DIARY: Pike's Peak Ascent

The mountain runner has a new focus. When I heard that the World Long Distance takes place on the Pikes Peak Ascent (the half-marathon uphill only version of the famous marathon), I knew it was meant for me. In some ways I've been longing for a challenge big enough to truly capture my imagination and fire up the old heart.

This race is it, not only does it promise to have international flair it allows me to fulfil my dream of running the mountain without subjecting it to the 21.46k descent which would surely wreck my injury-prone legs at this stage of my career.

And there's a secondary benefit too: To complete this race I need to turn myself into an uphill running machine as well as take on awesome volumes of mileage, both two key ingredients that should benefit all my other targets for the season.

The race could not fall at a better time on the 22nd of August, which allows me to do Snowdon, recover, and then take a rest to go to Denmark the following weekend and attend my home town's trad. festival.

The Race
The Pike's Peak Ascent requires braving 2382m of ascent over 21.46km with average gradients of 11%. The summit stands at 4302m meaning oxygen depletion becomes a very real performance issue during the latter stages of the race as the finish draws near.

Or as they say on the website "there's a reason trees don't grow above the tree line, because they can't".

I will need to condition my legs beyond anything they have before, do longer runs with longer and harder climbs than ever before and first and foremost huge base phase building up as quickly as my feet allow it.

But does this have me excited? Incredibly so, to quote "The Wrestler": "Bring it".

Comments

Thomas said…
Wow, Pike's Peak is legendary. Good luck with that!
Renny said…
Thank you its been on my radar for a while so delighted to have made a decision on this famous race.

A return ticket to Denver is about 430 euros at the moment which is good value and my local sources tell me Manitou Springs is only a 1.5 hour drive away.