TCR: Triple Crown of Registration: Part III

Archived from Springs Magazine 6/2003

Let the competition begin!

By Matt Carpenter

If you have been reading this column for the last couple of years then you know that I have visited one topic on several occasions. I’m talking about the competition level, or lack there of, at the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon. In fact, my first column for Springs Magazine was about how the Triple Crown of Running organizers denied entry into the Ascent to the runner who was winning the 2000 series after the first two races. A little closer to home is the fact that I won last year’s Ascent most likely because runners who I feel would have beaten me could not get into the race. This was not a way to win a race that I was proud of and it certainly was not a way to put on a race.

Note the word “was” however because it is very exciting to be able to report that the days of people winning the Ascent and Marathon only because they were faster in the registration line are about to be over. The Triple Crown of Running has just put out a press release kicking off a new season and it contains a paragraph that stands out in my mind. It states that even though the Ascent and Marathon are filled “for both races, organizers are reserving 10 male and 10 female complementary spots for elite athletes.” The details were still to be ironed out on the application process but bottom line this is a big step towards restoring some of the prestige that these two races so rightfully deserve. I personally know of at least four athletes hoping to earn one of these spots who should do very well in the races.

Now I am not saying that these people are going to be the ones to win the races. I for one am not willing to roll over and concede victory. However I, and I suspect quite a few others, are going to have to train a lot harder than we have been if we ever want to come out on top again. This is the way a race should be and for those of us who care about these races beyond our own race we should be thanking the organizers of the Triple Crown of Running for this announcement. Thank you TCR!

Speaking of races, registration for the 4th annual Barr Trail Mountain Race to be run July 13th is well underway. A race in its own right, the BTMR is also a great tune-up for the Ascent and Marathon. Pikes Peak National Bank will once again be the presenting sponsor as runners test themselves in the 12 mile race up an down the Barr Trail to Barr Camp and back. 100% of the entry fees will be donated with 20% going to each of the following; Barr Camp, Care and Share, El Paso County Search and Rescue, Friends of the Peak and TESSA. In addition, generous sponsors make it possible to give $7,000 to area high school running programs. In fact, it is because of great sponsors the race has given over $38,500 to area non profit organizations and high schools in the last three years. For more information check out the race website at

No matter which of the races you are planning on doing, when it comes to racing on Pikes Peak we are quickly running out of training time! If you are having motivational problems with your training one of the best ways to address this is to train with other runners with similar goals. Even better is if you can train with runners who are at or even a little above your ability level. I know my desire to train got a boost when a very fast runner moved to town and started training with the Incline Club. ( He has taken us to school on several occasions. Indeed, he has been to the Olympics twice for the British in the steeplechase so he has taken a lot of runners to school over the years. It is always amazing to see great athletes doing what they love to do and I for one have always been inspired by just that, no matter the sport.

When you get right down to it none of us would take much interest in any sport if it was always predictable and lacked competition. For example, just when it looked like the Tiger couldn’t be touched he went on a dry spell. Many were talking about a Laker four-peat and they didn’t even make the final four. There are not to many givens when it comes to sport. That’s one of the things I have always liked about running. Just by getting dedicated to our training we can often change the outcome of a race. If not at the front of the pack then perhaps in the age-groups or with a new PR or even in the race against a friend or a total stranger. No matter how you define the race in the end racing is about putting it on the line. That is the essence of competition and that is the essence of sport. Now get out there and TRAIN!

Note: Part I was written almost three years ago. Part II was written last year.

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