This year will be my 7th PPM. The year prior to my PPM's I did the PPA and had a great time. The next year I was noticeably slower on the ascent portion. Why? You have to take into account the people who are coming down who you have to pull over for, and the people who are slower who you want to pass but are unable to because of the stoping and starting of pulling over. Sometimes those who you want to pass get a break to move forward before you do and then by the time you catch up it's time to stop again. Then on the descent above tree line you will be slower because of the people who are still coming up. It's frustrating sometimes, but really all you can do is just keep going forward. For me the last 2 miles is really just going as fast as I can, but knowing that I will still only be averaging about 30 min miles. I love the PPM and regardless of my times, I look forward to it every year. Good luck in your first PPM!!!