Congratulations to all who competed in the Pikes Peak Ascent, Marathon, or both. Nothing is more exciting than crossing the finish line and receiving the medal for each race.
This past weekend was the first weekend in 12 years that I was not present in Manitou Springs to compete in the races. When I awoke on Sat. and Sun. in Boca Raton, FL I put on my running shoes and hit the pavement at 7:00AM to give tribute to all those who were competing in Manitou Springs.
It's hard to believe 12 years has come and gone so quickly. Back in 2002 I came to Manitou Springs to run in the Pikes Peak marathon since I had not run a marathon in CO and I was attempting to complete my 100th marathon lifetime. Unfortunately my marathon ended 2 miles below the summit due to the lack of oxygen in the air. I had tears in my eyes since this was the first time I had to drop out of a marathon in my life. 2003 came which saw me complete the marathon in great form. In 2004 rather than receive a finisher's medal I received a horseback ride form El Paso County Search and Rescue down the mountain. Then came 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009 (2008 was the ice age Ascent/Marathon) where I became a "doubler" .
The last several years saw my finishing times increase due to the onset of atrial fibrillation and the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease. So I sat quietly this weekend and thought of all the wonderful memories that were made in Manitou Springs and how much I missed being there to compete in the races.
Again I wish to congratulate all who attempted either or both races and accomplished their goals. With proper medication and hard training, I plan to return to Manitou Springs and once again challenge Pikes Peak! It's definitely "America's Ultimate Challenge"!