3rd Oldest US Marathon
Started in 1956 as a challenge between smokers and non-smokers, the Pikes Peak Marathon is #3 on the list of longest running US marathons behind Boston and Yonkers.
See the list
Pikes Peak Ascent Awarded WMRA Challenge
The Challenge is regarded as one of the WMRA’s premiere racing events, basically the world championship of mountain running. WMRA rules state that the event must be connected to mountain running races with tradition and reputation. Of course, Pikes has both!
The Pikes Peak Ascent® and Pikes Peak Marathon® will redefine what you call running. Sure, they start out like a lot of races on Any Street, USA. But your first left turn will have you turning in the direction of up! During the next 10 miles, as you gain almost 6,000 vertical feet, your legs, lungs, heart and mind will be worn to a ragged nothingness. But it won’t be until the next three miles, with still over 2,000' of vertical to go, that you will realize where the Marathon got its moniker—America’s Ultimate Challenge.
There’s a reason trees don’t bother growing above 12,000' on Pikes Peak. They can’t! Makes one wonder if trees are smarter than runners. Above treeline most runners take 30 minutes or more, some much more, just to cover a mile. What little air remains can’t satisfy the endless stream of zombies hoping only to survive their next step. It’s a death march right out of a scene from Dawn of the Dead. Adding insult to injury it might start to snow!
It’s at this point, if you are on the deluxe tour, you must turn around and run back down the mountain for the second half of the Marathon. Along the way protruding rocks and roots are waiting to send you crashing to the ground mangling flesh and only temporarily masking the pain of blood filled blisters. Meanwhile, the temperature has often risen by more than 30 degrees since the start of the race. After all, it’s always best to cook raw meat.
Join us in 2014 for the 59th running of America’s Ultimate Challenge®!
Pikes Peak Ascent: August 16, 2014 (1st Wave - 7:00am, 2nd Wave - 7:30am)
There’s a reason trees don’t bother
growing above 12,000' on Pikes Peak.
Pikes Peak: The First Women’s Marathon
Learn more about Arlene Pieper and see/order a photo from 1959.
Peak Busters Annual Meeting
Triple Crown of Running Series