||USA||Jason Delaney||2:13:18||USA||Kim Dobson||2:24:58|
|2011||USA||Mario Macias||2:08:57||USA||Kim Dobson||2:34:07|
|2010||USA||Glenn Randall||2:09:28||USA||Brandy Erholtz||2:41:38|
|2009||USA||Tim Parr||2:12:32||USA||Megan Kimmel||2:40:16|
|2008||USA||Simon Gutierrez||2:18:09||USA||Brandy Erholtz||2:41:26|
|2007||USA||Matt Carpenter||2:12:56||USA||Maria Portilla||2:35:46|
|2006||USA||Simon Gutierrez||2:18:06||USA||Lisa Goldsmith||2:46:07|
|2005||USA||Ryan Hafer||2:21:30||USA||Lisa Goldsmith||2:50:02|
|2004||USA||Scott Elliott||2:23:31||USA||Anita Ortiz||2:44:58|
|2003||USA||Simon Gutierrez||2:13:29||USA||Anita Ortiz||2:52:11|
|2002||USA||Matt Carpenter||2:23:22||USA||Anita Ortiz||2:44:33|
|2001||USA||Matt Carpenter||2:16:13||USA||Anita Ortiz||2:47:09|
|2000||USA||Scott Elliott||2:16:00||USA||Cindy O'Neill||2:50:52|
|1999||USA||Jeremy Wright||2:18:32||USA||Cindy O'Neill||2:45:17|
|1998||USA||Jeremy Wright||2:26:48||USA||Cindy O'Neill||2:45:11|
|1997||USA||Matt Carpenter||2:10:41||USA||Kirsten Ames||2:46:43|
|1996||MEX||Martin Rodriguez||2:11:11||USA||Marti Cooksey||2:50:11|
|1995||USA||Michael Tobin||2:12:03||USA||Marie Boyd||2:44:36|
|1994||USA||Matt Carpenter||2:09:35||USA||Marie Boyd||2:38:22|
|1993||USA||Scott Elliott||2:13:39||USA||J'ne Day-Lucore||2:43:51|
|1992||USA||Scott Elliott||2:11:11||USA||J'ne Day-Lucore||2:48:28|
|1991||USA||Scott Elliott||2:11:58||USA||Allison Shayne||2:48:36|
|1990||USA||Matt Carpenter||2:07:36||USA||J'ne Day-Lucore||2:44:40|
|1989||USA||Scott Elliott||2:06:47||USA||J'ne Day-Lucore||2:37:35|
|1988||USA||Scott Elliott||2:11:10||USA||Lynn Brown||2:48:39|
|1987||USA||Scott Elliott||2:09:33||USA||Christine Maisto||2:39:01|
|1986||USA||Chester Carl||2:10:54||USA||Judy Chamberlin||2:52:11|
|1985||USA||Al Waquie||2:10:06||USA||Judy Chamberlin||2:41:25|
|1984||USA||Chester Carl||2:13:25||USA||Judy Chamberlin||2:49:31|
|1983||USA||Chester Carl||2:12:54||USA||Lize Brittin||2:39:44|
|1982||USA||Ron McCurley||2:17:18||USA||Diane Israel||2:47:32|
|1981||USA||Pat Porter||2:12:35||USA||Joyce Rankin||3:09:15|
|1977||USA||David Casillas||2:12:24||USA||Donna Messenger||3:11:15|
|1976||USA||Chuck Smead||2:05:22||USA||Lynn Bjorklund||2:44:47|
|1974||USA||Chuck Smead||2:09:59||USA||Donna Messenger||23:04:54|
|1936||USA||Lou Wille||3:00:55||USA||Agnes Nellesen||6:42:00|
Pikes Peak Marathon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.