© Pikes Peak Marathon
By Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent Runners
Months of training, one day to race, and a lifetime of memories! Stories updated monthly by guest bloggers, check back next month for another great tale from Barr Trail!
We Love Our Mountain - by Paul Czosnowski
I wanted to share the story of me and my wife. I met Charlotte in 2017 a week before the Ascent. She was training to run the ascent and I was training to run the 2018 marathon. We met by chance in riding to the summit from manitou in the same car. We had a nice, "I don't know you" conversation. We got to the summit, took a picture with the woman who drove us up and then ran up and down the trail from the summit. We rode down together and had a great, "I knid of know you" conversation. When we got to the bottom, I told her it was really nice meeting you. Before I was even done talking she jumped out of the car and went to her own. I was left thinking, "Did I offend?"
A couple of days later I reached out to her on Facebook and we began a conversation and over a week or two we decided to run together again and that led to our first date. We grew close quickly and continued to run together. In June of 2018 she made me that happiest man by saying yes to my proposal underneath the waterfall at hanging lake. We ran the Pikes Peak Marathon step-in-step together in 2018. We got a whole lot closer on the run when my wife tripped and fell with me following close behind and falling on top of her. I was worried because I saw her face hit the dirt and her first words were, "Are my sunglasses ok?" I love my wife! We have run several marathons together and were married on Sep 1 2019. We continue to hold Pikes Peak close to our hearts and were married with the hashtag #pikepeaksoulmates.
We love our mountain.
Paul and Charlotte
Excerpts From The Mountain - by Lize Brittin
Ann Trason is THE goddess of ultra running. During her career, she set over 10 course records. I was lucky enough to see her run at the Leadville 100 one year when I was supposed to pace someone over Hope pass.
The runner whom I was supposed pace ended up dropping out just before mile 50 where I stood waiting. While standing there, I had the chance to view Ann speed by looking like she was in the middle of a 10K at sea level instead of on her way up and eventually over a 12,500-foot mountain. Boy, can she move! Shortly after seeing the leaders zoom by, I got the news about my guy with a knee injury that caused him to quit the race.
Being all carbo-loaded and nowhere to go, I quickly made my way to my car and drove to Colorado Springs where the Pikes Peak Marathon was scheduled to be held the next day. Being a little out of shape, my goal was to run to the top and drop out because I wasn't at all ready for the downhills. I'm more of a climber and couldn't really be worse on the descents. Plus, I was coming off another injury and had only been putting in base mileage, nothing too fast. The sensible thing would be to run to the top and find a ride down. The only problem was that once I started, I felt pretty good and decided to tuck in behind a lady, a pretty fast one.
She didn't seem too happy about me tagging along, but we ended up in a 1-2 position at the top. With everyone cheering, I got caught up in the excitement. "You can catch her!" they all yelled. And, quite stupidly, I thought, "Yeah! Maybe I CAN catch her!"
Someone put a shiny blanket around me, stuck a banana in my hand, and turned me around, gently shoving me down the trail. "Go!" he yelled. So, like a fool, I started going down with nothing on my mind but M&Ms and how badly I wanted some. A lady offered me some skittles, and I said, "No Way!" Actually, I politely declined, but when you're expecting chocolate and only fruit candy is available, it's pretty disappointing.
Not very far into the descent, I promptly blew out my right knee. I hobbled to the finish, dropping from 2nd to 11th place. Stopping on that mountain means you probably have to wait around for a donkey ride down or suck it up and get yourself either back to the top or down to the bottom. I had no intention of being carried out of there, so I limped, hobbled, and jogged my way to the finish line.
Ann Trason set a course record at Leadville in 1994. Then, two years in a row, she ran back-to-back ultras winning both the Western States 100 and also the Comrades Marathon in South Africa, which is actually 56 miles. Trason won the Western States 100 an unprecedented 14 times and set the course record for women, running the race in 1994 in a time of 17:37:51.
Meanwhile, my only other win came many years after I retired when I won a very small mountain race in Aspen where I had the pleasure of running a little way with Neal Beidleman. He pulled away at the end of that race but kept me company like the gentleman he is through a good portion of the climb. Ahh, the memories!
(From PPM Results Archive - Lize Brittin finished this 1988 Marathon with an outstanding ascent time of 2:57:43 and a descent of 2:33:07, for an overall total of 5:30:50!)
Experience - by Marcy Schwam, Marblehead, MA
I love the Pike’s Peak Marathon. I first ran in 1978. In 2006 as I was headed for an age group win, I took a nasty header with 8 miles to go. People around me were sickened with all the blood. I had no idea how bad it was, but as I came into the aid station, someone already reported it. They wanted me to stop and I refused. I lost time as they did neurological tests and pressure bandaged the head wound. I ran on, and could here them on the walkie talkies that the woman with the head wound was approaching the finish line. I was wooshed into the medical tent and a doctor actually stitched me up right there and then.
In 2010 I did the double and it was one of the greatest weekends ever.
At age 60 I was entered and had hoped the the age group record which was in reach. Unfortunately dumb timing and a knee scope kept me from attending. My new goal. Returning at age 70.
I love the Pike’s Peak Marathon.
441 Manitou Ave, Suite 100
Manitou Springs, CO 80829
In 1972 Peter Strudwick did the Ascent in 4:20:29 and the Marathon in 7:02:28. What is so incredible about that you ask? Well, soon after his mother had caught rubella, commonly called German measles, Peter was born with legs that ended in stumps just past the ankles, a left arm that had only one thumb and a finger, and a right arm ending at the wrist.
When Zebulon Pike tried to ascend the mountain that would later be named after him he was turned back by the harsh weather. Many claim he said that no one would ever reach its summit. However, it is generally accepted that he meant on that day, under those conditions. The snow was waist deep and his men were not dressed for it and were out of food.
“Militant tobacco-hating physician” Dr. Arne Suominen from Delray Beach FL, became the founder of the modern day Pikes Peak races when he wrote a letter to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce in 1956 and challenged cigarette smokers to race him up and down Pikes Peak. 1956 Results