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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.

Race Info / No recent Ascent qualification times
« Last post by Brian Holcomb on December 22, 2018, 08:26:34 pm »
Due to career and family life, I haven't run many races the past 3 years, but I'm in just as good of running shape as I've ever been.  I can show two sub-3:24:00 marathons, most recent 2015 and about a half dozen sub-1:36:00 half marathons over the past decade.  I run Mt Falcon just west of Denver consistently in 30 to 32 minutes.  I've finished an Ironman triathlon in 12 hours.
 There's no question in my mind that I can run the Ascent and probably have a shot at the top 100 overall.  Please let me know my options.  I really would like to do it, but don't have the offical qual requirements.  Thank you
Race Info / Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Last post by John Garner on September 08, 2018, 09:21:29 am »
I'll post something official on the qualifications page after the PPM Board meeting next week, but my current thought is to just take the 2018 Ascent time and multiply by 2 for wave placement purposes. Otherwise the 2018 Ascent would be treated just like any other year.

So far nobody has complained about that bit of math. :-)

Race Info / Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Last post by Yoni Fridman on September 07, 2018, 02:43:26 pm »
John, thank you for those fascinating insights! So much that goes into it that most (myself included) don't realize.

Another related question for you: Given that there wasn't a full Ascent this year, have you considered any changes to wave placement calculations (and even race qualifications) for the next year or two or three? Thanks in advance!
Race Info / Re: Two minutes between wave starts?
« Last post by John Garner on September 04, 2018, 12:01:31 pm »
I agree, a 2 minute start time is much nicer and before this year was not really possible.

Here are some of the things that we have to take into consideration that I never knew until I started volunteering for the PPA/PPM.

Why not make it start earlier, say 6:30? That is due to the sunrise. A lot of the volunteers start their day at the summit and hike down. The sun rises at 6:15am on the 3rd weekend of August. It is light up there by 5:50 or so. We don't want volunteers hiking down the peak from the top in the dark. You also have issues with staging volunteers early in the morning at the NoName and Bob's road aid stations. Thus the original 7:00 start time was kept to preserve the original timelines from an operational perspective. 

As for the number and spacing of the waves, there was a cap on the time of the last wave too. There are two things at play here: Thunderstorms and the Cog's first trip of the day. 

This year was an oddball for weather, but in a normal year we can expect to see a storm arriving a bit after 2pm. With a 7:30 start and the 6:30 cutoff, folks are arriving at the summit as late as 2. Just in time to get out of there before the regularly scheduled afternoon storm.

The other concern was that the Cog railroad had an 8am train, and if we kept ruxton closed for too long, then we would have a huge impact on their operations. Given how much they have supported the race for the past few years (how do you think all of the equipment and volunteers get to Barr Camp each year? ), we wanted to be as nice as possible to a company that has supported us so well.

This year, the Cog is closed for repairs, so the timing of their first train of the day was no longer an issue.

The final thing was that the math worked out nicely with the 20 or so waves. We have about 2100 registered runners (about 1800 who show up on race day). By simply using the first numbers of the bib as the wave number and staging them at 1 minute intervals, everything lines up nicely. Wave 3 has bib 300 -> 399 and leaves at 7:03. Easy to remember, and on race day I like easy. :-)

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