Pikes Peak Marathon

Aug 23, 2020 at 7:00 AM

Pikes Peak Marathon

441 Manitou Ave

Manitou Springs CO, 80829

USA

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Entry Fee $180
(Lowest or Early Registration)

Entry Fee 2 $190
(Highest or Late Registration)

Prize Money: yes

Distance(s):

  • 26.2M

Type: Mountain

Participant Limit: 800

Starting Elevation: 6280

High Point: 14115

Percent of the course on un-paved trails: 95%

First Year of the Event: 1960

Men's Record: Matt Carpenter, 1993, 3:16:00

Women's Record: Megan Kimmel, 2018, 4:15:06

Description:

Race founded in 1956.

Because the Ascent and Marathon are so unique and so physically demanding when compared to other half-marathons or marathons, having a general understanding of the courses is the key to planning your training.

The Ascent or ascent portion of the Marathon can take as long, or longer, than a full flatland marathon. In fact, many flatlanders find that it can take much longer! On the other hand, if you have trained in high altitude, it is possible to go a little faster than your flatland marathon time during the Ascent. In general, if you live at altitude, go with your flatland marathon time. Otherwise, add 1/2 hour to your flatland marathon time. The average descent time is about 63% of the runner’s Ascent time. In other words, the downhill is not free, and there are even a few ups on the way down!

Elevation gain (start to summit) is at 7,815′ (2,382m); 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 grade being 11%.

The races begin in front of the City Hall in Manitou Springs, a city of some 5,000 population, located approximately 6 miles west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. While both races begin in the city (and the Marathon finishes in the city) the majority of both races are run on Barr Trail in Pike National Forest. Barr Trail is a US Forest Service trail that is on the east face of Pikes Peak. The race courses do not use any part of the famed Pikes Peak Highway (which is on the north and west flanks of the mountain). The trail is often narrow, winding, and may be gravel, rocks or dirt with sharp turns and abrupt changes in elevation or direction. However, there are no exposed ledges, so there is little danger of falling off the trail!

From the Manitou Springs City Hall, the races proceed west on Manitou Avenue for 0.42 miles to Ruxton Avenue. At Ruxton, the course turns west for 0.8 mile to (and past) the Cog Railway Depot to Hydro Street. At this point there has been an elevation gain of approximately 300′ for an average grade of 4.5%. At .23 of a mile past Hydro Street, or 1.45 miles total, the asphalt ends, and the course continues on a dirt/gravel road which parallels Ruxton Creek. At the end of the dirt/gravel road, there is a fenced area, and the course stays to the north side of the fence before meeting up with a small trail on the right. This trail, commonly referred to as the “spur trail,” connects to Barr Trail in .1 of a mile. From this point to the summit at 14,115,’ the course follows Barr Trail. The width of the trail will vary as will the grade (steepness) and surface (footing).

From Hydro Street to No Name Creek is 3 miles with an elevation gain of 2,150′ for an average grade of 13.4%. From No Name Creek to Barr Camp is about 3.3 miles with an elevation gain of 1,450′ for an average grade of 8.3%. This is the fastest section of the course and even includes several slight downhill sections roughly 1.25 miles above No Name Creek. Barr Camp to the A-frame shelter at treeline is another 2.6 miles and 1,800′ in elevation gain for an average grade of 13.1%. From the A-frame to finish/turnaround (~14,050′) is about 3.1 miles with an elevation gain of 2,050′ for an average grade of 12.4%

The footing, or surface, of the trail does vary. In the forested sections, it is primarily decomposed rock with a mixture of dirt and loose gravel on the surface with the occasional root or rock protrusion. Above treeline (that is, above the A-frame shelter) the trail is primarily loose gravel with one short section of broken rock (generally referred to as rubble), and the section known as the 16 Golden Stairs being gravel with frequent step-ups of some 10 to 15 inches (the Golden Stairs refers to the 32 switchbacks remaining to the summit). In general, the condition of Barr Trail is excellent thanks primarily to the Friends of the Peak and the Pikes Peak Trail Dogs led by Gail Allen.

The course for the 26.21 mile Pikes Peak Marathon® covers the same route as the 13.32 mile Pikes Peak Ascent® race but returns down the trail from the summit and finishes at Ruxton and Manitou Avenues in Manitou Springs.

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Event Dates

Held on Aug 23, 2020

Held on Aug 25, 2019

Held on Aug 19, 2018

Held on Aug 20, 2017

Held on Aug 21, 2016

Held on Aug 16, 2015

Held on Aug 17, 2014

Held on Aug 18, 2013

Held on Aug 19, 2012

Held on Aug 21, 2011

Held on Aug 22, 2010

Held on Aug 16, 2009

Held on Aug 17, 2008

Held on Aug 19, 2007

Held on Aug 20, 2006

Held on Aug 21, 2005

Held on Aug 22, 2004

Held on Aug 17, 2003

Held on Aug 18, 2002

Held on Aug 19, 2001

Held on Aug 20, 2000

Held on Aug 22, 1999

Held on Aug 16, 1998

Held on Aug 17, 1997

Held on Aug 18, 1996