Pikes Peak News Archives

1998 Pikes Peak News Archives


12/19/97 Kevin Ash, a member of the Incline club, found out that the City of Colorado Springs, celebrating 50 years of running the Pikes Peak highway, is offering a $50 “Peak Pass” which will allow unlimited trips up the Pikes Peak highway in 1998.

12/6/97 Five more photos were added to the course description — four of the area around the A-frame, and one of the Bottomless Pit sign.

12/1/97 Three more photos were added to the course description — one of the Fred Barr dedication sign, and two of the Inestine B. Roberts memorial. Also a picture was added to the story of the truck.

11/25/97 An e-mail was sent out to Incline Club members informing them that we will be meeting for group long runs on Pikes Peak starting Sunday, November 30, 1997 at 8:00am. For more information or to get on the Incline Club e-mailing list, head over to the Incline Club page. This is also a good place to go for more Pikes Peak information because I will post conditions we run into during our long runs.

11/24/97 My quest to get all the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon results from 1976 on got a huge helping hand from 6-time Peak winner Rick Trujillo! Before he left the country for six months he sent me results for 1974, ’75, ’76, ’77, ’78, ’79, ’80, ’82, ’84 and 1986!!! Yes, I know I could have written 74-80, but I wanted it to look as awesome as it is! This just leaves ’81, ’83 and ’85 to complete the results back to 1976 which is the last year the course changed by adding 1.2 miles to bring the races to their present 13.4 and 26.3 mile distances. If possible, I might go ahead and track down the remaining 18 years just to get them all... Let me know if you have a missing year you could mail me or if you want to help input one of the years not yet posted on the [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015]...

11/20/97 Keith Grimes input 379 runners to finish the 1988 mens’s Pikes Peak Marathon results. [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015].

10/26/97 There was snow on the Peak today! Actually, there was snow everywhere from what they are calling the blizzard of 1997. Just to be able to say I ran on the Peak, I ran to it from my house and went up the first switch-back. On the way there I ran into Incline Club member Cindy and neither of us could believe how clear the roads were in the Garden of the Gods. It was even more amazing how little snow Manitou got compared to where I live — just 10 miles away. It was a great long run but not near as exciting as yesterday’s blizzard run. It was like a bomb hit and the Springs had become a ghost city! The only sign of life was the occasional four-wheel-drive truck driven by an overweight driver sporting a smug “I can drive through anything” look on his face. It was as if they had nothing to do but go out against police orders and prove to themselves that they were real men. Me, well I was just proving that I was a real runner;-) No smug look though — my face was froze!

10/25/97 Keith Grimes input 416 runners to finish the 1988 women’s Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015].

10/24/97 Steve Gaulke input the 983 runners in the men’s 1987 Pikes Peak Ascent [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015].

10/22/97 Jeff Miller input 670 runners to add to the results archive. The men’s and women’s 1987 Pikes Peak Marathon as well as the women’s 1987 Pikes Peak Ascent, were added to the results page [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015]. As always, I am looking for people that have results from other years that would like to help expand this archive. If you can do anything to help — from just sending me copies of past results, to helping with data input — let me know.

10/19/97 Here is the story of the truck that is in the Bottomless Pit... Also today, Chuck Wilt, a former Barr Camp caretaker, put together a picture tour of some of the tunnels to be found on/in Pikes Peak. I have been on a neighbor of the first one, in the second one, and hope to find the third.

10/18/97 Just some awesome weather today! Paul and I left Terrie and Judy at the Barr Trail trailhead in Manitou Springs for their summit bid and we headed for Elk Park in the car. Warning: the toll-road changed the time that they open again to 9:00am... After killing a little time driving around we went back to the toll-gate and finally got on our way. The first mile of Elk Park Trail was covered with snow so we thought it was going to be rough going. Oddly however, the snow was gone once we got into the trees and the best part of the trail. By the time we got to Barr Camp at 10:50 the girls had already blitzed through at 10:19. Not bad when you consider that they were walking with packs and started at 8:05. In fact this is about the same pace as the average female Ascent time! At any rate, I took about 15 minutes to do some research on the truck at the bottom of the Bottomless Pit while Paul headed off to the top. When I finally caught up to the girls just below the A-Frame I could hear them talking and laughing as if they had all the air in the world. Just before the 2 miles to the top sign the snow on the ground was pretty deep and already people have been cutting the switchbacks to avoid some of it. Paul got a little confused on where the trail went in one spot so I was able to catch back up to him... We both had great runs to the top and Paul came within a minute of his PR from Barr Camp to the top even with the snow! After a failed attempt to find the benchmark at the top of the peak — we found one but not the one with the elevation on it — it took 5m45s to hitch a ride back down to Elk Park to get the car. When we drove back up the girls were already waiting for us! They had summited in just over five hours and this is counting the time spent farting around at Barr Camp along with several stops just to look around and enjoy the view!!! Who says the Pikes Peak Ascent cut-offs are too limiting?

10/17/97 I got an E-mail from Chuck Wilt, a former caretaker at Barr Camp, who informs me that he was one of the people that helped recover the body from the truck that is at the bottom of the Bottomless Pit. I am hoping to be able to shed a little light as to my “apparent infatuation” as one e-mailer wrote, with this truck. He also says there is a tunnel in the Bottomless Pit! I hope to get some more detail on it because it sounds like another great adventure run!

10/13/97 The 1,030 runners in the 1988 men’s Pikes Peak Ascent were posted [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015].

10/12/97 The last sentence of my last post (10/5/97) proved to be prophetic because the awesome leaves were gone — just gone! The wind and snow were bad enough to close the top portion of the Pikes Peak Highway but a road closed to cars is a dream run as far as I am concerned! However, as I write I am still feeling a little sand-blasted — the wind is no friend to a runner... Same loop as last week sans camera and side trips. The ridge at 12,060' was so exposed I thought I could just tie on a rope and become a kite. Got through the scree in 3m29s to reach the base of the Bottomless Pit in 50:01 and back down to the Barr Trail at 1:12. I was going by pulse but forgot to erase another run so the watch ran out of memory soon after — live and learn... I thought it would still be lonely from this point on because of the bad weather but there were 8-10 other people also out braving the elements. The last mile or so of the Barr Trail was covered in new snow — actually made for some good traction for a change! At the top I enjoyed a summit house void of people with the exception of a few workers but soon the silence was broken by the COG Train... I took the obligatory trip to the BR to use the hand warmers — I mean dryers — before heading off down the road to face some of the strongest winds I have run in! Depending on which way I was heading I was either going almost no where, taking 10 foot strides, or having one foot blow into the other and almost tripping. The road was open from the Devil’s Playground down and I got some strange looks from some perplexed tourist:-) About 5 minutes from the car a ranger pulled me over and gave me a ride the rest of the way because I did not have a motor or a license plate... Oh well, all good things must come to an end!

10/05/97 This week Larry is directing the first of four Fall Series X-Country races so Terrie and I went up a day early. With new batteries in the camera I went on a photo quest. After the first part of Elk Park Trail I took a detour out to the Oil Creek Tunnel for a couple of shots. Then I met back up with Terrie and we did the ridge. I gave her a compass and a direction and took off ahead and what do you know it worked — she found her way right to the low spot on the ridge at 12,060' where I was running in circles waiting for her. Next we bagged the scree slope. While she was picking her way down I ran up to the suicide truck for some more photos then ran back down and met Terrie again. We then ran down the Bottomless Pit Trail to where it intersects with Barr Trail. I took photos of all the signage from this point to the top. With only one photo to go — the Fred Barr dedication — I ran out of film. As soon as the 36 photos get developed I will post the better ones on the site. This should really enhance the course description. Terrie made it to the top 45 minutes later and we thumbed a ride back to Elk park for a 4 hour day in beautiful weather with some awesome fall colors! If you have not seen them get out soon because it looks like Mother Nature is fixing to pull the chain and drop all the leaves...

9/28/97 Same run as the last two weekends but unlike last weekend we had perfect weather! I brought a camera along so I could take some pictures but on the first picture I found out the batteries in the camera were d. e. a. d! That’s a shame because we stopped at the truck again (see 9/14/97) and noticed that the speedometer was locked at 90mph. The “men working” sign I had put on top of it two weeks ago had blown down the pit a little so I stacked some rocks on top of it to help keep it in place. Newbie Cindy, who decided to take a “crash” course in real mountain running, over came fear and trepidation to make the one-mile climb out of the bottomless pit. However, when she reached the top she had the distinct look of shock about her — not unlike that of someone who just witnessed a car crash — perhaps it was the truck. Larry reports that he heard her mumbling something to the effect of “I am never doing this again.” Odd, I remember saying the same thing after my first run up Pikes Peak;-) All kidding aside, I think a good time was had by all — except for the guy in the truck...

9/21/97 Some runs are more like adventures than runs. Today was like that! Larry and I were not even sure that the toll road would be open with all of the fog and indeed it was only open to the Devil’s Playground. Visibility was next to zero in sections but slowly we got above it as we passed Crystal Creek Reservoir. When we got out of the car at Elk Park we got treated to some serious wind that brought in thick clouds and fog that totally obliterated our view of the Peak. No matter, off we went. We started out as normal but soon after crossing the bridge over the North Fork of French Creek — which is about 3/4 of a mile past the Oil Creek Tunnel turn-off — we started bushwhacking up and to the right of Elk Park trail at 10,750'. Our goal was a ridge at 12,060' that overlooked the Bottomless Pit. Last week during our Bottomless Pit run I scoped out what looked to be a “Y” shaped gully that could make a great shortcut to the base of the Pit. The climb to the ridge is a steep 1,310' in only .8 mile and we felt our calves almost immediately. Although the 31% grade does not compare to the Incline the altitude makes for a death march! After 50 minutes (from the car) we came to the ridge only 20 feet to the left of our goal and were excited to find that it was a 2 minute (plus a few to stop three times and dump rocks out of our shoes), .15 mile, 350' drop though perfect scree right down to the base of the Bottomless Pit — what planning! We reached the bottom 57 minutes into our run compared to 1:30 for the same point last week that took us through Barr Camp. Here is where the real fun started. When we looked up we could see SNOW in the same gully we took last time! Further, we could see that the fog was getting thicker and it was starting to rain. Larry opted to head down and out the Bottomless Pit Trail, back to Barr Camp, and then back out Elk Park Trail to reach the car. I decided that up was the way to go so off we went in our separate directions. Because I need some scree practice for an upcoming race I stayed a little more to the left side of the pit this week in the loose rocks. It was great practice — 2 steps forward and up, one step back and down, over and over and over. I do not think it is possible to go much faster but I was trying to practice not getting upset at such slow progress. All this concentration kept me from realizing just how thick the fog had become or the fact that the rain had turned to snow. It wasn’t until the ground turned white that I realized I was climbing in the snow with little visibility. I do not consider myself a risk taker and I felt in complete control — besides I already knew what lay ahead because I had come this way just one week ago — and I was still warm and dry so I just kept going. I was now in about 3 inches of fresh snow and must admit I was having a great time — I had about 15' visibility in every direction and was totally focused in a kind of “one with the mountain” sort of way. A few minutes later I popped out at the same spot as last week none the worse for wear. Thanks to our orienteering skills earlier, I was also 30 minutes ahead of last week. However, because the road was closed I could not hitch a ride down so I took off on an awesome, albeit windy, 6 miles back down the toll road to Elk Park at 11,875'. Just as I was on the final switch-back I saw Larry coming up Elk Park trail. He beat me to the car by about 3 minutes! My loop took 2h40 minutes for 11 miles with about 7,650' of up and down. I just can’t put into words how alive I felt after this run! Larry too had a great run because he had to finish his run in the direction of UP to get back to the car and any UP this far into a run at this altitude is no easy matter...

9/18/97 Mark Trujillo sent me the 1987 - 1990 results. I will work on getting them input and could use some help doing so. Even if a person just inputs one age group (50 or so names) the whole process could go really fast if enough people help. Again, just let me know if you can help... In the meantime, with these results I found yet another mistake in the TCR record books!!! This one was a 12 minute improvement in the men’s Ascent 70-74 age group. This brings my total find to 7 incorrect records (a possible 8th), and 2 more records that the TCR and I disagree on. Check out the course records for a listing. [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015]

9/14/97 After another great run out Elk Park — warning the toll-road does not open till 8a.m. now — Larry and I started up the Peak as usual. However, I wanted to do something a little different now that Imogene is over so we took a right at the Bottomless Pit Sign and ran out that trail. At the end of the trail we took a left and ran (OK power hiked) up the far left gully of the Bottomless Pit to reach the top. This gully is 1 mile long and 2,300' up with 1,900' in the last .7 of a mile! Even so, I think this is the easiest of the many gullies to the top — no little cliffs like the far right gully we did one May. We popped out about a 100' North of the Fred Barr sign just a few switch-backs from the top. The trip only took one and a half hours from Barr Camp (it took a little less than 50 minutes to get to the camp) including time spent sight seeing. Shortly into the climb we came across a tire, then a big metal sheet and then finally the remains of the truck that the wacko drove off of the summit to kill himself almost 2,000' below. Now that is one way to turn a mid-sized truck into a sub-compact! I found a “CAUTION MEN WORKING” sign in the rocks and placed it on top of the mangled mess. Oddly, the sign seemed more out of place than the truck. The farther we went the more truck parts we saw — starter here, radiator there, here a wheel, there a bumper, everywhere truck parts, EIEIO...

9/2/97 I wrote a program to do age-group sorts on the 7 years of results I have posted. Three more problems in the TCR record books were found!!! This brings my total find to 6 incorrect records (a possible 7th), 1 mistake, and 2 more records that the TCR and I disagree on. Check out the course records for a listing. [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015]

9/1/97 For those that like to look up results I added the last seven years of Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon results. [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015] I am looking for people that have results from other years that would like to help expand the archive. If you can do anything to help — from just sending me copies of past results, to helping with data input — let me know.

8/31/97 Larry, Dan and I went out Elk Park and to the top today. It was nice — just a few hikers and no other runners. We were all thinking the same thing when we got to the 1 mile to go sign — we will be turning around at this altitude next week at the Imogene Pass Run;-)

8/25/97 By request(S), I have converted my Pikes Peak pace calculator to JavaScript so that those using Netscape can also use this tool for their race. Internet Explorer users should notice no difference from the other version because we are not limited to one language;-) I do not have NS and the school where I test on NS is still closed for the summer... I need NS testers now even though the race is almost a year away!

8/22/97 The survey is no longer mandatory. One side of the issue reached 100 votes and I feel that is enough to get a feel for what people think on the issue. The final score was not even close by almost 2 to 1. I am happy to see that there are still people who want Pikes Peak to stay a race and not a hike-a-thon. What is odd to me is people voting to not enforce the cut-offs yet leaving a comment that there must be limits. What the heck do they think the cut-offs are?

If you got your results before I put up the survey and/or just want to take it you can here, however, I am no longer updating the survey results. If you have already done the survey and/or just want to see how the survey ended go here.

8/20/97 Someone got after me for cutting people from the results that did not make the cut-off times at the top or bottom. This despite the fact that I put a link on the results to an outside source that is posting all of the results, not just the real finishers. Before I write back, I want to know what others feel so I made it mandatory for people looking at the results to do a survey.

8/17/97 Pikes Peak 1997 is OVER! Read the Incline news to see how members of the Incline Club did.

1997 Pikes Peak results [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015]

In the newspaper...

Below are articles from the local paper — The Gazette. I am NOT responsible for content, however because the Gazette website is updated daily, I had to copy the stories to my site or they would be written over. As in gone, history, no more...



In the story “Ascent turns into two-man race” there is a section called “Record or Not?” I asked the Gazette NOT to post my name with this dilemma but they did. Since it is out, let me say that I told the Triple Crown of Running, the race director and assistant race director about the problem with their record book a week before the race! I also talked to several key people in person the night before the Ascent and reminded them. In such a busy time I guess that it did not click with them to tell a runner — who was known to be going after the record — about the mistake and this upset him. The committee likes to point out that I did not give them enough time to change all the books — FINE! (As an aside I have been telling them about another error with the record book for two YEARS!) I did not expect them to change all the books — they were already sent out — but they should have changed their personal copies of the record book. This would have prevented the “new record” from being announced at the finish, stories about the “new record” being written and then pulled and replaced (the Gazette was grateful to me for pointing out the error because they had a sidebar about the “new record”), and only one person would have been upset!

The thing that upsets me about the article is that it does not point out that this mistake was NOT brought up by me after the fact! The Gazette claims that they put my name in that section to bring up the point that the race committee does not keep accurate records. While this is true, having my name associated with the dilemma had people unfairly upset with me for “trying to bring someone down.” Several people asked “what makes my record keeping more important than the TCR’s?” and “what gives me the right to say what the records are?” In a nutshell 1) mine are not more important, they are more accurate because they are better researched. 2) while it is true that I do NOT work for the TCR (and, in fact, disagree with most of their basic philosophies but that is another story) we all have the right to point out mistakes! I found the error while looking at last year’s results to see who might be running the race. Bottom line, I care about this race a lot and it was a judgment call — I felt/feel the real record owner deserves credit. Check my current records link to see other examples of things the “official” record book has wrong or at least we disagree with! [PPA/M results moved to pikespeakmarathon.org in 2015]

8/15/97 I talked with the race director and the city was supposed to do the grading a while back. He said he would take a 4-wheel drive up and pack it down!

8/14/97 Someone took a grader to the trail starting at the gate and going about ¼ mile to just before the end of the first switch-back. While it will be great for the RT if the Ascent runners pack it down, it is too soft in spots and IMHO, worse than it was before they graded it! While I do not know that this was done by the race committee I would not doubt it. While the intentions were good, I question the logic of doing this 2 days before the race. Some people who have trained on the course are now going to get a surprise and this does not seem right.

8/11/97 The last weekend at Barr Camp before the big race! Friday I took the saw back out to Elk Park Trail and took out another tree — the one with the claws just at that certain level of the human anatomy... Saturday, Barr Trail was real busy — the “Friends of the Peak” were on the top mile doing some trail work. This, combined with all of the runners and hikers, made for a ton of people — almost like race day... The top was closed due to bad weather on Sunday so Larry, Dan, Thom and I as well as other runners passing through (Paul, Judy, Trish and Dan C.) moved another tree off of Elk Park Trail. This was a site to see! Dan C., A.K.A. Dan “trails coalition” Cleveland, stood at the top and directed us on how to do the work. Just kidding, but there were lots of laughs and even more shouts of “look out” as what had to be a 50' tree would take off for a few feet before we had to move the next obstacle. I know more than a few of us enjoyed the break from the grind and pressure of that upcoming event — which race is that;-) Now there are only two downed trees left on the trail... Time to rest...

8/5/97 After a weekend at Barr Camp I updated the course description for the sections from the start through Barr Camp. The first 2 miles are in more detail and all signage has been updated... Lots of runners putting in their weekend runs and several people doing extended (a week or more) stays at Barr Camp... In a compulsive mood, I took a saw out to Elk Park Trail and cut up the tree that had fallen on the final uphill going toward Barr Camp.

7/16/97 I found a discount coupon for the Pikes Peak Highway. Running from Elk Park (just before the 14 mile mark on the highway) to Barr Camp lets you work the section from Barr Camp to the A-frame while still fresh. Or, for the ultimate sicko altitude workout, do the “3, 2, 1.” That is, drive to the top and run easy down to the A-frame, go hard to the top. Run easy down to the 2-mile, go hard to the top. Run easy down to the 1-mile and see what is left on the way to the top... Smile — it is only pain!

7/15/97 Got an E from Sandy Canright. She tells me the water bar — drainage ditches, as I called them — repair work is compliments of a group of people from the “Friends of the Peak” who have adopted that part of the trail. They really appreciate runners for their strength and endurance and it’s a great opportunity for some high-altitude cross-training — not to mention a chance to give back something to the mountain. They still have some activities planned for this season so check them out — I can’t think of a better way to learn the course!

7/13/97 Less water from snow-melt on the upper switch-backs. Lots of people training — I thought Barr Trail was the Pikes Peak Highway. IMHO, people should take 5-15 min recovery periods at Barr Camp, A-frame, 2 mile and 1 mile to go signs. Spending 3-6 hours on the mountain is important, but they will end up spending 3-6 hours on it during the race too. For most, the course is just too long and too high to do all at once in training — cut it into sections. This way each section can be done HARDER so that in the race it will feel easier! It will still be a long day but with less time spent walking...

7/6/97 There is NO snow left ON the Barr trail... After a weekend at Barr Camp I updated the course description for the sections from Barr Camp through the top. I took an altimeter and I am convinced that the elevation at the 3-mile to summit sign is very close to 12,000' not the posted 11,500'... The new drainage ditches I mentioned last week have been mostly worn down by the high trail traffic over the weekend... Elk Park Trail is as awesome as ever — there are about 4-5 downed trees but no big deal...

6/29/97 Someone has been busy above Barr Camp. New drainage ditches have been dug. They WILL mess up your rhythm so try to step over them and be smooth. Only three switch-backs at the very top had any snow left on them...

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