This story was saved from the August 17, 1998

GT OnLine

Carpenter ‘can’t complain’ on 10th anniversary

By Angie Reese-Mudd/The Gazette

Matt Carpenter didn't do everything he wanted on Sunday - there were times to beat and records to be broken.

While the heat, lack of competition, and other factors all helped to prevent that from happening, Carpenter realized that winning was the only goal that really mattered as he crossed the finish line first in the 43rd Annual Pikes Peak Marathon.

On the 10th anniversary of his first Pikes Peak Marathon victory, Carpenter - who lives in Manitou Springs - blew away the rest of the 553 runners to complete the 26.21-mile course in 3 hours, 44 minutes and 27 seconds for his fourth Pikes Peak Marathon title.

Carpenter didn't get any competition from foreign participants either, as Rene Guerrero from Mexico City was second in 4:00:14 and England's Shane Green was third in 4:06:42.

In the women's race, Mari Shirazi from Louisville won the marathon in her first attempt (4:54:34), and Petra Rainey from Utah was second in her first marathon of any kind with a time of 4:57:17.

Manitou Springs resident Cindy O'Neill - who won Saturday's Pikes Peak Ascent - led half the race but finished third in 5:05:53.

"I set seven goals for myself and I only got two, and that was getting to the top first and then to win," said Carpenter, who, with his three Pikes Peak Ascent titles, became the first runner to have seven Peak victories.

"But the day's over, I'm first and now I'm done. It was a good comeback for my 10th anniversary so I can't complain. Ten years is kind of special, because it's a long time to stay on top.

"I hope I have another 10 years left in me."

Carpenter, one of the top skyrunners in the world, had not run the Pikes Peak Marathon since he set the record (3:16:39) in 1993. But he decided to run Sunday because he's had a successful year and thinks he's in prime condition.

But he wasn't in the needed condition to break the record he set five years ago.

"I ran by myself the whole way and I was running for record splits and that just about killed me," said Carpenter, who reached the summit in 2:11 but wouldn't elaborate how far that put him behind his desired split.

But even with Guerrero - a fellow skyrunner who won the trip to Colorado at a race in Mexico 15 days ago - in the race, Carpenter said he wasn't concerned about losing.

"If I run my race, nobody can beat me," Carpenter said. "Today, people could have beat me because the time was slow. But nobody did."

The women's race had a little more excitement with O'Neill, 36, taking charge a day after running 2:45:11 in her victorious Pikes Peak Ascent.

But after O'Neill reached the top first in 3:09 on Sunday, Shirazi - who finished 10th in last year's Ascent - made her move on the way down, passing O'Neill at about the 15-mile mark.

"It was great running down, I really got moving," said Shirazi, 30, who a few weeks ago tried to switch her marathon entry to the Ascent, only to be told by race organizers that it was impossible. "So I came here not really worrying about winning or setting any record, I just wanted to finish."

Copyright © 1997-1998, The Gazette
Back to 1998 Pikes Peak News Archives