Remembering Arlene, Our Trailblazer
By Katie Benzel
The Pikes Peak Marathon is sad to report the death of one of the great pioneers of trail running: Arlene Pieper Stine, the first woman to officially complete a marathon, who ran Pikes Peak in 1959. She died on February 11, 2021. Stine was a fixture at the race starting with the 50th anniversary of the Marathon in 2009, speaking at prerace Peak Busters meetings and appearing at the start line annually until it became too difficult for her to travel. She always had a friendly smile and an encouraging word for all who approached her.
Her legacy will inspire generations of women to tackle their mountain, whatever that may be. She will be greatly missed.
For further reading about Arlene's remarkable achievement, we recommend these articles by WBUR, Runner's World, and The Gazette.
Arlene herself didn't even realize her finish was so remarkable until the Pikes Peak Marathon tracked her down in 2009. She had signed up for the race to promote the fitness studio she owned, took her 9-year-old daughter along, and didn't think twice about conquering the 14,115-foot peak that August day in 1959.
Days before the 60th annual Marathon in 2019, runners dressed in her signature white shorts, hat, and shirt (modeled after Arlene's favorite movie star, Marilyn Monroe) and summited Pikes Peak to commemorate her accomplishment.
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