Has peaktus interruptus
left you unfulfilled?
By MATT CARPENTER
Pikes Peak 1994 is history and I am not feeling as good about the
outcome as I thought I would. I did not run the whole course but
opted instead to take the easy way out. I thought I was getting away
with something but that little voice inside my head now asks,
Was it worth it?
I didnt feel the loss until the day after the ascent while I was watching the
marathon at the turn-around point on top of the mountain. The more people
I watched stagger to the top of Pikes Peak only to have to turn around,
the more I began to feel like I cheated. In the second it took to check the box
marked Ascent on the entry form I had cut the course in half.
I had experienced this feeling before. In 1987, my first attempt at Pikes
Peak, I ran the Ascent. I was a mess when I reached the finish is still
the only race that has caused me to get on my hands and knees for an
audit of my breakfast. Right then and there I decided that anyone who ran
the round trip was one stupid individual. But the next day as I watched the
runners finish the Marathon, my sense of accomplishment diminished. I
promised myself I would never do the Ascent again.
Until this year I kept that promise. In 1989 and 1990, while I did run
the Ascent, both years I came back the next day and ran the Marathon. In
1991 despite little training (the race was my first run in about a month) I
still did the Marathon; finishing that race meant more to me than winning
the Ascent the previous year.
Ascent runners miss out on half the race and they miss out on half
the struggle, including the heat, dodging other runners hundreds of times
and the terrifying downhill falls. They wont have to come up with the courage
to try and get up and start running fast again.
There are other people who feel the same way. While training for the Peak
one year, I met Jim Heidleberg, a top-five finisher in the marathon. He had
hurt his foot while training for the race, so I assumed he was going to do
the Ascent. I was wrong. He called running the Ascent Peaktus Interruptus.
I also know a woman who, because of a broken toe, had to pull out of the
Marathon at the top. A couple of weeks later when she was healed, she took
the train to the top of the mountain so she could run down and finish.
The long, bloody struggle makes you realize that a race is sometimes more
than trying to win or run a fast time sometimes its about finishing.
Finishing the Pikes Peak Marathon is winning. Doing half the race is doing
half the winning.
As for myself, I might have a friend drive me to the top of Pikes Peak so
I can take care of some unfinished business...
If you are interested in what got cut and changed click here.