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Monday, August 18, 2003

Colorado man takes third in ‘the double’


After Sunday’s Pikes Peak Marathon, Bernie Boettcher, 40, of Silt, sat the same place he sat the day before. Third.

Boettcher did “the double” for the first time. “The double” is racing the Pikes Peak Ascent and the Pikes Peak Marathon on consecutive days. He earned third place twice in two days.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet,” said Boettcher, talking clear as if he never ran a race all weekend. “It’s probably going to feel real good tomorrow. Getting third in both feels nice.”

Boettcher, who is an alternate on the U.S. National Mountain Running team, didn’t think he would earn a top-10 finish in Saturday’s Pikes Peak Ascent, and he expected worse on Sunday’s 48 th running of the Pikes Peak Marathon, which started and ended at downtown Manitou Springs.

“It’s a little easier than I thought,” Boettcher said.

Boettcher said he was inspired when Matt Carpenter took first place in both races in 2001. Carpenter, 39, became the only runner to win both on one weekend.

On the contrary, Carpenter, who only ran the Marathon this year, said Boettcher inspired him Sunday.

“I was thinking about Bernie’s run when I was running down hill,” Carpenter said. “I’m feeling a little older. For a guy (older than me) to do that. It makes me feel like I got a few more years.”

Carpenter said he feels better when he runs the Marathon a day after the Ascent, but it takes a while.

“At least for me, when I reach bar camp on the second day I’m like ‘What was I thinking!,’ “ he said. “Then I’m a little more relaxed.”

According to Carpenter’s Web site,, from 1981 to 2002 in the Ascent and Marathon, 473 doubles were done by 279 individuals, known as “doublers.” On Sunday, 13 of the top 125 finishers were “doublers.” One of them was Vince Steele, 48. Steele finished 79 th on Sunday, running his first and only double.

“If you’re going to ask if I would do it again,” Steele said. “No way.”

Copyright 2003, The Gazette, a division of Freedom Colorado Information. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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