At the 65th running of the Pikes Peak Ascent, hometown favorites Joseph Gray and Allie McLaughlin raced for the wins on what was a picture-perfect morning in Manitou Springs, Colorado at the start line at 7:00 a.m. However, the mid-50 degree temperatures at the start would vanish as the runners ascended the Barr Trail to reach a fog-enshrouded, chilly 14,115-foot summit. Gray’s win comes just one week after he won the USATF Mountain Running Championships in Government Camp, Oregon.
The 37-year-old Gray added to his string of victories with a fourth win in his fifth attempt. His time of 2:12:07 over the 13.3-mile course bested his 2014 time of 2:13:02 when he raced to a fifth-place finish. He won in 2016, 2017, and 2019 with times all under the 2:10 mark with his fastest effort in 2016 at 2:05:28.
His nearest competitor, Chad Hall, 33, San Diego, CA, finished second in 2:26:15, followed by the first masters’ finisher, Galen Burrell, 42, Louisville, CO, in 2:29:10.
The women’s finish was decided by just one second as the 30-year-old McLaughlin bested her nearest rival 2019 Pikes Peak Ascent second-place finisher Ashely Brasovan, 30, Golden, CO, to the line for her second win on the Peak with a time of 2:49:39. The pair raced last year in the Pikes Peak Marathon with Brasovan finishing in second place just one spot ahead of McLaughlin. Rounding out the top three was Sarah Marie Guhl, 29, Colorado Springs, with a time of 2:51:51 putting her under the three-hour mark for the first time in her fourth time racing up the mountain.
In addition to trophies, prize money is awarded to the top five men and women with $1000 for the win, $750 for second, $500 for third, $250 for fourth, and $125 for fifth. As well the winner receives a lifetime comp entry into either the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon and the runner up through fifth place receives a comp entry into either race the following year.
Nearly 1750 runners participated in the Ascent this year with waves of 100 runners starting every two minutes. This proved to lessen the traffic on Barr Trail last year during the COVID-structured starts during the Marathon and has continued this year. Tomorrow (Sunday), more than 850 participants will compete in the 66th running of the Pikes Peak Marathon. Action gets underway at 7:00 a.m.
For a complete list of the Pikes Peak Ascent results, check out the race website.