Peaktus Interruptus Once AgainusI knew Matt Carpenter was going to get hammered for his Peaktus Interruptus editorial. After chasing Matt up and down classic Rocky Mountain trail races for over a decade, I know what his Interruptus doctrine was getting at. It certainly was not to belittle the Ascent runners at Pikes Peak. Rather, his words hinted at an underlying philosophical truth individual poise.
Competition, by its Latin root, means to meet the requirements. When people justify participating in a mountain competition like Pikes Peak by only running up, and not back down, they are not meeting the requirements of the mountain. Most outdoor athletes who have truly dedicated themselves to performing within the context of the outdoors get pissed off when contrived events like Ascent Only categories begin to appear. In the old days, no such event was even considered. Did Rick Trujillo only urn to the top of Imogene Pass? Could you even imagine Tom Sobal snowshoe running only the ascent of Mount Elbert? Of course not! Such abandonment of the spirit would be, well, sacrilegious! I agree with Matt if an athlete cant bring him or herself up to the level of the natural challenge, then such a person should remain on Stairmasters or NordicTracks to seek their fitness objectives.
I for once am glad that Matt Carpenters Peaktus Interruptus has disturbed some of your readers. Perhaps within that disturbance those people should contemplate the authenticity of what it truly means to be a mountain athlete.