I finished the PPA, caught a van to Glen Cove and after a brief wait, boarded the bus. I took a seat next to a man who was sitting at the window. Shortly after the bus started down the PP highway, he was fast asleep.
Approaching Cascade, the bus hit a bump and he awoke. Are we back in Manitou Springs, he asked. No, I replied, another 15 minutes. Noting a distinct accent, I asked him where he was from. Australia, he said. I was a bit startled and said you came all the way from Australia just to run the Ascent. He said he was here on business and was also trying to do some sightseeing. He mentioned being in Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park. On the morning of the Ascent, he "saw how much fun everyone was having" (his exact words) and decided, "to give it a go."
I think he was in his early 40s and said he always kept fit. I ran the Ascent in 5:45; if he started with wave 1, and finished in 6:15 we would have finished about the same time.