Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon
Expo — August 14
Race Weekend
August 15-16

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Triple Crown of Running

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.
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11th WMRA Long Distance Challenge Pikes Peak Ascent Awarded WMRA Challenge
We are excited to announce that the 2014 Pikes Peak Ascent has been awarded the 11th annual World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) Long Distance 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!

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Pikes Peak 50th anniversary book
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A Journey to the Top and Perhaps Back
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 2015 for the 60th running of America’s Ultimate Challenge!

Pikes Peak Ascent: August 15, 2015 (1st Wave - 7:00am, 2nd Wave - 7:30am)
Pikes Peak Marathon: August 16, 2015 (7:00am for both Fields)

There’s a reason trees don’t bother
growing above 12,000' on Pikes Peak.
They can’t!

Pikes Peak: The First Women’s Marathon

Kari Nelson on her way to winning the 2008 Pikes Peak Marathon in 4:39:00. This is before the snow hit the fan!
Keri Nelson on her way to winning the 2008 Pikes Peak Marathon in 4:39:00. This is before the snow hit the fan!
Running history often notes Roberta Gibb and Kathrine Switzer as among the first American women to run a marathon. However, seven years before Gibb hid in the bushes and snuck into the Boston Marathon in 1966 and eight years before Switzer ran Boston as K.V. Switzer in 1967, Arlene Pieper had finished the Pikes Peak Marathon in 1959. Pieper not only completed one of America’s most challenging marathons but became the first official female finisher of a marathon in the United States. Read more from the story: The Mystique of Pikes Peak

Learn more about Arlene Pieper and see/order a photo from 1959.

Peak Busters Annual Meeting
Thursday, August 14, 2014 from 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Manitou Springs City Hall

Peak Busters was established 36 years ago to provide information and support to women runners who are taking on the challenge of the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon. Special guests will be on hand along with women from the race committee to offer you tips and techniques on the race. This celebration is open to all female Ascent and Marathon registered runners. More details on the Expo/Stuff page.

Triple Crown of Running Series
The Pikes Peak Ascent or ascent portion of the Pikes Peak Marathon is the 3rd and final leg of the Triple Crown of Running series. The 1st leg is the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Run to be run on June 14, 2015. The 2nd leg is the Summer Roundup Trail Run 12K to be run on July 12, 2015. Series results are based on the cumulative race times for the three events. For those who run both the Ascent and Marathon (the Double) the faster ascent time will be used. More TCR series information.

Garden of the Gods 10 Mile RunSummer Roundup Trail Run 12K