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Wounded warrior attempting Pikes Peak Marathon for the first time

Posted at 11:50 PM, Sep 14, 2023

The Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon is happening this weekend with over 2,000 runners participating in the races starting in Manitou Springs.

This year a wounded warrior is attempting to climb the mountain for the first time with an American flag in hand. Randy Woodward is a Navy veteran who was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2005.

He said his doctor told him he would never be able to run again.

"Five years later, I was able to get myself to run a marathon. That just progressed to another marathon every year," said Woodward.

Now 68 marathons later he has started a tradition by carrying a 5x8 American flag during his races. He said it is a symbol of pride and hope for others to finish the race.

"I started learning pretty quick how much people appreciated that and they respected it. They liked the inspiration and it helped out a lot of people," he said.

Woodward said running has become part of his journey to healing. His goal is to complete a marathon in all 50 states. The Pikes Peak Marathon will be number 41 for him.

"I will always be recovering and I kind of use this as part of my recovery," he said.

The half-marathon Pikes Peak Ascent race starts Saturday morning at 7 a.m. It takes racers from Manitou Springs to the top of America's Mountain. The Pikes Peak Marathon is on Sunday morning starting at 7 a.m. It follows the same route as the Ascent except runners come back down to the finish line in Manitou Springs.

There will be a live stream of the events you can watch here.

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