2014 Pikes Peak Marathon

2014 Pikes Peak Marathon
2014 Pikes Peak Marathon, Ready to Rock (or be rocked)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday, 02/19/11 Green Mountain

For a change of pace and scenery, I decided to ascend Gregory/Greenman, or what some refer to as the "middle route".  Today I decided to spike up for the first ~:49 seconds of luge run at the start after scaring myself a bit tip toeing on it yesterday.  Made decent progress up Gregory, pushing a little where flattish, but then really cutting back and just hiked some sections where it was steeper, being cautious of my achilles mostly.

Like yesterday, a load of hard glare ice, uneven frozen footprints, dry rock sections (all too short to warrant removing the spikes) and finally a few minutes of bliss on perfectly packed snow on the final switchbacks to the summit.  In my mind, the route seems just slightly longer than the other two usual routes, but after running it today, it seemed bit longer than I remember (at least regarding time).

Enjoyed the summit for a while, debating which descent route would be the lesser of 5 evils.  Ultimately decided to backtrack the way I came.  Almost had a head on with two runners ascending Greenman below the Saddle/Greenman jct. on a blind sweeping turn (not that close, but closer than usual with the ice).  After the fact, I realized it may have been Jason S, but I have never met him and it all happened a little quick.

44:27 up
30:31 down

Friday, 02/18/11 Green Mountain

Started up from Gregory Canyon around 1:30pm and immidiately knew conditions were going to be interesting, as what is normally the first ~minute of the run was rock solid, bullet proof ice despite the reasonably comfortable 50's-ish temps.  I negotiated the first section (just barely) without traction, as I knew things would soon clear up for the remainder of the way up Gregory Canyon, but progress was slow and careful.

Once at the top of Gregory, I threw on the spikes, as I had a feeling that aside from a few short sections, the remainder of the trail, to the 4-way at least, would be very slick.  Much of it was like a luge run, which was actually OK if you have reasonably sharp microspikes, but some sections on the upper ridge are melted out, so it was either glare ice, or scratching on rock.

I took it fairly mellow and Sierra was ahead of me most of the way having a blast in the softer snow on the side of the trail.  Spent a long while soaking up the sun on the summit before heading down.

The descent required some caution due to the uneven and sometimes awkward footing.  It never really flowed and running on the ice was like pounding pavement, only harder.

Up:  44
Down:  24