This story has been archived from the

August 20, 2001

Ups and downs

By John Branch, Meri-Jo Borzilleri and Mark Fitzhenry/The Gazette

"I had a bad day. I had to do something to make it worthwhile."

-- Doug Laufer, 48, who ran across the finish line backwards to place 222nd

By the numbers
1 Marathon winners since 1976 with slower overall time than Matt Carpenter's 3:53:53 this year

94 High temperature, in degrees Fahrenheit, recorded in Colorado Springs, an all-time high for the date. At race time, the temperature on top of Pikes Peak was 40 degrees

1:15 Time, in hours and minutes, that Matt Carpenter spent in the medical tent after his win. Suffering from dehydration, Carpenter spent part of the time hooked to an IV

400 Estimated number of volunteers who worked the two-day event

13 Runners in the overall top 30 who are at least 40 years old.

18 Age of youngest registered male marathoner

20 Age of youngest registered female marathoner

77 Age of oldest registered female marathoner

79 Age of oldest registered male marathoner

900 Cookies in the runners tent

48 Bags of intravenous solution used to treat marathon runners for dehydration

15 Bags of intravenous solution used in a typical Pikes Peak Marathon

Best excuse not to work Sunday
The Dutch Kitchen restaurant in downtown Manitou Springs posted a copy of a memo from the city and highlighted the traffic and parking restrictions for Sunday's marathon. A note read, "Because of these restrictions we will be closed on Sunday, August 19." Meanwhile, Tubby's Turnaround convenience store across the street was open.

Run, Forest, run
He wasn't carrying a box of chocolates, but Rob Parker had the rest of the guise down. The 22-time veteran of the Pikes Peak Marathon has a full, dark beard, and he shuffled across the finish line Sunday in exactly the same manner that Tom Hanks, as Forrest Gump -- head down, arms churning -- zig-zagged across the country.

Parker even wore a red "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.'' hat, just as Forest Gump did. Parker was told several years ago that he ran like Forrest Gump, so he happily jumped into the role.

"He's my hero,'' Parker said.

Running buddies
Jonathan Cavner and Jesse Rickert might as well have been leashed together. Rickert spent most of the 26-plus miles to the top of Pikes Peak and back following Cavner's footsteps.

"I was ahead most of the race, and he followed me,'' Cavner said. "We have pretty much the same pace.''

The two reached the summit together, then stuck together all the way down. As they ran down Ruxton Avenue and turned the corner toward the finish line, Rickert made no push to pass Cavner.

Cavner finished fourth, Rickert fifth -- one second behind.

"He expressed thanks that I was pacing him so well," Cavner said. "And he actually let me win. He could have tried to pass me."

Can you clean my under-carriage
Runners could rinse off immediately after the race under a steady shower -- at a downtown Manitou Springs car wash.

Hoses were connected to PVC pipes, which towered about 10 feet before emitting a never-ending spray of cool water. Two folding chairs sat in the middle for those who like to sit -- or, maybe, shave their legs.

No one grabbed one of the scrubbing brushes and chose the "Hot Soap'' or "Hot Wax'' options. And no one got near the vacuum cleaners a few feet away.

Biggest blister
Last year's marathon left Connilee Walter with a blister on her right heel that made it hard to walk for a week. So she covered her heel with mole skin before Sunday's marathon. No matter. At the top of the course, she could feel the blister forming. By the time she made it to the bottom, she had a blister the size of the opening on a coffee mug. Medical workers spent several minutes cutting off the dead skin and wrapping it. Walter's other foot seemed fine.

Exhaust fumes with your oxygen?
The medical tent at the finish line sat in one lane of Manitou Avenue. In the other lane, a few feet from runners lying on cots and hooked to IVs, was a constant line of idling cars, waiting to get through the congestion.

Best announcer's comment
The steady drone of the race announcer filled downtown Manitou Springs most of the day. The best line for the several hundred lining the finish area: "We're 5 1/2 hours into the marathon. What have you been doing for the last 5 1/2 hour?"

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

Back to the Press Archives