Posted: Aug 20, 2011 5:30 PM by Dr. Anya Winslow
Updated: Aug 21, 2011 7:09 AM
Thousands of runners may be nursing some sore legs tonight after bravely taking on the Pikes Peak Ascent half marathon race on Saturday.
By the looks of the start line, it looks like any other race, but as soon as the competitors take off, they're climbing upward, 7,815 vertical feet upward.
Matt Hopper, who has run in the marathon two times and four times in the Ascent, isn't intimidated by the gain. He says, "When I was driving over here and I was looking at the mountain, I was like, okay, me and you. We're dancing today. Just us...and I'm winning."
For others, it's not so much about winning, but mustering the courage to take on what looks like the impossible.
"There's a lot of great people who have achieved this and so, I want to be on of those," says Kaleen Fry who ran in the Ascent for the first time on Saturday.
Fry took on the challenge with vigor and determination. She trained with a friend by running up and down hills. Other competitors were relying more on their inherent athleticism.
"I'm the sort that kinda likes to go out and race without training directly for it," says Ben Zeiger, who tomorrow is playing in an ultimate Frisbee tournament.
Hopefully, Zeiger's legs will be recharged by Sunday.
* The grueling race is in its 56th year and it keeps on drawing thousands. Around 1800 runners took on the Ascent's challenge today, many of those same runners will be racing in tomorrow's marathon - up and down the mountain. Organizers said around eight hundred will be running on Sunday.
* Pikes Peak Ascent winners:
Men: Mario Macias from Alamosa ran the race in 2:08:57
Women: Kim Dobson from Aurora ran the race in 2:34:07
Click here for list of other racer's times.