Up (and Down) Pikes Peak - Page 2
Pikes Peak Ascent
On Saturday, the day before the marathon, racers took part in the Pikes Peak Ascent, which covers the first half of the course, ending at the top of the mountain. Jason Delaney of Golden, Colorado, won that race in his third attempt with a time of 2:13:18.
"I felt awesome until about 8.5 miles when I had the first twinge of a calf cramp,” says Delaney, who was in third until he passed early leaders Ryan Hafer and Sage Canaday near mile 8.5. “From there on, it was a real struggle, as aerobically I felt good, but my calves were cramping on every big step. I was looking over my shoulder each switchback expecting someone to pass me.”
He held off runner-up Rickey Gates of Woody Creek, Colorado, though, who finished in 2:15:42. Hafer of Colorado Springs finished third in 2:16:34.
Perhaps the most impressive performance of the day and weekend, however, belonged to Kim Dobson of Grand Junction, Colorado, who won the women's race and broke the women’s course record by over eight minutes. Dobson finished in 2:24:58, well under the previous record of 2:33:31, set by Lynn Bjorklund in 1981.
"All of my training times and race results this year have been faster than last year, so going in to the race I thought it would be possible to run around a 2:30 if I had a strong day," says Dobson. "I was not expecting to be around 2:25! That finish was definitely the most unexpected, pleasant surprise I have ever had in a race! It taught me to never place limits on what you can achieve in a race."
Ellie Keyser of Fort Collins, Colorado, finished second in 2:38:11, while Evergreen, Colorado’s Brandy Erholtz took third in 2:45:40.
Complete results of the ascent can be found here.