Europeans take five of six podium spots at Pikes Peak Marathon

Press release written by Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon. Salomon and Sage Canaday are ATRA members. Photos by Peter Maksimow.

MANITOU SPRINGS – With a comfortable lead and the Pikes Peak Marathon women’s race record in sight, Swiss runner Maude Mathys made the famous turn on the mountain’s 14,115-foot summit on Sunday.

Keep it together, and she would make history. And then she crashed on the rocks. And that is mountain running. One minute you’re up. The next, you’re down.

And then Maude Mathys got to her feet, composed herself, and dashed to the finish line in Manitou Springs in a new women’s race record time of 4 hours, 2 minutes, 41 seconds.

“On the summit, I felt good, but on the downhill I fell after about five minutes,” she said. “But then I turned that off in my mind and kept going.”

Raising her hands to the sky, she was welcomed at the finish line by a wild crowd that had gathered along historic Ruxton Ave. Mathys’ time eclipsed the former race record (4:15:04, 2018, Megan Kimmel) by more than 12 minutes. It was a dream come true for the 32-year-old Team Salomon runner. The Pikes Peak Marathon with its thin air and long ascent is one of the world’s most difficult running races.

“Even in Europe everyone knows about Pikes Peak and I love the idea of this race,” Mathys said. “You start in the town and you run to the top of the mountain and come back down. It’s simple, but not so simple.” Mathys’ ascent time of 2:29:03 is the second best for a woman in race history.

Top U.S. finisher Sage Canaday.

In the men’s race, Spanish runner Kilian Jornet had hoped to beat Manitou Springs resident Matt Carpenter’s long-standing race record of 3:16:39. It didn’t happen. With gusty winds lashing the summit, and temperatures breaching 90 degrees at the finish, the task proved impossible.

“I think what Matt did here was something very special,” Jornet said after his win. “I knew what the record was and how difficult it would be to beat. I have been training very well and I wanted to do my best time possible. My legs felt a bit tired early in the race and I was alone from the beginning so for sure that makes it a bit harder to keep a pace, but I’m happy with the way I raced.”

The victory in the marathon was Jornet’s second in two attempts. He also won in 2012.

The Pikes Peak Marathon was the fifth race in the Salomon Golden Trail Series, which includes the most prestigious mountain running races in the world.

Top 3 Women:

  1. Maude Mathys, 32, Ollon, Switzerland, 4:02:41
  2. Yngvild Kaspersen, 24, Tromso, Norway, 4:27:26
  3. Meg Mackenzie, 33, Cape Town, S. Africa, 4:32:19

Top 3 Men:

  1. Kilian Jornet, 31, Mandalen, Norway, 3:27:28
  2. Sage Canaday, 33, Boulder, Colorado, 3:39:02
  3. Marc Lauenstein, 38, Cormondreche, Switzerland, 3:40:29

Complete results can be found on the Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon website.

Editor’s Notes: 2012 USATF Mountain Running Champion and Hoka One One professional runner Sage Canaday was the only American to take a podium spot after finishing 2nd in the men’s Pikes Peak Marathon. In 2014 Sage won the Pikes Peak Ascent race when it was hosting the WMRA World Long Distance Mountain Running Championships.

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