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Pike's Peak Marathon

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

26.6 mile 42.8 kilometer out and back
73% Runnable
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 7,721' 2,353 m
Descent: -7,721' -2,353 m
High: 14,031' 4,277 m
Low: 6,310' 1,923 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 41% (22°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Jason Smith

A famed trail marathon climbs 7,700' to the summit of Pike's Peak & back.

Jason Smith

Features -none-

Overview

Started in 1956 as a battle between smokers & non-smokers, Pike's Peak is the 3rd longest running marathon in the US. It's a classic, so any runner who wants this kind of pain is looking to enter. The race director requires exacting qualifying standards and if you meet them, the race fills up almost instantly. Refer to the race website for all related details.

Need to Know

Though the race is staffed with generous aid stations, plan your energy needs accordingly & be smart about layering protection as you might encounter all manner of alpine conditions. Though the trail is seldom exposed, falls due to fatigue / tripping on the descent are common & can cause injury. Speaking from experience on the latter count!

Description

The course couldn't be more straightforward. Start in front of City Hall on Manitou Ave in downtown Manitou Springs, turn on to the Barr Trail after 1.6 miles & a punch it more than 7,000 to the top of a legendary 14er! Pace yourself through the pine forest to the A-frame at 10 miles. From here's it's down to the business of ascending the final 2,000' up Pikes Peak's East Face. Hopefully, you've saved enough juice, or these switchbacks are going to feel eternal with delirious tears a near certainty.

Turn around and let your legs carry you down the hill to the finish in Manitou Springs!

Want more details? Who better to ask than Matt Carpenter. He holds the stunning course record of 3:16:39 and took the title in 10 Pike's Peak Marathons. He knows every step of the course & offers a wealth of detail on his website.

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Dogs Allowed, Features, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background

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Check-Ins

Aug 19, 2018
Carter Millane
26.2mi
Aug 20, 2017
Karolina Zavisiute
26.2mi

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 3 votes

#970

Overall
  5.0 from 3 votes
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Run Rankings

#182

in Colorado

#970

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864 Since Jul 16, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

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Photos

You work hard below tree line but the views up here pay off.
Sep 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking north east on Barr Trail above the clouds.
Sep 26, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Looking over the now defunct cog rail line at the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado
Sep 2, 2018 near Manitou…, CO
Still below treeline nearly halfway to Pikes Peak summit, a runner enjoys a short mellow section of Barr Trail with some funky formations. Photo by Nancy Hobbs
Aug 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
This is starting to hurt!  Key to pace yourself at this stage of the race. Photo by Nancy Hobbs
Aug 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
The bighorn sheep keep an eye on us as we climb the Barr Trail.
Feb 13, 2017 near Manitou…, CO

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