This story has been archived from the July 16, 2009 Pikes Peak Bulletin

Carpenter conquers Barr Trail, claims eighth win

By Anthony Welch

Just like the song says, there’s no mountain high enough for Manitou Springs runner Matt Carpenter.

The “Energizer Bunny” of local runners won his sixth-straight Barr Trail Mountain Race on Sunday. Carpenter has claimed victory in eight of the 10 races since its inception.

Photo courtesy of Bethany Garner
Matt Carpenter heads down the final stretch on Sunday's Barr Trail Mountain Race. Carpenter captured his eighth victory on the 12.6-mile race.
Matt Carpenter heads down the final stretch on Sunday’s Barr Trail Mountain Race. Carpenter captured his eighth victory on the 12.6-mile race.

“It went really well. I tried to put some distance on the others so I wouldn’t have to go so fast coming .down,” the 44-year-old Carpenter said. “It’s just a matter of keeping ahead of Father Time. The guy behind me was 23, and the guy behind him was 24.” A record 354 runners finished the 12.6-mile race. On the women’s side, 31-year-old Brandy Lisa Erholtz, of Bailey, set a new course record with a time of 1:49:08.

Colorado Springs resident Eddie Baxter, 55, set a new age group record for the 55- to 59-year-old division with a finishing time of 1:56:10.

Early cloud cover made for a slightly cooler race momentarily, until the blazing sun popped out.

“When the clouds disappeared, it got pretty hot up there,” Carpenter said.

High school running teams pulled out all the stops in the aid station competition, according to Carpenter. The toga-sporting team from Palmer High School, stationed at No Name Creek, took top honors, earning itself $2,250.

“Their coach told me their budget was -$27 and he was paying for athlete’s shoes out of his own pocket,” Carpenter said. “Now their budget is in the black thanks to this money.”

Second place went to Woodland Park, who won $1,500 at Bobs Road. Widefield’s station at Barr Camp placed third and won $1,000. Doherty’s station at the incline overlook garnered fourth place and $750 and Manitou Springs finished fifth and took home $500.

Carpenter finished the race in 1:32:33. He said he started feeling comfortable about being on pace for another win 4.5 miles in.

“I pushed pretty hard halfway down and then put it in cruise control,” he said. “There’s no doubt about it, these young guys are coming.”

Carpenter’s training regimen includes running two hours a day -three to four hours on weekends.

“A lot of people put in the time, but not many of them are doing the hard stuff,” he said.

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