This story has been archived from the

August 20, 2001

List of doublers [PPA/M results moved to in 2015]

Contact information
Mark Fitzhenry may be reached at 636-0178 or markf @ gazette . com

Two times the pain

Runners of both weekend races weather punishment

By Mark Fitzhenry/The Gazette

Neal Oseland wasn't sore Sunday when he crawled out of bed at 4 a.m., even though he had run the 13.32-mile Pikes Peak Ascent the previous day.

But he was tired, thanks to 3hours' sleep.

And he was nervous, because in 3 hours he was going to run a marathon.

By 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oseland had completed the Pikes Peak double for the first time.

For six years he heard about the punishment of running the two races back-to-back. And now, he's felt it.

"I feel absolutely pushed to my limit here," Oseland said. "It's a relief to have nine months of work pay off."

Entering Sunday's race, 54 people who had run the Ascent were registered for the Marathon. According to unofficial race results, 39 completed the double this year, the second-highest total ever and two shy of last year.

Most of those runners spent the minutes after the race recovering under the tent, or taking a cold shower. Matt Carpenter, who became the first person to win both events on back-to-back days, spent about 1 hour, 15 minutes recovering and received fluids intravenously.

Then there's Ryan Soderberg, a 24-year-old from Dillon who has already run eight doubles. He said he'd take his mountain bike out for a ride later in the day.

"You get used to this," Soderberg said.

"I feel pretty good. I've got really nasty blisters on my feet that were slowing me down. My feet are more sensitive this year for some reason."

But Craig Hess was in no mood for anything other than a cold shower once he finished. Hess, a 38-year-old stationed here with the Air Force, completed the double for the first time. He was reduced to walking much of the last four miles.

It was also the first time he ever did the Pikes Peak Marathon.

"I did the Ascent the last two years and wanted to know what the double was like," Hess said. "I felt it going up (Sunday). I felt fatigued. I wasn't sore but I realized I didn't have enough gas.

"Back-to-back probably is not a smart way to survive."

The key to performing well in the marathon after completing the Ascent was the recovery between the two races. Carpenter and Oseland left the summit minutes after their race so they could recover quicker in air with more oxygen.

"I was shoving as much food in my system as possible without getting sick," Oseland said.

Hess recovered from the Ascent by doing "everything wrong. I didn't take a nap, didn't eat much, and I paid for it today."

Hess and Oseland said they're probably done attempting the double. But they had to try it once.

For Oseland, it was his ninth marathon, with "none harder than today."

Copyright 1999-2001, The Gazette, a Freedom Communications, Inc. Company. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Back to the Press Archives