MANITOU SPRINGS — More than 800 dedicated runners took the challenge of completing the Pikes Peak Marathon, despite hazy conditions from ongoing wildfires across Colorado.
The race had some safety protocols in place requiring runners to wear a mask before and after the race, and also requiring everyone in the area to undergo a temperature check, answer screening questions, and sign in with their name and e-mail before receiving a wristband.
Runners were also dispatched in waves of 10 at a time, with the goal of giving each runner approximately 36 square feet of space around them.
Racers took off at 7 a.m. right next to Manitou Springs City Hall, then had to go all the way up Pikes Peak via Barr Trail.
Jeff Moser, the event's base activities director, says there will still many obstacles to overcome leading up to Sunday morning.
"Up until right now, this thing could've been canceled," he explained. "So we want to make sure everybody's happy, it went through a ton of safety checks at the local level, state level, everybody's approved our plan and we're gonna see how it goes."
Englewood's Seth DeMoor took home first place in the 2020 race, with a time of 3:36:31, which is a new record for the 30 to 39 age group.
"It feels good," joked DeMoor. "When you get older and you get faster, right? My mouth got a little drier quicker near the end of the race. I don't know if it was because of the smoke or not. I don't think the smoke affected me too bad."
This is normally an all-weekend event in Manitou Spring, with the ascent happening on Saturday and marathon on Sunday (the ascent is only the climb up, while the marathon is up and down). Unfortunately, organizers canceled the ascent this year due to the pandemic, but the marathon still took place because organizers decided to focus their efforts on making it happen.