Original publication by RaceID
The Pikes Peak Marathon is one tough race. The 7,815' vertical climb complete with rocks, roots, turns, and steep grades followed by the grueling downhill return to the base has been appropriately termed "America's Ultimate Challenge". In 2022, there were 864 registered runners representing 42 states and 10 countries. Runners came from around the world to test their physical and mental abilities against the 14,115' Pikes Peak. But how do the unique challenges of Pikes Peak relate to other marathons around the world? The team at RaceID set out to find out just that. What are the most extreme marathons in the world? It turns out, Pikes Peak ranks #4 in their top 10.
RaceIDs 10 of the Most Extreme Marathons in the World
26.2 miles or 42.195km is a classic distance and the official length of a marathon. There are many epic and extreme races around the world, but not all can be classified as marathons in the traditional sense. We therefore went on a search for the most extreme marathons over the classic distance in the world.
Situated on all continents the marathons we found are very different and offer a wide variety of challenges for participants. Ranging from steep and continuous ascents to battling ice cold or even wild animals one thing is for sure and that is that participants will never forget the experience of doing one of these ten races.
1. The North Pole Marathon, North Pole
With extreme sub-zero temperatures the Geographical North Pole offers one of the worlds, if not the most extreme marathons on the planet. Labeled “The World’s Coolest Marathon” participants who finish will become members of a very exclusive club of a few hundreds of people in the whole world. The race takes participants over snow and arctic ice flows with the course situated near and around the Geographical North Pole.
More info: https://www.npmarathon.com
Image courtesy to: North Pole Marathon
2. The Antarctic Ice Marathon, Antarctica
The south pole may offer one of the most unique and incredible endurance race experiences in the world. With a quite hefty price tag of $19,500 USD participants enter a very exclusive club of runners who can say that they have done the Southernmost Marathon on Earth.
More info: https://www.icemarathon.com
Image courtesy to: Antarctic Ice Marathon
3. The Big 5 Marathon, South Africa
Running a marathon in the habitat of some of the world’s most spectacular (and dangerous) animals must be considered unique and extreme. The Big 5 Marathon does just that where you run next to Elephants, Rhinos, Buffalos, Lions and Leopards. There are no fences, rivers or barriers that separates the runners of the marathon from the wildlife living in the habitat.
More info: https://big-five-marathon.com
Image courtesy to: Albatros Adventure Marathons
4. Pikes Peak Marathon, USA
Starting at Manitou Springs, the Pikes Peak Marathon takes you on a 7815 foot (2382m) vertical climb all the way up to Pikes Peak summit at 14115 ft (4300m) and back down. This is a marathon like no other as it takes you on a wide variety of trails averaging an elevation of 11% grade. Participants will truly be challenged physically as well as mentally due to the course's challenging nature. The race is run in September each year and selected as part of the Golden Trail Series 2022.
More info: https://www.pikespeakmarathon.org
Image courtesy to: Pikes Peak Marathon
5. Everest Marathon, Nepal
The world’s highest marathon gives you a challenge like no other! The marathon starts at the Everest Base Camp and takes you 42.195km to Namche Bazar with a course mainly downhill. The terrain itself is a real challenge as it goes mainly on trekking trails taking participants down from a whopping +5000m to just below 3500m. The race takes place in May each year.
More info: https://everestmarathon.com
Image courtesy to: Everest Marathon
6. Jungfrau Marathon, Switzerland
Self-claimed as the “most beautiful marathon in the world”, the Jungfrau Marathon in the Swiss Alps will be sure to give you a tough adventure beside its spectacular scenery. With a climb of 1953 meters you are sure to be given a serious challenge before reaching the finish line at 2320 meters altitude.
More info: https://www.jungfrau-marathon.ch/en/
Image courtesy to: Jungfrau Marathon
7. Baikal Ice Marathon, Russia
Siberia offers one of the most extreme races on the planet. Approximately 65 kilometers from Itkursk you find the beautiful lake of Balkai where one of the The Baikal Ice Marathon is a running race over 42.195k solely on ice. Not only are participants challenged by the vast plains of iced surface, but participants must also master the cold.
More info: https://www.absolute-siberia.com/en/pages/ice_marathon.html
Image courtesy to: Baikal Ice Marathon
8. Patagonian International Marathon, Chile
In Torres del Paine National Park participants from all over the world gather in September each year to experience the Patagonian International Marathon. The course takes participants through the national park that is situated at the 51° south latitude with an elevation difference of approx. 1000 meters. Running in Patagonia means harsh conditions but also a completely unique experience in epically sculptured surroundings over 70 million years in formation.
More info: https://www.patagonianinternationalmarathon.com/en/
Image courtesy to: Patagonian International Marathon
9. Australian Outback Marathon, Australia
The Australian Outback invites everyone that truly wants to get off the beaten track. With the majestic Ayers Rock as backdrop the full marathon takes you from Uluru to Kata Tjuta. The course is relatively flat, but the challenge lies in mastering a great variety of terrain, such as outback roads, sand dunes and trails.
More info: https://australianoutbackmarathon.com
Image courtesy to: Australian Outback Marathon
10. The Great Wall Marathon, China
Each year, along one of mankind’s greatest structures, the Great Wall Marathon takes place in May. With an ascent of 5164 steps, participants are sure to be given a real challenge on the cobbled surface of The Wall’s pathway.
More info: https://great-wall-marathon.com/
Image courtesy to: Albatros Adventure Marathons
Jeff Darman - Road Race Management, Inc.
A committee made up of race directors, athletes, media, corporate executives and club officials has named Ron Ilgen, Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. President and Race Director, as the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year. MYLAPS is the presenting sponsor.
He will be honored at a reception at the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting in Hollywood, FL on December 8.
Phil Stewart, Editor and Publisher of Road Race Management, said: “We’ve honored 35 individuals with the Road Race Management Race Director of the Year award since 1987, and they have faced plenty of challenges, but none have been quite as daunting as organizing a marathon and half marathon up one of Colorado’s tallest peaks. Thin air is only a minor inconvenience – but can be challenging, as I know from experience when I crawled into an aid station above the 12,000-foot level when I completed the race – but nature throws plenty of other challenges on the Front Range of the Rockies, including blizzards, forest fires and flash floods, to which our nominee has had to respond. He has done so for the last 20 years, which has earned Ron Ilgen the 2022 MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year Award presented by MyLaps.”
Ron’s nominator said of him:
“Ron Ilgen has been the lifeblood of the Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. race for over 25 years. Ron began his involvement with the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon as a volunteer, a lead volunteer and eventually the executive director and overall race director. Ron has provided oversight and direction for all races under the organization’s brand for the past 20 years.
“Race directing a trail race up a 14,115-foot mountain is more of a mountaineering event than a traditional running race. The logistics and volunteer needs are extensive to pull off successful back-to-back races. Ron has navigated some of the worst circumstances a Race Director can imagine keeping the Pikes Peak Marathon going strong. In 2005, the race experienced a massive storm that left hundreds of runners trapped on the summit of Pikes Peak. In 2006, a blizzard caught 1,000 runners off guard, and they had to finish in trash bags to protect themselves from the elements. In 2012, Colorado Springs was devastated by the Waldo Canyon Fire that led to a flash flood and significant damage to the Manitou Springs area during race week. In 2018, Ron made the tough call as Race Director to cut the Ascent race short due to the weather forecast. Finally, as all Race Directors experienced, COVID-19 threw a curveball in 2020, but Ron pushed ahead and challenged his team to navigate the COVID-19 guidelines and still host the Marathon event, making Pikes Peak Marathon now the longest recurring marathon in the U.S. (67 years running in 2022).
“Ron is fueled by the history of the Pikes Peak races, so much so that he dedicated several years to finding the first woman to finish the Pikes Peak Marathon in 1959, Arlene Pieper. For 50 years Arlene Pieper did not know she made athletic history as the first woman to ever compete a sanctioned marathon in the U.S., until 2000 when the stars aligned, and Arlene was located and invited to be part of the 50th running of the Pikes Peak Marathon.
“The fiercely loyal volunteer base is derived from a deep respect and appreciation for Ron’s leadership. He extends appreciation for all volunteer positions and engages in the race prep work on the mountain. Ron himself has completed each volunteer duty in his many years with the race organization, and volunteers appreciate that aspect of his leadership.”
The MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year award (presented by MYLAPS) is made annually to recognize and promote excellence in race directing. Nominees were judged on several factors, including overall ability, reputation of race, creativity and organizational ability. For a list of previous recipients, visit https://www.rrm.com/act/rdm/rdypast.asp.
Road Race Management (www.rrm.com) is a member-based organization that publishes a digital newsletter and many other publications designed for race and industry professionals and conducts a prestigious annual national race directors’ meeting and trade show in Florida. MarathonFoto (www.marathonfoto.com) combines the industry’s best logistics and customer service, all supported by cutting-edge technology, to create images and videos to celebrate and inspire athletes. MYLAPS (https://www.mylaps.com) helps athletes, timers and events to create the ultimate sports experience for participants, followers and sponsors.
MADEIRA OCEAN&TRAILS: RÉMI BONNET AND ALLIE MCLAUGHLIN TAKE HOME THE WIN ON THE LAST STAGE OF THE GOLDEN
Announcement from the Golden Trail Series presented by Salomon Running - 30th October 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 30.5 KM, 1,555M V+ FUNCHAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL Rémi Bonnet and Allie McLaughlin finish the year in style by winning the last stage in the GTWS 2022 Grand Final!
Happy birthday Allie!
She turned 32 today! And what better way to celebrate it! Allie McLaughlin (Team On Running, USA) took victory on the Golden Trail World Series’ last stage.
"I wore fancy dress today," she said at the finish line. "it was really cool to hear the supporters at the top saying 'oh look it’s Harley Quinn!' I’m really thankful to be a part of the Golden running community. We’re on an incredible island, everyone loves running, we share the same passion, what better birthday present could I wish for! It’s true, I set off at a ‘fun pace' – some would say a hard pace – I was with a group of guys in the climb, but I couldn’t keep up with them. I felt great, even if I think I pushed it a bit too hard, especially as there was still a way to go in the downhill. I was told that Nienke couldn’t catch me now, but I didn’t believe it so gave it all I had till the finish line!"
Just behind her was the Golden Trail World Series 2022 winner: Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike Trail, The Netherlands).
"I’m wrecked," she said at the finish line. "I’m really pleased with this week; I gave everything I had and now I need a break! But I really wanted to do all the stages, even though I had already won the GTWS with yesterday’s result. I also wanted to thank my parents and my family who came here and were so much support on this race, it was amazing!"
Julie Roux (Team Salomon, France) completes the day’s podium, she has been gaining momentum throughout the week.
"I felt pretty good today. I wanted to play this stage’s Sprint segment and here I caught up with Bailey. So I suddenly felt euphoric and told myself I was going to really go for it right up to the finish. I’m thrilled with this result and my entire week!"
Check out all the Grand Final – Madeira Ocean&Trails® ranking here:
(rankings for each stage: – ELITE – OPEN – Overall Ranking – Segments – GTNS)
Check out the Golden Trail World Series 2022 overall ranking here: https://goldentrailseries.com/series/gtws.htm
Announcement from the Golden Trail Series presented by Salomon Running | October 26th, 2022, Start 9:00 am, 24.5km, 1,540 meters V+ | Seixal, Madeira, Portugal.
26th October 2022, Start 9:00 AM, 24.5KM, 1,540M V+ SEIXAL, MADEIRA, PORTUGAL Rémi Bonnet and Allie McLaughlin win the first of the five stages of the Madeira Ocean&Trails® Stage Race, the Golden Trail Series Grand Final.
The October rain lashed the peaks of Madeira Island. The conditions were rough for the start of the first stage of the Golden Trail Series Grand Final, which is probably the most technical stage out of the five stages in store for the runners this week. Today’s programme had a steep climb taking the runners up to 1,400 metres above sea level before attacking the downhill, which was just as steep, and strewn with a mish-mash of slippery wet stones, rocks, roots, and steps.
Rémi Bonnet on top form!
We knew this stage’s profile would suit Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon, Switzerland), who certainly forged a gap on the climb before keeping his pursuers at bay on the treacherous downhill. Only Elhousine Elazzaoui (Team Pini Mountain Racing, Morocco) was able to follow the Swiss on the first part of the race course, both beating their pursuers by almost 5 minutes at the finish. In the end, the final victory was raced between these two in the downhill, and it was Rémi Bonnet who pipped the post in first place.
"I felt really good today," he confided at the finish line. "I played for the climbing segment but without putting myself too much over the limit. Once the segment was over, I kept in control by lowering my heart rate. Only Elhousine kept up with me, I was afraid he’d catch me on the runnable parts because he goes very fast. But when I heard him catching up in the downhill, I gave it some gas and it worked. I was surprised at how well I did on the downhill, it’s the first time I’ve had such a good pace. I was feeling fit today, I can’t wait for the next stages!"
Elhousine Elazzaoui was very happy with his second place.
"The downhill isn’t my strong point," he explained. "Rémi is very strong, he did a great job! I wasn’t far from winning my first race of the Golden but there’s still four more stages to go, so we’ll see!"
Petro Mamu (Team Scarpa, Eretria) completes the ELITE men’s podium, and he’s not used to these kind of racing conditions.
"I’m really pleased with this third position! It was hard today with very technical sections, but I didn’t do too badly. Here, the terrain is varied with difficult conditions, especially because I had a problem with my foot, but it seems ok now. There are four more races, I need to rest and try and do as well, but I’m happy with my third place!"
Note that Manuel Merillas (Team Scarpa, Spain) was disqualified from the today’s stage for not respecting the race rules, having left his poles at the top of the climb.
Allie McLaughlin, a successful landing!
Her plane had barely touched down from her final flight, Allie McLauglin (Team On Running, USA) took three days to reach Madeira, due to flight cancellations and delays. She arrived at 2 am at the hotel, without her luggage, and yet she was at the start line the same morning beaming from ear to ear. She crossed the finish line in first place 2h30min later with the same smile.
"I hadn’t felt this good since Mount Marathon! You would’ve thought that the trip would’ve drained me but in fact I managed to rest well between each flight and was philosophical about it. I fell into a huge puddle, and I thought I’d killed my phone. I saw Nienke behind me just before the downhill and even though my legs were jello I love the downhill, so I said this is where I have to pull away or she’s gonna catch me! I don’t think I will do all the stages, but no doubt this evening when I see the ranking, I may change my mind, we’ll see."
Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike Trail, The Netherlands) took her first loss this season.
"I’m very satisfied with this second place! I ran conservatively in the downhill, I broke my wrist recently when I fell, and I didn’t want to break a second one. I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch Allie anyway, I just hoped no one else would catch me! I feel good and pretty fresh for the next round, I just wanted to be careful today. The weather conditions were pretty harsh and cold, it was very slippery, but I really want to make the most of this race and the island. I’m just happy to have succeeded and not destroyed my body today!"
Élise Poncet (Team Sidas X Matryx, France) came in third place after a ferocious downhill.
"I’ve just joined the land of the mutants! In trail running there are mutants like Nienke, Maude, Allie, and Sophia, and then there’s humans like us! But today I proved to myself that I too can be at their level. But to do that I had to take massive risks in the downhill. I’m really proud of myself and this result, but I think it’ll force me to rest on the next stage. I’ll see how I recover but I don’t want put my health in danger and I can feel that I burned a lot of energy and my muscles and joints have taken a beating."
The best from the OPEN category
In the OPEN category it was Manuel Innerhofer (Austria) for the men and Malen Osa (Spain) for the women who came out on top. "It was tough, and the weather was harsh, but I prefer that than when it’s hot," confided Manuel Innerhofer at the finish line. "I feel pretty good and I’m looking forward to the next stage." Satisfied with her race Malen Osa is now wondering about the rest of the week. "I felt really good. In the climb I was feeling really great, but I didn’t want to push too hard in the downhill because I’ve never done a stage race like this before and I’m not sure how I will recover. I hope to feel like I did today."
The DACH in the lead
Beyond the individual rankings the Golden Trail National Series runners compete for a team ranking, with the times of the top two men and top two women from each team combined for the ranking. So, vying for this title today the GTNS ALL/AUT/CHE was the strongest, just 2 minutes ahead of GTNS ITALY and the GTNS FRA complete the podium already 20 minutes behind.
ELITES – STAGE 1
1 – RÉMI BONNET (CHE – SALOMON/RED BULL): 02:04:41 (+100 pts)
2 – ELHOUSINE ELAZZAOUI (MAR – PINA MOUNTAIN RACING): 02:05:18 (+88 pts)
3 – PETRO MAMU (ERI – SCARPA): 02:11:44 (+78 pts)
4 – THIBAUT BARONIAN (FRA – SALOMON): 02:12:07 (+72 pts)
5 – ROBERT PKEMBOI (KEN – SKY RUNNERS KENYA) 02:12:14 (+68 pts)
1 – ALLIE MACLAUGHLIN (USA – ON RUNNING): 02:30:25 (+100 pts)
2 – NIENKE BRINKMAN (NLD – NIKE TRAIL): 02:33:20 (+ 88 pts)
3 – ELISE PONCET (FRA – SIDAS X MATRYX): 02:34:37 (+ 78 pts)
4 – SOPHIA LAUKLI (USA – SALOMON): 02:35:50 (+72 pts)
5 – CAITLIN FIELDER (NZL – SALOMON): 02:40:44 (+68 pts)
1 – GTNS GER/AUT/CH: 10:20:07
2 – GTNS ITALY: 10:22:46
3 – GTNS FRA: 10:49:49
4 – GTNS ESP/POR: 11:08:58
5 – GTNS MEXICO: 11:10:06
Check out all the Grand Final – Madeira Ocean&Trails ranking here:
(rankings for each stage: – ELITE – OPEN – Overall Ranking – Segments – GTNS)
Check out the Golden Trail World Series 2022 overall ranking here: https://goldentrailseries.com/series/gtws.htm
JUN 28, 2022 POSTED BY: ERIC SENSEMAN - Squirrel's Nut Butter
According to a report done in 2020, 15% of Americans do some form of running or jogging. This makes chafing skin that is associated with running a very common issue.
This is something that many runners complain about as chafed skin is painful and irritating. It can also make it harder to reach your running goals and accomplish your milestones.
The good thing is that there are ways to help with chafing for runners. These tips are a great place to start if you are a runner who is dealing with chafing.
Keep reading to find out what you can do to treat and prevent chafing while running.
1. Wear Synthetic Materials
Synthetic materials are going to be your best friend when it comes to running. Though you may normally go towards cotton, this is not a great option for runners.
Natural fibers like cotton tend to be absorbent and will hold on to moisture as you run. This will cause more chafing skin and more skin irritation overall.
Synthetic materials are more slippery and will not absorb as much moisture as natural fibers. They also tend to chafe less and are gentler on the skin as you are running for long periods of time.
It is best to look for synthetic materials that are sweat-wicking. This will help to absorb moisture without holding on to it and chafing away at the skin as you run.
2. Wear Well Fitting Clothing
When you are going to be running, the fit of your clothing is more important than you might realize. Clothes that don't fit correctly could cause sports injuries or skin injuries as you run.
You do not want to wear clothing that is too tight as this can cause a great deal of discomfort. Tight clothes will cause chafing skin and can dig into your skin causing blistered skin in those areas.
But you also do not want to wear clothing that is too loose as this can also cause chafed skin. Loose clothing can become moist and rub on your skin as you are running.
It is best to choose underclothes options that are just the right fit and have a certain amount of giving. You want your clothing to fit just right but still have some stretch in case you need it.
Socks and shoes specifically should have some give as your feet might swell while running. You could get blistered skin if your socks or shoes are too tight and cannot expand to a certain degree.
3. Use a Lubricant
Using a lubricant is a great idea for areas of the body that are prone to chafing. This is a preventative measure that can help to reduce skin injuries when running for long periods of time.
Vaseline is the most common lubricant, though some people will also use different types of oils. These lubricants work by creating a lubricating barrier for your skin.
This helps to stop chafing from happening as your skin cannot rub together and cause irritation. Runners commonly do this in specific areas, such as between their thighs where chafing often occurs.
If you have chafing that you just can't seem to stop from happening, this could be a great solution. Especially if you only have chafing issues in specific areas.
4. Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated throughout your run is also an important way to reduce your chances of having sports injuries. Though you may already know this, being hydrated can also help with chafing skin.
When you are dehydrated your body has a much harder time flushing salt from your skin. Dehydration makes it harder to sweat and can cause salt to build up on your skin.
These abrasive salt crystals can enhance chafing and make the skin irritation much worse. Staying hydrated allows you to sweat profusely as you run to keep your skin free of these dried salt crystals.
Staying hydrated also helps to dilute your sweat so that your sweat is not as salty. If you are not hydrated enough, your sweat will be much more concentrated and irritating.
5. Start With Moisturized Skin
If you are going to be going running the next day, you can begin preparing for chafing skin early. You can do this by ensuring that your skin is moisturized before ever running.
Keeping your skin moisturized before a run is a great way to prevent chafing as well as blistered skin. This helps your skin to be less dry, which is a big contributor to chafing while running.
Moisturized skin is much less likely to cause irritation as it rubs together. This works much like using a lubricant does as your skin has a moisturized barrier.
You should moisturize your skin the day before going running as well as moisturizing before you go running. Make sure you use a moisturizer that soaks into the skin instead off simply sitting on top of it.
Otherwise, you will sweat your moisturizer off and it won't help with chafed skin.
6. Consider the Weather
If you want to go running, it is always a good idea to take the weather into consideration. Hot and humid weather causes the most chafing as it causes you to sweat more.
Hotter weather also creates more risk of becoming dehydrated, which no runner wants to experience. It is best to run in mild weather or to pick a time of the day that is the coolest.
7. Wear Anti-Chafing Bands
Anti-chafing bands are specifically designed to help people combat chafed skin. These are usually available as thigh bands as this is the most common area for chafing.
Anti-Chafing bands are made from synthetic blends that are not going to absorb a bunch of moisture. They also come with silicone to help them stay in place as you run.
Chafing bands help to create a material barrier between your skin to protect your skin. This is an ideal option for runners as thigh chafing is very common and can be very painful.
These bands can easily be worn under your normal running clothes without adding any bulkiness.
8. Use Powders
Powders are a chafing solution that has been around for a long time. Though this isn't an ideal option for preventing chafing, it can help to reduce it once chafing has already started.
Cornstarch-based powders are the best option as they are silky on the skin while being highly absorbent. Powders create a barrier so that your skin is not repeatedly rubbing against itself.
It also helps to absorb sweat in those areas as moisture can cause greater chafing. You can easily apply a powder to problem areas if you are starting to feel chafing.
This is a great way to reduce chafing and help your skin to be better protected for the remainder of your run.
9. Be Mindful of Your Equipment
If you are running for long periods of time, you most likely have to take certain kinds of equipment with you. This is something that most runners do, especially if they are running long distances.
You may want to bring a water bottle, heart monitor, armband, belt, or other kinds of equipment with you. If you do run with any kind of equipment, it is important to be aware of any chafing that it could cause.
Armbands, belts, and any other kind of equipment could easily become a chafing issue for your skin. They could begin to rub and cause abrasiveness that could result in blistered skin or chafing.
You will want to choose a runner-specific type of equipment and be aware of any damage it causes as you run. You may have to get creative if you find that running equipment increases your risk of chafing.
10. Wear Running Clothes
Running clothes are the best option for runners for obvious reasons. There is a reason why there are clothes made specifically for runners.
These types of clothing will be made of synthetic materials that are best for running in. They won't be absorbing a bunch of sweat or rubbing against your skin as you run.
Many high-quality pieces of running clothing will also be seamless or have very minimal seams. This can make a huge difference as seams can rub against the skin causing painful chafing.
Running clothes also have the elasticity to them to help you to find a better fit. You don't want to wear anything that is too tight or too loose for longer runs.
How to Deal With Chafing Skin as a RunnerIf you are struggling with chafing skin, there are several ways that you can try to prevent this. This is important for runners as chafed skin is one of the most common issues and can be very irritating.
If you are a regular runner or run for long distances, this is most likely an issue that you have faced. It might have even been a big enough issue to interfere with your running goals.
Are you struggling with painfully chafed skin while running?
Contact us today at Squirrel's Nut Butter to see our selection of anti-chafing products for runners.
2022 Press Golden Trail Series
17TH SEPTEMBER 2022, Start 7:00AM (MDT), 21KM, 2,382M V+ MANITOU SPRINGS, USA
The Golden Trail World Series hadn’t set foot across the Atlantic since 2019. In 2022, they’re back on American soil with two legendary races, the first is the Pikes Peak Ascent, taking place on 17th September. Usually, it’s the marathon distance that awaits the Golden, but this year, to make it easier with two races on two consecutive weekends, the athletes will be tackling the vertical race on Colorado’s legendary peak. The backdrop: a start line at the foot of the burnt ochre Manitou Springs mountains at 1,920 metres above sea level. This mythical trail goes through rocky sections and on long forest tracks to reach a culminating peak at 4,302 metres above sea level. Who will have the legs and lungs to come out victorious on this tough 21-kilometre race with its 2,382 vertical elevation? Let’s take a look at the power houses who will be present!
THE TIMES TO BEAT:
Men’s record: 2:01:06 Matt Carpenter in 1993
Women’s record: 2:24:58 Kim Dobson in 2012
There’s a little extra spice at the Pikes Peak Ascent; as well as the prize money awarded by the GTWS to the top runners, there’s a $10,000 prize to runners who can beat the organisers’ chosen time:
3D RACE ROUTE BY SUUNTO
Discover the favourites for the Pikes Peak Ascent, the GTWS 2022 5th stage:
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE:
It’ll be a showdown at the first of the two American races! Heading the billboard is Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike, The Netherlands). Record holder of Zegama and she just won a bronze medal at the European Championships marathon distance. On an entirely uphill course, she should logically be over and above any questions, yet she will be up against some very tough women who eat uphill for breakfast!
Sophia Laukli (Team Salomon, USA) showed the full extent of her talent when she won the Stranda Fjord Trail Race a few weeks ago, she who is a member of the American Olympic Cross-Country Skiing team. Here once again, the uphill profile will suit her down to the ground!
Maude Mathys (Team Salomon, Switzerland) should also be happy to wrestle in this battle, she who finished second at Zegama and Sierre-Zinal this year.
Although currently dealing with a niggling Achilles tendon injury, she is still a notorious
athlete who never throws in the towel!
What about Sara Alonso (Team Salomon, Spain)? This year’s Marathon du Mont-Blanc winner, and third at Zegama, she is currently leading the GTWS 2022 and will obviously want to keep this first-place lead.
Next up is Blandine L’Hirondel (Team Evadict, France). She may have finished 5thin Norway, but she shone at the CCC this year where she beat the women’s record.
All these girls will have to face up to two American uphill trail experts:
Grayson Murphy (Team Saucony, USA), Mountain Running World Champion in 2019,
is used to running on this type of terrain.
As for Kim Dobson (Team BP Run CO, USA), at 38 years old she still holds the course
record that she also won in 2018 and 2019! And if all that wasn’t enough, this incredible field is completed with women such as Bailey Kowalczyk (Team Salomon, USA),
Marcela Vasinova (Team Salomon, Czech Republic), Janelle Lincks (Team Inov-8, USA), who notably won the GTNS Final last year in the Azores, and Élise Poncet (Team Sidas X Matryx, France), second at the 4th stage in Norway last month.
ON THE MEN’S SIDE:
The men’s field is stacked for this 5th stage.
At the top of the list is THE ultimate uphill genius:
Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon/Red Bull, Switzerland). Winning Best Climber of the Golden Trail Championship in the Azores in 2020, the Swiss has just established the best ever performance on the vertical kilometre at La Fouly.
On paper, this 5th stage is just for him! But he needs to be wary of the likes of Ruy Ueda (Team Red Bull, Japan) who most notably finished 3rdat the Marathon du Mont-Blanc,
and Anthony Felber (Team Sidas X Matryx, France), 8th at the Marathon du Mont-Blanc.
But the real unknown for these guys is Joseph Gray (Team Hoka One One, USA),
he has won this race on multiple occasions (notably in 2019 and 2021), and ran an incredible 2h05 in 2016, the best time since 1995.
Francesco Puppi (Team Nike Trail, Italy) will also be out there to perform.
He had a complicated start to the season after an injury, winner of the final at El Hierro
last year, he had to put up with 14th place at Sierre-Zinal this year.
We also need to watch what Bart Przedwojewski (Team Salomon, Poland) can do on this entirely uphill course. Known for his exceptional downhill skills, which he proved by finishing 3rd at Stranda.
The list continues with guys like Sam Hendry (Team Salomon, USA),
Andy Wacker (Team Salomon, USA), Darren Thomas (Team Salomon, USA),
winner of the GTNS Final at the Azores in 2021, and William Boffelli (Team Hoka One One/Crazy, Italy).
This 5th stage, the first of two American races, promises to be a fantastic show. Who will prove to be the Pikes Peak uphill experts! See you at 7:00 am (MDT) on 17th September at Manitou Springs, Colorado, to find out!
Important message: due to the absence of network along the course route we will not be able to provide a live broadcast. We will keep you updated on the runners’ progress via our social media, and we will provide an exciting exclusive format to broadcast on Saturday evening at 8:00 pm (MDT, 4:00 am CET Sunday morning), which you will also be able to watch on replay on our website and our YouTube channel.
Follow the stories LIVE during the race as well as our video productions
on our social platforms :
PHOTOS AND MEDIA CONTENT
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Partner Spotlight ~ Sidas: On Foot Care
Content provided by Pikes Peak Marathon sponsoring partner - Sidas, Your Foot Company
Look for Sidas at the 2022 Pikes Peak Marathon + Ascent Expo
Whether you run to maintain physical fitness or enhance mental clarity, your feet are tools helping you achieve your goals. To enjoy your run, your feet need to remain your friends. You tell your feet where to go but are you listening to what your feet have to say?
While a certain level of fatigue is usual and expected as you increase mileage and intensity, it is important to remember that there’s a difference between muscle fatigue and faulty biomechanics. Your feet don’t have to hurt. Achy arches, blistered toes, painful calluses are all ways of your feet telling you something isn’t right. Your feet deserve your attention before these tiny inconveniences become big problems.
It's widely accepted that strengthening and stretching muscles can improve your technique and performance. An often underestimated element to improve performance is the use of insoles to improve the foot-to-ground interface. Insoles improve the fit and durability of your shoes and your feet, ensuring you can run longer with better biomechanics.
Insoles help to increase your body’s proprioception, which is the body’s awareness of itself in space; a critical element to ensure proper biomechanics for runners. More contact between your foot and the insole means more contact between your foot and the shoe. This contact provides feedback from the ground to your brain, leading to more efficient stabilization. Less extraneous movement results in more transferred power, and less wasted energy. This is an essential piece of running with less soreness.
An equally important concept of biomechanics is the kinetic chain – the interrelationship between all elements of the body during motion. As you push closer to your physical limits, the human body must increasingly call on all segments, connecting joints, and muscles to work in unison to perform at its peak. If there is a weak link in the chain, your body will attempt to compensate, creating faulty movement patterns. The body subconsciously changes your gait to avoid pain, adopting a new movement pattern, no matter how inefficient.
Just like training to improve your aerobic capacity, there are steps you can take to ensure that your running form does not deteriorate over the course of a competition. To improve the strength of the whole kinetic chain, it is critical to train movement patterns not just muscle groups. A commonly forgotten piece of the kinetic chain are the intrinsic muscles in your foot and toes. These muscles are easy to overlook but weak intrinsic muscles can quickly take you out of the running.
Two easy exercises to increase toe and arch muscle strength is performing heel lifts on an unstable surface (such as a step or a half-ball) and toe opposition (bringing the big toe up, little toe down, then vice versa). Toe weakness can be tied to many common injuries of runners – plantar fasciitis, heel pain, metatarsal fractures and can contribute to lack of balance and increased fall risk. The goal here is to identify and change faulty gait patterns before they become a part of your training.
You owe it to your feet to pay attention to how they move. Selecting an insole that will move with your foot will enhance your stride and allow you to reach the finish line faster, with less pain!
Spencer is a 2021 Pikes Peak Ascent finisher (3:21:39) and writes for OutThere Colorado
From Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. - New for 2022 are the gear requirements for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, one of which requires runners to carry a refillable water container. While many runners may have their hydration dialed in, there are many that may still have questions on what gear is best to carry. In this post, by Spencer McKee, you'll find tips for fuel and hydration along with ideas for the different types of gear . Don't forget to watch the video at the end from our partners at HydraPak!
8 Tips for Staying Fueled During the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon
The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon races are fast approaching, sure to bring some of the best athletes from around Colorado and beyond to the Colorado Springs region.
When it comes to properly fueling and hydrating on race day, here are a few things to remember:
Note from the author: I'm not a nutritionist, I'm just a runner writing from my own limited experience on the trail. None of this advice is coming from a medical expert and consulting a medical expert is always recommended prior to taking any new supplement or vitamin.
1. Space is limited, pack accordingly.
In a mountain race scenario, limiting weight and ensuring the proper pack balance can be crucial for an efficient and comfortable run. Bring too much in the pack and excess weight might feel like it's holding you back. Have awkward items in your pack and it can throw off your natural stride.
Pack your race kit as you plan to do so on race day and take it on a few practice runs in weeks leading up to the big day. This way, you'll know how it feels prior to stepping foot on Barr Trail and can make adjustments if needed, including switching up your approach to fuel and fluids.
2. Pick the right pack for you.
As with any type of outdoor recreation gear, there are countless options and everyone will have their own opinion in regard to what the right call is. The most important part of selecting a pack is that you're picking one that fits your specific needs.
When it comes to the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, many people tend to go with a backpack-style pack that will have easy-to-access hydration. Two companies I love for this type of pack are USWE (known for packs that reduce a lot of the annoying bounce) and Salomon (known for their cinching system on running packs that allows for the perfect fit).
Looking to cut weight and go with something smaller?
Something like the Nathan Marathon Pak won't hold hydration, but it will hold some fuel comfortably around your waist. Couple this with a handheld hydration option (like those from HydraPak), and make sure to refill at hydration stations along the way.
3. Don't skip the electrolytes.
Did you know that hydrating with only water can result in something called hyponatremia? In other words, low blood sodium that can mimic some symptoms of altitude sickness.
As you're sweating a lot, your body is losing a lot more than just water. Adding an electrolyte drink into the mix will help keep your body balanced.
At the same time, only consuming electrolyte drinks can leave the body feeling funky. Many runners prefer to mix it up and drink both water and a special drink mixture throughout the race.
A few great brands to turn to when it comes to finding an electrolyte drink option include Tailwind Nutrition (made in Durango), Liquid I.V., and nuun nutrition. Each of these companies offer a range of products. Pick what seems to work best for you.
4. Don't forget to consume some calories.
Whether you're running the Pikes Peak Ascent or the Marathon, you'll be burning a ton of calories that you'll need to replenish some of those calories to prevent 'bonking' or hitting a wall in terms of exertion. Caloric drinks can help, but that's probably not enough. Most runners turn to gels, gummies, and other sources of nutrition that are packed with carbohydrates (and a bunch of other great stuff, like sodium) to keep their energy levels high.
A few options I've used successfully in the past include CLIF BLOKS Energy Chews, GU Energy Gels, Science in Sport Energy Gels, and Honey Stinger Waffles.
When it comes to eating during a race, there always seems to be a chance it will throw your digestive system out of whack mid-run. To prevent this, test your fuel on another long run before race day to see what best fits your own stomach. Some people prefer something that's chewy, others prefer a paste, while others like something that's more fluid. A lot of it comes down to the individual runner.
In general, I prefer to simply have some sort of supplement I can actually look forward to eating, especially when facing off with a higher elevation that can seem to limit appetite. It's also got to be something that's easy to consume while moving. Try a few options and find the best fit for you.
5. Caffeine can be your best friend or worst enemy
Many athletes rely on caffeine on race day for a quick and effective energy boost, but too much caffeine can result in nausea and dehydration.
It can be tempting to keep putting more caffeine into the body to get more energy, but that's a fuse that burns quickly.
As with any type of nutrition or gear, it's important to test a variety of techniques and methods to determine what's best for you. I try to make sure I never exceed 300 milligrams of caffeine during race day by switching between some supplements that have caffeine and others that don't.
6. Don't skip the aid stations
During race day excitement, it can be easy to blow by aid stations found along a course. Obviously, there's no need to stop at every single aid station if you don't need to, but it's also important not to skip aid stations when you need them, thinking it will help your finish line time. Take breaks for fuel and hydration along the way when you need them and you'll end up feeling better and performing better overall despite falling a few seconds back here or there.
7. A salt pill might prove helpful, too.
A number of companies sell salt pills branded toward runners to help prevent the negative side effects of low sodium levels. It might not be a bad idea to toss one or two in your pack. However, when it comes to sodium, make sure you don't overdo it. Stick to recommendations on the package.
8. Consult a nutritionist
I'm no nutritionist, I'm just a runner that's tried a variety of options throughout my own personal running experience. If you want expert advice that will deliver the best results for your own body, consult a nutritionist. It's also important to consult a doctor prior to trying new supplements and vitamins.
HydraPak Hydration Video
Introduction by PPM Staff, Training Tips by Brandon Stapanowich
In July 2021, we posted "Training Tips by Brandon Stapanowich," a blog post focused on tips for physical and mental preparedness for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. If you read that post, you may recall that Brandon Stapanowich has quite the mountain trail running resume. In fact, here are the Stap Stats we posted last year:
4:36 Pikes Peak Marathoner
Competed in the Barkley Marathons
Completed Nolan's 14 in under 60 hours
Fastest self-supported time on Colorado Trail westbound
3rd place at Hurt 100
3rd place at Whistler Alpine Meadows 100
5th place at Run Rabbit Run 100
6th place at Hard Rock 100
12th place at Western States
Invented 24 hours of the Incline: 22 ascents and descents for 44,000 feet gain/loss
If that isn't enough, Brandon has been at it again, building his resume and creating more impressive stats. On June 7, 2022, Brandon set out to run the 1,175-mile Mountains-to-Sea Trail in North Carolina, which meanders across the entire state. Not only did Brandon take on this huge challenge, he set a goal of completing it in the fastest known time (FKT). And 23 days, 13 hours, and 28 minutes after he began this adventure, Brandon set the official FKT of the Mountains- to-Sea Trail. This epic journey was supported by his wife, Melissa, one year old son, Felix, and his family and friends. You can read more about the MST and Brandon's background in his blog post. You can also hear more about Brandon's journey on August 25 at The Colorado Running Company.
Here in Colorado, Brandon is quite a local legend. With the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon getting closer by the day, we'd like to revisit Brandon's evergreen training tips - we're sure you can find something here to help you prep for the Peak!
Training Tips from Brandon -
With the passing of the longest day of the year, we are now officially in the summer season. This means that the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon are now less than 2 months away! I’m betting many of you are ramping up for the burliest parts of your training and, while I hold no running coach certifications, living and adventuring around Manitou Springs has taught me a thing or two about how to have a fulfilling experience on America’s Mountain. Below are some tips that come to mind:
What’s in your legs:
-In training, you want to simulate race conditions as closely as you can, particularly as you get closer to the event. Ideally you’ll be able to incorporate uphill running on your long runs, but don’t forget about shorter hill repeats (3-5 minutes).
-If you don’t have hills nearby, you may consider trying to find stadium stairs or a treadmill. If none of those are an option, get creative by including speed work which will help you recruit additional muscle fibers, an outcome that is similar to that produced by uphill running. Doing a higher intensity workout for say 5 repetitions of 3-5 minutes will make that grind up the W’s a little less tiresome.
-Don’t underestimate the power of a power hike. The vast majority of runners will be hiking at some point in the race, most likely above treeline. If you’ve practiced “walking with a purpose” in training, you’ll feel confident with doing it on race day. You can structure your power hike intervals just like running intervals and experiment with arm swing or placing your hands on your thighs to find a technique that suits you best.
What’s in your pack:
-Aid stations will have fluids and calories available, but if you’re interested in shaving some minutes off your time, use aid station resources as a supplement to what you can carry.
-I typically aim for consuming 200 calories and 20 ounces of fluid an hour. Gels and chews can be easily consumed on the go, but for some, real food like bits of a granola bar work better. Either way, you want to be periodically sipping and snacking throughout the race rather than guzzling and gorging.
-Running packs, handheld bottles, and waist packs come in a number of different varieties, each with their own pros and cons. Try different systems to see what works best for you, but whatever you choose, be sure it practice with it in training. That way, when you reach in that front left pocket, you’ll know with 100% certainty that you’ll be pulling out a gel and won’t spend any extra mental resources thinking about where it is.
What’s in your head:
-Limit the impact of the unknowns by studying the available information regarding the course, aid stations, and weather forecast.
-Rehearse in your head how you’ll respond when things are going as planned or even better than planned. Then rehearse how you’ll respond when things don’t go as planned and how you’ll recover.
-On race day, don’t over-think. Sometimes that’s easier said than done, but if you stay present and aware of your surroundings, and how you’re feeling, you’ll be more likely to make productive decisions when needed.
One training workout will neither “make” or “break” the race. So as you continue to prepare, focus most on building consistent running throughout the weeks and months leading up to the race. In my eyes, the ultimate goal of racing is to have the most fun. Sometimes that means achieving a specific time or place goal, and sometimes it doesn’t. That’s up to you to define!
Spencer is a 2021 Pikes Peak Ascent finisher (3:21:39) and writes for OutThere Colorado
Pictured at Right - Richard Denny West, 58, from Oklahoma, pushes up near the finish during the Pikes Peak Ascent on Saturday, August 21, 2021.
If you're lining up to run the Pikes Peak Ascent half marathon for the first time this year or have ran it before, but are still looking to feel more comfortable on uphill mountain trails, here are a few basic training tips to help you excel under some of the circumstances that make the Pikes Peak Ascent so unique.
1. Don't skip the hills
Finishing the Ascent means 7,800 feet of climbing up the Barr Trail to the Pikes Peak summit – 7,800 feet! Short of running similar mountain trails, it can be difficult to simulate this sort of race scenario in training.
If don't have access to mountain trails or are still working your way up to being able to tackle that type of terrain, hit whatever graded trails you can find, aiming to train for both the steeper sections of Barr Trail and a prolonged uphill grind. While trail training is probably the best way to really build up the foot and leg muscles needed to complete the route, an inclined treadmill could also be useful when trails aren't accessible – especially when training for the lengthy nature of the Ascent run.
While a vertical gain of 7,800 feet during any run is intimidating, it's even worse when that gain comes with very few significant relief points. Don't expect much of a break throughout the entire race, which makes managing speed and effort so that energy lasts a crucial skill to hone.
2. Don't skip the nutrition
A run that's as strenuous as the Ascent requires quite a bit of muscle, which will take time and patience to grow. One way of maximizing every training session is to make sure you're getting proper nutrition around that session to help expedite muscle development and recovery.
I'm no nutritionist, but I can tell you about two simple things that seem to work for me – protein and calories. If I'm looking to get faster and stronger on the trail, I'm making sure I get some sort of protein supplement after each run and that I'm also eating plenty of calories via larger meals in between training days. I prefer a plant-based protein post-run, as this seems to be easier on my stomach, but again, that's just what works for me.
If finding the best advice about nutrition as it relates to running is important to you, it's recommended that you work with a personal nutritionist who can optimize a plan that fits your specific needs.
3. Anticipate loose rocks, roots, and other hazards
Most mountain trails in Colorado mean uneven, rocky terrain and the Barr Trail is no exception. Loose rocks will be present, along with other trail hazards, making it important that you're comfortable adapting to less-than-great footing at a moment's notice.
I've found that the best way to prepare for running on loose terrain is to simply seek out trails of that nature in training – practice makes perfect, right?
Once I've found these trails, I've found that it's important to limit my speed and focus on footwork, instead. As my footwork has gotten better, my speed has naturally increased over time, but not before additional muscle had time to build in my knees and ankles, as well.
It's hard to prepare for stepping on a rock that starts rolling while mid-stride, but the more familiar you are with that feeling, the more likely it is that your reflexes will kick in to help you safely keep your balance.
4. Beware the elevation
One unique aspect of the Pikes Peak Ascent is that the air gets thinner as the race progresses. As the terrain gets steeper and as runners stack up more milage, they're also likely to find that they're lacking in oxygen, as well.
It's hard to train for the increase in elevation in a place where high elevation trails don't exist. Because of this, some out-of-state runners will opt to come to Colorado several days early to help start the acclimatization process, while locals may focus their training on higher mountain trails.
The body's reaction to elevation is another trait that tends to vary greatly by person.
The general advice for the Pikes Peak Ascent would be to make sure you know how your body reacts to such a great elevation gain prior to race day, knowing that the strenuous nature of the run could trigger or amplify negative effects. Medical staff is on-site, but altitude sickness is dangerous and it's definitely not very fun. It's on you to know your own body and its limits.
Personally, I've also found that overdoing it on caffeine coupled with not getting enough water or rest tends to be what exacerbates issues with elevation for me.
A lot of people will report that elevation gain can cause loss of thirst and appetite, despite the body still needing more sustenance. On race day, it's important to have a plan in place that will keep you fueled and hydrated and to actually stick to that plan despite the urge to push through pain and ignore water stations.
5. Work on your mental toughness
The Pikes Peak Ascent is one of the most strenuous and difficult running races in the country, if not the world. Not only does it take physical toughness to complete, but mental toughness, too.
Don't skip the cold days when it comes to training, bundle up instead. Don't skip out on the hills during a healthy run, the mountain won't be backing down on race day.
The Pikes Peak Ascent is a half marathon... up a mountain... on rugged trail... in one of the highest elevation parts of the country. It's tough and you'll need to be tough, too, if you want to cross the finish line.
© Pikes Peak Marathon