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General Discussion / Live Forward! Team Returns for 13th Year
« Last post by Tom Everson on March 27, 2019, 03:33:53 pm »
Our Live Forward! team returns for the 13th year running. We run to honor loved ones who died in traffic incidents. We have 36 team members so far. If any of you need more information or would like to join us, email me @  You can also learn more @
Training / Re: Flatlanders
« Last post by jmurphy on February 19, 2019, 11:16:36 am »
Thank you Jasper
Great info

FYI - I am going to try this theory out in June when I attempt the Mt Evans Ascent - Get there the day before
Training / Re: Flatlanders
« Last post by Jasper on February 18, 2019, 10:15:44 pm »
Here's part of the answer from 5 years ago on a Leadville 100 thread- "Basically. Either day/night before or 2-3 weeks before is what most studies indicate is best..."
And increase water consumption.

I hope someone can add to this rambling, but here's one take, to be sure you GET one.

The idea behind getting in right before, if you don't have weeks to spend, is that "It gets worse before it gets better" so come in Friday, and do the Ascent Saturday is the way a LOT of folks do it, because they can't stay long enough to get past the 'it's gets worse first' stage.

I have friends and relatives from Kansas who have done the Ascent, and/or Marathon, many times, some with great success (Placing in Age Group, Top 10 in Marathon, etc.) and they always arrive the day before, get their packet, eat some Carbs, sleep, hit it Sat. morning, and sometimes Double on Sunday (some will double this year).
And let's not get Arkansas folks started- there are TONS of folks who come from flat-lands, who come right before the race.

Coming from Flat-Lands, it's a true commitment to fitness, and Incline Treadmill will really help. But think of Entry Fee as an Add-On Gym Membership, and just GET YOUR MONEY'S WORTH.
As for arrival, most would say getting here Friday, and going up Saturday is probably better than being here just another day or 2 before that- but I can't quote chapter and verse, and if you were to find studies that show otherwise, I would certainly enjoy adding their info to the knowledge base.

I have to mention that not everyone, regardless of fitness, does well going up Pikes Peak. I did know one guy, College Running Team-mate of my brother's in Kansas, who had WON the largest race in KS (at the time at least)- the Wichita River Run 10K, who came out, made it to A-Frame in about an hour and a half (pretty great for 9 miles up), and then the Altitude just destroyed him, and it took him an HOUR a mile the last 3 miles.
When his wife went by him he was so incapacitated he replied to her "Are you ok...?" with a series of head wags and indecipherable blubbering.
To add insult to injury, just when it was all over at the finish-line he projectile vomited- he was truly in the throes of Altitude Cerebral Edema, and got down as fast as he could. He said he would never come back- and he hasn't. So for an unlucky few, 'being fit' simply is not enough.

But most folks 'survive' a lot better than that, and find the challenge of Pikes Peak so alluring they come back again and again if they can. It's very difficult to improve, as any "faster you go down low...", when it's tempting, could mean you'll just be "slower up top" when it so ridiculously hard, so how to balance the energy, over 3+ or 4+ or 5+ hours, is very intriguing. The final hours of challenge, "Keeping your head in the game" at the higher altitudes, and trying to level your "energy output" vs even-speed up high (slowing down when it's steeper, increasing speed ever so slightly when it's not as steep) and getting it all right, can be truly exhilarating.

I'm gonna say start with the Ascent. There's no other Marathon in the World, with a 10 hour cutoff, and I'm just not sure folks should start with that. However I did encounter a "Marathon Maniac" who had signed up for the Pikes Peak Marathon, as his "Marathon in Colorado" at about the 7.5 hour mark as we came down the trail into the W's, which are a brutally steep (mostly 12%) downhill section within a mile and a third of the pavement, who confided in me that "He didn't know this was a Trail Race...". Let THAT sink in for a minute! It's a complicated entry, with qualifications and tons of warning and info about the course all over the Website. But even "America's Ulitmate Challenge" which was a big slogan of the Pikes Peak Marathon at the time, didn't alert him to that the Marathon was NOT in fact, run exclusively on the Pikes Peak Highway. So I guess if you're a Serious Marathoner, you might be able to go for it. Haha.

Below are some new notes I amassed in 2015- I share to give you every chance to make a difference in your journey, and to let you see why it is what it is- Good Luck! The local club that trains for the Ascent and Marathon has been at it since late November, but you've still got time, just don't dally!

I tell a joke at about 12,000 feet, saying to folks hiking when I'm training, "That whole "Will to Live Thing..." It's SO over-rated" with a big smile. People bust up with laughter about it, at that Altitude, because it's perfectly TRUE! It's very hard, no matter what 'Plan' you once had, to maintain any kind of "Race" instinct, when what you're really struggling with, is the will to Live! LOL. That's why folks who live here and train a LOT on the Mtn, as the race approaches, have such a distinct advantage, but you and I won't see them, and it's an Event everyone finds challenge in- I promise.

Pikes Peak New Notes

For every 1000 feet above 5000 feet will lose 3% of your VO2. So on top of the Peak there is a 27% reduction in your bodys ability to deliver oxygen to the muscles.
However, this is AFTER training at altitude so most people are going to suffer even more.

In dealing with Altitude, in general, you can follow the 2 day, 2 week, 2 month plan or the 3 As.
Lots of neat little things happen in the first 2 days: Increased pulse, breathing etc. This is the Adjust phase.
Lots of cool bigger things happen over the next two weeks. Red blood cell count, hematocrit etc. This is the Acclimation phase.
Over the next 2 months most of whatever else is going to happen, will happen and level out, including refinements to those things mentioned above as well as neurological responses and hormone levels. This is the Adaptation phase.

Oxygen Availability Difference of Altitude
Pikes Peak has 61% of the 02 availability at Sea Level. Pikes Peak has 74% of the Oxygen availability of 6,000ft.
In general during high pressure it will feel like you are running at a lower altitude, and during low pressure it will feel like you are running at a higher altitude.

Brooks, B. A., Roberts, A. C., Butterfield, G. E., Wolfel, E. E., & Reeves, J. T. (1994). Altitude exposure increases reliance on glucose. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 120.
Altitude exposure increases the utilization of blood glucose at both rest and in exercise. Active skeletal muscle is the predominant site of glucose disposal during high altitude exercise.

Brooks, B. A., Roberts, A. C., Butterfield, G. E., Wolfel, E. E., & Reeves, J. T. (1994). Acclimatization to 4,300 m altitude decreases reliance on fat as a substrate and increases dependency on blood glucose. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 26(5), Supplement abstract 121.
Altitude decreases reliance on free fatty acids as a fuel and increases the use of blood glucose in both rest and exercise.

Butterfield, G. E., Mazzeo, R. S., Reeves, J. T., Wolfel, E. E., & Brookes, G. A. (1996). Exercise responses at high altitude: The Pikes Peak 1991 experiment. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 1.
Performance at high altitude (4,300 m - ~14,107Ft) primarily uses carbohydrate, rather than lipids (fats), for fuel. Since carbohydrate is not as abundant as fat in the body, constant and sufficient carbohydrate replenishment is necessary, just for survival let alone athletic endeavor.

Implication. The demand for carbohydrate is modified at altitude, fluid and carbohydrate replenishment should be emphasized more than at sea-level.

Jasper's Note- So you gotta TAKE, and Take IN, MORE "GO JUICE"(as my kids like to call it) THAN YOU NORMALLY WOULD FOR THE "TIME" that YOU'LL BE (AT THE HIGHEST ALTITUDES) Above Treeline. Of course here's another situation where getting the balance right is a big deal- because it's hard to estimate your exertion level, which will decrease your ability to 'Take In' in that Sport-Drink, but just know you 'Need' more Simple Carbs than for a similar time doing other kinds of running/hiking, at low altitude.
And use "TIME" BECAUSE DISTANCE AT 12,000FT-14,115FT IS really IRRELEVANT to anything at lower altitudes- those last 3 miles are 30mins each, until proven otherwise! So the question is, how much "CytoMax" or "Tailwind" or "Gu" or "Cranked" or "Skratch" or "Base Performance" or whatever, do you need, for An hour and a half, NOT for 3 miles of flat pavement at sea level!

Lastly, Beet Juice the night before, and before the event (if you practice and know your gut can handle it), is free oxygen, by reducing Oxygen Consumption during sub-maximal exercise. But you better start at 1hour 11% Treadmill on weekends now, go to 2Hour late in March and into April, 3hour in May/June, and 4 hours on Treadmill, at a combo of 11% and 15% in July into August, if you think Beet Juice is going to really help if you're not in shape! Actually once you've done 4 Hours a few times on Treadmill at 11% and 15%, you KNOW you're as ready as you can be coming from even Sea Level. Just load those drinks into a 6-pack bottle holder you keep close, and bring a nice big towel!

Best of Luck- Jasper.
Training / Flatlanders
« Last post by jmurphy on February 18, 2019, 05:38:30 pm »
I am looking at doing either the ascent or marathon. Have any flat landers finished the race with less than 2 days acclimation? I can only arrive a couple of days before the race.


General Discussion / Re: Distance for the PPA (13.0 or 13.32)
« Last post by John Garner on February 06, 2019, 03:31:37 pm »
I think it is pertinent to note that GPS distance will always be less than actual when there are switchbacks involved. I've never had my garmin reflect the actual distance traveled unless it was a long, straight point to point course (like the ADT Marathon). It always comes up short when there are curves or turns involved.

The two spots you mentioned are loaded with lots of short, sharp switchbacks. GPS systems tend to cut the tips of them off, often losing 20ft for each one even with a 1 second sampling rate (sometimes a good bit more if the sampling rate is set to "smart' or "every 3-5 seconds). The accuracy of a modern commercial gps unit is +/- 15ft. Data smoothing algorithms take the jitter out of the map to make the tract look better than the raw data, but in the process also shortens the distance a bit as the trail swaggers from side to side.

You also have the question if if the system is recording surface distance or the flattened distance. That difference alone is good for about a tenth of a mile on the Ascent. The extreme case is the Incline at 0.9 miles by gps but 1 mile if you were to drag a rope along it.

A while back, Matt Carpenter took a wheel to the trail for the BTMR. Up and down the entire course twice. I'd love for somebody with a lot of time on their hands to do the same for the BC -> Summit segment. But I don't know anybody who is that bored. :-)
General Discussion / Distance for the PPA (13.0 or 13.32)
« Last post by Vomastic on January 29, 2019, 12:01:17 pm »
Google Maps has gotten photos of most of the streets and roads throughout the world with the Google car with cameras on the top of the vehicle.  They have also photographed the Barr trail, but instead of the car carried the cameras as they walked along with accurate GPS locations.  The results for the first part of the distances for the PPA agree closely with what has been used (2.8 miles at the incline overlook aid station, 4.3 miles at No Name Creek and 7.6 miles at Barr Camp.  However, A-Frame/3 miles to go signs are located at 10 miles instead of 10.2 miles.  The 3 to go, 2 to go and 1 to go signs seem to be accurately placed with respect to the finish line located at 13.0 miles instead of 13.32 miles.  The 13-mile total distance corresponds closely to what I have gotten on my GPS watches running the PPA.  The distance has always been less than 13.32 miles.
Race Info / Re: "RPP" on Confirmation List
« Last post by Kip Russell on January 15, 2019, 01:53:16 pm »
In my case, I entered the witness protection program, but I probably shouldn't put that out on the internet ;-)

Thanks for the info and for all you do to keep things moving.  Have a great week!
Race Info / Re: "RPP" on Confirmation List
« Last post by John Garner on January 14, 2019, 06:21:22 am »
RPP stands for "Ran Pikes Peak"

It means that the runner indicated that they had previously ran the Pikes Peak Ascent or Marathon but name that the runner registered with did not match what is in the historical database.

I fix all of these as part of the qualification check process and no action is required on the runner's part. Most of the time it is just a missing middle name or initial, other times it is something like "Bob" vs "Robert."

Race Info / "RPP" on Confirmation List
« Last post by Kip Russell on January 13, 2019, 08:52:30 pm »
I noticed on the confirmation list, several runners have "RPP" in the # of PP's column.  What that? :-)
Race Info / Re: No recent Ascent qualification times
« Last post by John Garner on December 23, 2018, 01:47:58 pm »
If you do not have any qualifying races since Jan 1st 2017, then you are in the same situation as I am: I have not run anything over 20k since my 2015 PPA/PPM double. (It is rather hard to run a race that I'm also timing).

That leaves both of us with two options:

1) Run a half marathon/marathon/ultra before you register.

2) Register for the Ascent using the TCR Qualifier option. This will also register you for the Garden 10 Mile and the Summer Roundup Half. You can then run both of those races as your qualifier. If you go this route you also have the option to 'transfer' your qualifier to any other qualifying event before 7/29. Good if you have a spring or early summer race on your calendar and are afraid that the event will fill up before then.

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