Ascent of Pikes Peak on 2012-08-19

Climber: Jason Reed

Date:Sunday, August 19, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Pikes Peak
    Elevation:14110 ft / 4300 m

Ascent Trip Report

This was my 6th time running up Pikes Peak (4th Marathon, 2 Ascents, 4 times driving, and 1 time up the cog railway).

I was less sore than expected from yesterday's Pikes Peak Ascent race. I saw Barry, Toshi, and Erika at the starting line. We are all from the SF Bay Area they had all run the marathon at least once before. This was Barry's first year running the Ascent and Marathon. Out of all the times I ran up this mountain, I felt most at ease today because I felt least worried about actually making it, and getting a good time seemed unlikely given my slow time yesterday.

I started near Barry and Toshi on the road which was a little on the faster side given my expectations. They pulled away after the mile mark and I noticed how much more competitive the field was this year, especially on the women's side. Elite women seemed to go by me left and right.

I started running a conservative pace up the Incline section of the Barr trail. I made it through there fine but was unable to take advantage of the flatter sections in the middle. I was able to start runnign well again (compared to those around me) at we left Barr Camp which is where the most technical (rocky) area is. Thisi s unusual for me. My momentum carried me out of the treeline looking good (given my slower than usual pace) and shortly after race winner Kilian Jornet came flying down the mountain like an out of control race car. He had a commanding lead - the only way he wasn't going to win now would be if a bear ate him.

I tried to keep my miles under 20 minutes but I went over that mark on miles 10, 12, and 13. I remembered from yesterday how long the Golden Stairs to the top seemed to be and it seemed less painful today.

Once at the top I took a relatively conservative approach going down. I ran agressively last year and fell twice and this year I wasn't running well enough to make the risk worth it. I made sure I kept taking food at the aid stations but at the A frame Aid station (treeline) I took some skittles and found myself chewing something very hard. This race is notorious for mixing Skittles and M&Ms together (which is super annoying) so initially I thought I caught the shell of a skittle in a clump of M&Ms. Eventually I isolated the hard piece and just spit out everything and decided to just eat grapes and GU from there to the end. it turned out I had chipped a tooth and the hard substance was a small part of a bottom leftside molar.

During the flat section on the way down I took a couple quick walking breaks. I went back and forth with some other runners and by the time I hit the top of the Incline I was with a young lady who was trying to break 6 hours. I told her we were right on pace by she'd have to run 9 minute pace for the last 4 miles. I let her know she can stay with me because I know I can do it, but I warned her my way of getting that done would be to fly down the road at the end. She didn't seem confident in that approach so she sped up to a pace that was faster than I was able or willing to run on that trail and she was gone. When I hit the road for the last mile I picked up my pace to 5:45 per mile caught her and a few other people. I finished in a little disappointing by should have been expected 5:50. As usual, the weather at the bottom was a pleasant warm and sunny.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:7864 ft / 2396 m
    Elevation Loss:7798 ft / 2376 m
    Distance:26.2 mi / 42.2 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:7837 ft / 2388 m
    Extra Loss:21 ft / 6 m
    Distance:13.3 mi / 21.4 km
    Route:Manitou Ave, Ruxton Ave, Barr Trail
    Trailhead:Manitou City Hall (Manitou Ave)  6294 ft / 1918 m
    Time Up:3 Hours 36 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:7777 ft / 2370 m
    Extra Gain:27 ft / 8 m
    Distance:12.9 mi / 20.8 km
    Route:Manitou Ave, Ruxton Ave, Barr Trail
    Trailhead:Manitou Ave and Ruxton (Traffic Circle)  6360 ft / 1938 m
    Time Down:2 Hours 14 Minutes

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