Friday, June 11, 2010

Thursday, 06/10/10 Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
13.1 miles/7,815 vertical
Partners: Tony K, Nate and Dan Bahrenburg
Pikes Peak Summit #18
14er Summit #223

Nate’s brother Dan was visiting from Vermont where they had planned to head down to Pikes, as Nate wanted to check out the Barr Trail since he will be racing his first PPA this summer and invited myself and Tony to join. 
We arrived in Manitou a bit before 7am and got started at 7:11am. We all stuck together running through town going a casual pace, chatting all the while. At the Cog Railway, Tony stopped to use the bathroom, while I walked with Nate and Dan, showing them how to get to the Barr Trail via the race day variation. We made it to the actual Barr Trail after 21+ minutes and I then went ahead, jogging at a mellow pace and enjoying the morning. Tony was long gone, as he had passed a while back and I did not expect to see him until he was heading down.

I was taking things fairly conservative after bruising my sternum in a fall the previous day. Generally, it was not a problem, but my ability to take as deep of breaths as I needed was a bit of an issue that only seemed to worsen a bit as I got higher. It did not cause me too much pain aside from a sharp stab every 15-30 minutes when I would shift wrong or flex my muscles in an awkward way.

Though I was timing myself, I knew it was not going to be anything close to a PR run and it was actually very enjoyable and liberating not to be a slave to the watch and splits. I just cruised and drank in the morning and the scenery, as it was very pleasant, calm and summer-like. I jogged all the way to the Bottomless Pit turn and then alternated walking/jogging to the A-Frame. Above that, it was mostly walking with short bits of jogging thrown in. The snow on the trail is mostly melted, aside from a few lingering patches on the final 2 miles. Though not very long, they do require you to slow down a bit and tip toe through the footprints. I bumped into Tony as he was descending not long after I passed the 1 mile to go/Cirque section of trail and he was moving pretty well. We chatted for a short bit and then were each on our way.

Although I was not really tired or worked over, as I was taking it easy, I was relieved to get to the top and breathe easy so to speak. I got some water and sat at a table to relax for a moment, where a couple in their 50’s immediately opened up a conversation asking about my run. One thing led to the next and I soon had a ride back down the mountain. Sweet!

Back at the car, Tony had already been there for a bit, as he did the round trip in 4:16 (2:34 up and then casual down). We hung out chatting for a while until Nate and Dan arrived and headed off to get some lunch.

What an awesome day out despite not feeling so great, as I came very close to bailing the previous day after injuring myself.

A few splits:

Barr Trail: 21
Top of W's: 37:57
No Name: 50
Barr Camp: 1:33
Summit: 3:20


  1. Are you mentally unable to run down that thing? You have a phobia.

  2. Why run when you can get a ride?

  3. 4:16 unsupported and solo? Damn.

    3:20 easy? Double damn.