2022 Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon Elite Field Preview

The world’s top mountain runners will be gathering in Manitou Springs, Colorado, at the base of Pikes Peak, “America’s Mountain,” for the 67th edition of the historic Pikes Peak Marathon races. The event weekend consists of two main races: The Pikes Peak Ascent, a half marathon (13.32 miles) to the summit on Saturday and the up and down Pikes Peak Marathon (26.2 miles) on Sunday.

The Ascent takes runners from downtown Manitou Springs (6,200 feet) to the finish at the Pikes Peak summit (14,115 feet), while the Marathon takes runners on the same route to the summit of Pikes Peak, but participants run all the way back to the finish in downtown Manitou Springs. Both events challenge even the best trained runners with the course’s relentless climbs and extreme altitude.

Photo: Peter Maksimow.

[PRO TIP: Want to learn more about how to train for the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent? Check out my training guide].

This is a special year for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. For the first time in race history, the event has been moved to September, instead of their traditional third weekend in August. Race organizers cited several reasons for the change including potentially more stable weather, no conflict with the Leadville Trail 100 Mile (historically held the same weekend as the Pikes Peak Marathon), and less tourist traffic in Manitou Springs.

The 2022 Pikes Peak Ascent was given the prestigious distinction as part of the Salomon Golden Trail Series World and National Series, thus attracting many elite runners from around the world to who hope to earn points and prize money from the series. The Pikes Peak Marathon was also given the nod to serve as the final qualification race for the inaugural World Mountain and Trail Running Championship to be held in Chiang Mai, Thailand, November 4 to 6, 2022. The top US woman and top US man will earn automatic spots on the 40K Trail team to represent Team USA at the World Championships in Thailand. Learn more about qualifying for the U.S. team.

Golden Trail

Photo: Philipp Reiter.

Elite Race Preview

With Salomon Golden Trail Series points on the line in the Ascent and U.S. Team spots up for grabs in the Marathon, this year has attracted an incredible field of elite runners.

In the Ascent, there is a strong European contingent including Remi Bonnet (2017 Pikes Peak Marathon champion), Bart Przedwojewski (2019 Golden Trail World Series Final champion), Henri Aymonod (2019 Mountain Running World Cup champion), Blandine L’Hirondel (2022 UTMB CCC champion and course record holder), Maude Mathys (Pikes Peak Marathon record holder), and Nienke Brinkman (2:22:51 marathon personal best and 2022 Zegama-Aizkorri champion).

There is also a strong contingent of American runners in the Ascent seeking to defend home turf, including Joseph Gray (two-time World Mountain Running champion and four-time Pikes Peak Ascent champion), Chad Hall (2021 Pikes Peak Ascent runner-up), Allie McLaughlin (Mount Marathon record holder and two-time Pikes Peak Ascent champion), Kim Dobson (Pikes Peak Ascent record holder), Sophia Laukli (2022 Broken Arrow Skyrace 26K champion), Bailey Kowalczyk (6th place finisher at the 2022 Sierre-Zinal race), and current USATF Mountain Running champion Tabor Scholl Hemming (third place finisher at the 2022 Way Too Cool 50K).

In the marathon, there are far fewer European athletes (no Golden Trail World Series points will be awarded to marathon participants), but there are still many exceptional American athletes competing in the race. Top runners to watch in the marathon include Cam Smith (2022 Broken Arrow Vertical Kilometer champion), Michelino Sunseri (2021 Run the Rut 50K champion), Kelly Wolf (2017 Broken Arrow 52K champion), Kristina Mascerenas (2018 Barr Trail Mountain Race champion) and Brittany Charboneau (2020 Pikes Peak Marathon champion).

Photo: Peter Maksimow.

Listed below is a more comprehensive list of athletes to watch this weekend at the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. You will also find pre race interviews with several featured athletes below:

Pikes Peak Ascent


  • Rémi Bonnet (Charmey, Switzerland)
  • Pascal Egli (Leysin, Switzerland)
  • Sam Hendry (Salt Lake City, UT)
  • Sylvain Cachard (Gières, France)
  • Bart Przedwojewski (Smolec, Poland)
  • Cesare Maestri (Borgo Lares, Italy)
  • Henri Aymonod (Rhêmes Saint Georges, Italy)
  • Jared Hazen (Flagstaff, AZ)
  • Morgan Elliot (Salida, CO)
  • Joseph Gray (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Chad Hall (San Diego, CA)
  • Cam Smith (Crested Butte, CO)


  • Rachel Tomajczyk (Williams, AZ)
  • Samantha Lewis (Moscow, ID)
  • Yngvild Kaspersen (Tromso, Norway)
  • Anna Mae Flynn (Salida, CO)
  • Kimber Mattox (Bend, OR)
  • Michelle Hummel (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Allie McLaughlin (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Kim Dobson (Eagle, CO)
  • Bailey Kowalczyk (Nederland, CO)
  • Blandine L’Hirondel (Mende, France)

Photo: Peter Maksimow.

Pikes Peak Marathon


  • Cam Smith (Crested Butte, CO)
  • Jackson Cole (Alamosa, CO)
  • Michelino Sunseri (Driggs, ID)
  • Jonathan Aziz (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Noah Williams (Leadville, CO)


  • Kelly Wolf (Durango, CO)
  • Arielle Fitzgerald (Calgary, Canada)
  • Shandra Moore (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Kristina Mascarenas (Colorado Springs, CO)
  • Brittany Charboneau (Denver, CO)

Photo: Nancy Hobbs.

Elite Athlete Quotes

Kristina Mascarenas: “I am so excited to race the Pike Peak Marathon this weekend! It’s been four years since I’ve been able to run it. I’m just trying to stay calm and remember that I do this because it’s fun! This week less is more!”

Kimber Mattox: “With Pikes Peak coming up, I’m approaching it more as a fun event and an opportunity to put in a strong effort with minimal expectations. This year my main focus was on the Grand Canyon R2R FKT attempt and OCC. And fortunately it’s been a good year so far with a 2nd place at Chuckanut, then setting the R2R FKT, then a few races in Europe in August that wrapped up with a 4th place finish at OCC. I’m happy with how the year has gone so far and have also had a busy summer with getting married, moving to Colorado, and starting a new job. I’m trying to listen to my body and make sure I allow myself to recover from all of my racing in August, while balancing a busy time in life. I’ll be embracing the incredible challenge at Pikes Peak Ascent, while also rooting for the other strong American women who I know are gonna kick butt!”

Jared Hazen: “I’m excited to come back to Manitou Springs and race up Pikes Peak. I’ve gotten some good training in the past month and am feeling like I’ve got a bit of fitness but a shorter race like the Ascent isn’t necessarily where my strengths lie, so I’m keeping an open mind with expectations. I’ve been training a lot between 9,000 to 12,000 feet so I think the altitude could be a good advantage for me.”

Kim Dobson. Photo: Richard Bolt

Kim Dobson: “I’m super excited and grateful to be feeling really good heading into Pikes this year. When I found out last year that it would be part of the Golden Trail series, my hope was that such an international, solid race would motivate me to new experiences and new challenges. It did just that and I feel grateful to have run new races this summer in cool places and pushed hard up some fun Colorado routes. Training is often a bumpy ride, but thankfully I made it through and will arrive at the start line healthy and strong. (Assuming no freak falls down the stairs this week!). My goal is to run my absolute best— smart pacing, strong the whole way, positive mindset. This mountain seems to have a mind of its own so as for my predicted time, I will just have to wait until I see the timing clock on the summit!”

Cam Smith: “I’ve been looking forward to the GTWS coming back to the U.S. all summer long. It will be really exciting to have a world class field of runners here competing on an iconic Colorado 14er (14,000 foot peak). Between the altitude, heat, length, and vertical these races really can ruin the day of even a top level runner. I think the fact that this race is so hard to “nail” is what makes it appealing to come back. I had plenty of troubles last year so I hope to come back and improve this time. I planned to do just the marathon but when I heard the GTWS was back I signed up for both! I’ll race the ascent all out because I want to do my best against the GTWS field, then I’ll come back and do it all over again the next morning. I’m expecting it to be a brutal double, but maybe just maybe the ascent will make for good acclimatization ahead of the marathon!”

World Cup

Henri Aymonod. Photo: Peter Maksimow.

Henri Aymonod: “After a few years of wanting to race here, I managed to get to Colorado to run Pikes Peak. It is a historic race here in America that all trail runners should take part in at least once in their lives. For me, it was a very complicated start to the season with an injury that lasted 2 months plus covid. Now my fitness is on the rise and I hope it continues to climb until November ahead of the world championships in Thailand. The level here at Pikes Peak is always very high and I hope to be able to run a good race. Obviously, there are a lot of unknowns: it’s a long climb and the altitude is extremely high. Certainly the altitude is a variable that should not be underestimated, and for us Europeans it will have to be managed in the best possible way. I try to do my race without putting expectations on myself. I’m here to gain experience and I have nothing to lose. The Americans here have the great advantage of living in these mountains. The trails are very different from ours in Europe. It will be nice to compete in a new context for me. I can’t wait to get going and have fun. That’s the most important thing!”

Sylvain Cachard: “I have been training very well and hard up to the main goal of my season (the European Mountain Running Championships). Since then, I have been rebuilding fitness for the last races of the season and especially the world championships in November. I am really looking forward to running Pikes Peak to see exactly how my shape is among a strong field of runners!”

Tabor Hemming. Photo: Mike Scott 2022.

Tabor Scholl Hemming: “My goal for the race is to mix it up with the best in the world. It is a really unique experience to be able to race with world class trail runners in my home state, so I’m really seizing the opportunity of the home field advantage you could say. For preparation my husband Eli and I have been trying to get in a lot of our longer runs at or above 12,000ft so we know what it feels like to push up at higher elevations.”

Michelino Sunseri: “I raced Pikes Peak in 2019 and have been dreaming of getting back to this legendary race ever since. I’m excited to give it another go, but I think I might be more excited to get some recovery ice cream from the legend himself, Matt Carpenter.”

Follow and Explore

Follow our coverage of the Pikes Peak races on Twitter at @ATRAtrailrunner. Races kick off at 7:00 AM mountain time on Saturday and Sunday. Want to see what the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon courses look like? You can explore the entire course on Google Maps thanks to ATRA’s 2017 Pikes Peak Trekker project.

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