This story has been archived from the Monday, August 22, 2005

Barr Trail ‘simpler’ than tracks in Europe


Pikes Peak Marathon winner Fulvio Dapit of Italy said Barr Trail was nothing like the mountain race courses he’s accustomed to in Europe.

“It’s simpler to run here,” he said. “There’s a wide track, no steps, few stones.” Is he kidding? Turns out, no. Race directors in Europe appear to be a little more sadistic, adding their own twists for mountain racers, such as having them scramble up rock faces using their hands, and installing fixed ropes.

“Italians are notorious for being superb technical runners,” said runner-up Galen Burrell of Boulder.

Now we know why.

Torres torrid

Senoria Torres of Cordova, N.M., finished fifth in the Marathon in 4 hours, 11 minutes and 16 seconds.

Which is unremarkable until you see that Torres is 51.

He’s 11 years older than the next youngest top-five finisher, Marco Rusconi of Italy, who finished third in 3:59:54.

Torres set a new agegroup record with his time, breaking his own mark of 4:24:32 from 2004.

Means to a (merciful) end

Bill Means, 40, of Monument should be resting on the sofa today. He completed the “double” — Saturday’s Ascent (2:56:43) and Sunday’s Marathon (4:50:22).

Only it was more than that. Means and his wife, Kim, both wore smiles despite going through the wringer.

After Saturday’s Ascent, Bill was so dehydrated he received intravenous fluid at the summit. He had a ride down the mountain but chose to wait for Kim to finish her Ascent race.

She did (4:36:52), despite getting pelted with hail on her way up.

“I had the hail piercing my legs,” she said.

Then they both got stuck atop the mountain when a storm dumped six inches of hail on the peak, forcing the Pikes Peak Highway to close for more than four hours.

The day’s bright moments: being stuck in the Summit House with hundreds of others (“Nobody was mad, nobody was complaining,” Kim insisted) and getting to ride the Cog Railway, which offered its services Saturday to stranded runners.

“It was all part of the adventure. It was a great time,” Bill Means said.

Ascent more appealing

Jonathan Bowser, 39, of Littleton says he has run his first and last marathon.

“I can say this. Never again,” he said.

He’s done two Ascents. For the 50th running of the marathon, he decided to go up and down the mountain this time.

“It’s like night and day,” Bowser said of the two races. “Because you’re going uphill, you don’t get beat up. The downhill just annihilates your legs.”

Running downhill on rocks slick with slush presents other challenges, too.

“My goal was not to fall on my face,” he said. “I’m very proud of that.”

Marathon gets world turn in 2006

Pikes Peak will further cement its reputation as a destination for overseas runners next year, when the marathon is designated 2006’s World Mountain Running Association World Long Distance Challenge event. The race rotates among countries, and it’s Pikes Peak’s turn next year.


Copyright 2005, The Gazette, a division of Freedom Colorado Information. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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