Starting at Memorial Springs Park, this route is a 13.1 mile climb up Pikes Peak.
If you’ve got a little crazy in you, this run is right down your alley. Run each August, the Pikes Peak Ascent is one of the most challenging runs in the state of Colorado. With a 7,539 foot elevation gain from start to finish, you’re bound to feel like Rocky when reaching the summit.
The run starts in Manitou Springs, at Memorial Springs Park. You’ll get to enjoy 1.5 miles along the pavement, before the trails and real climbing begins. You’ll run along Barr Trail, and near the 2 mile marker, you’ll begin a series of switchbacks as you climb through the trees. You’ll stay hidden from the sun for most of the way, until you break the tree-line just after the 10 mile marker, at 12,000 feet.
The final 5k is a rocky scramble up the side of Pikes Peak. With multiple switchbacks, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to catch a quick glimpse of your progress, and Colorado Springs nearly a mile below you. Make sure you’re using those hips, and lifting your knees, there’s a variety of challenging rocky steps as you approach the summit.
If you’ve made it this far, the last thing you want to do is eat high-altitude dirt. The final mile will be the most daunting, as you’ll be able to see the finish, and the Pikes Peak Railway Station. The run ends at the top of the mountain, by the gift shop where you can buy some fluids and food. Plan for a ride to pick up you, otherwise you’ve got another 13.1 miles of running – back down the mountain.
To watch a fly-over of the course, download the Google Earth plugin if prompted.