2012 Pikes Peak Marathon Results

Last Sunday morning in downtown Manitou Springs, Colorado, the starting gun fired off the almost 800 Pikes Peak Marathon entrants. Runners headed up Manitou and Ruxton Avenues before jumping on the historic Barr Trail. 13.32 miles and 7,815 feet of climbing later, runners gained the 14,115-foot Pikes Peak summit. From there, it was all downhill along the same course to the downtown finish line. By the race’s finish, both the competition, a mix of almost entirely local and Euro talent, as well as air temperatures, peaking in the low 80s Fahrenheit, were hot.

Men’s Race

The men’s field was immediately led out by Catalonian Kilian Jornet (post-race interview) and Oregonian Max King. But the rest of the field played chase, including Colorado Springs local Alex Nichols. Soon Nichols took the lead and set the pace for he and Jornet’s climb to the near-midway aid station at Barr Camp, while King settled into third. After Barr Camp, Jornet forged ahead, opening a more than four-minute lead over Nichols at the summit turnaround. From there, the eventual first and second places were set, though Jornet’s out-of-this-world downhilling abilities allowed him to increase his gap over Nichols to almost seven minutes at the finish.

King hoofed it hard to the summit, so hard that he was grunting and gasping to get enough oxygen out of the thin air of over 14,000 feet. J. Marshall Thomson, of Colorado, overtook King within sight of the summit. That overtaking was short-lived, however, as King used his beastly downhill running skill set to almost immediately regain and keep his third-place position to the finish line.

2012 Pikes Peak Marathon - Kilian Jornet - Max King

Kilian Jornet and Max King relaxing after the race.

Fourth-place finisher Thomson actually sat in sixth position for about three-quarters of the ascent, with the top three men plus Greg Vollet, of France, and Andorran Oscar Casal ahead of him. On the upper reaches of the mountain, Thomson passed and put minutes on both Vollet and Casal. Vollet and Casal held onto respective fifth and sixth-place finishes. Dave Mackey, Samuel Malmberg, Corey Dobson (husband to Kim Dobson, the winner and new course record-holder of the previous day’s Pikes Peak Ascent), and Chris Grauch rounded out the top 10.

Women’s Race

Spaniard Mireia Miro took the pace out aggressively from the starting line, and Vermont’s Kasie Enman remained on her tail until the two settled into their uphill own paces. Norway-dwelling (but Sweden-born) Emelie Forsberg hung tough on the uphill and held a strong third position at the summit. At the summit turnaround, Miro still led the ladies’ field. Three minutes back to Miro was Enman, followed by Forsberg about 7.5 minutes back.

What happened on the downhill was a complete switcheroo of first and third places. Miro maintained her lead until about six miles from the finish, where she was forced to slow due to stomach problems. At that point but just briefly, Enman earned the lead. Downhill animo Forsberg, however, soon took over and plowed her way to the finish. Enman made her work for the win, however, as she finished just 18 seconds behind Forsberg. Miro finished four minutes later, in third, with a big smile on her face.

2012 Pikes Peak Marathon - Mireia Miro - Emilie Forsberg - Kasie Enman

Salomon teammates Mireia Miro, Emilie Forsberg, and Kasie Enman sweep the podium.

In the race for fourth, Great Britain’s Lauren Jeska proved her climbing ability, running up and reaching the summit in fourth position. But Colorado’s Michele Suszek, who arrived to the summit turnaround about 2.5 minutes after Jeska, turned on her downhill afterburners, passed Jeska to take over fourth place, and finished almost five minutes ahead of her. Jeska took fifth while Salynda FleuryConilee WalterYvonne Carpenter (wife to Matt, the men’s course record holder for both the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon), Melissa Bay, and Sandi Nypaver filled out the women’s top 10.

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2012 Pikes Peak Marathon Men’s Official Results

  1. Kilian Jornet (Salomon) – 3:40:26
  2. Alex Nichols (Inov-8) – 3:47:22
  3. Max King (Montrail) – 3:50:10
  4. J. Marshall Thomson – 3:57:41
  5. Greg Vollet (Salomon) – 4:08:10
  6. Oscar Casal (Salomon) – 4:10:13
  7. Dave Mackey (Hoka One One) – 4:17:51
  8. Samuel Malmberg – 4:18:41
  9. Corey Dobson – 4:22:49
  10. Chris Grauch– 4:22:58

Full results.

2012 Pikes Peak Marathon Women’s Official Results

  1. Emelie Forsberg (Salomon) – 4:28:07
  2. Kasie Enman (Salomon) – 4:28:25
  3. Mireia Miro (Salomon) – 4:32:13
  4. Michele Suszek – 4:42:38
  5. Lauren Jeska (Arc’teryx) – 4:47:25
  6. Salynda Fleury – 5:01:08
  7. Conilee Walter – 5:01:30
  8. Yvonne Carpenter – 5:08:50
  9. Melissa Bay– 5:16:32
  10. Sandi Nypaver – 5:26:44

Full results.

PS. On Saturday, Colorado’s Kim Dobson annihilated the 31-year-old Pikes Peak Ascent women’s record. Her 2:24:58 blew Pikes Peak superstar Lynn Bjorklund’s 2:33:31 record out of the water. Or, should we say off the mountain? Check out this video interview with her right after her victory and record.

Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Managing Editor and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

There are 6 comments

  1. Tobias

    "Sweden-dwelling (but Norway-born) Emelie Forsberg hung tough on the uphill and held a strong third position at the summit." – I thought it was the other way around? Norway-dwelling (but Sweden-born)?

    1. Bartman

      Jeg tror du har rett i det Tobias. Hun bor i Tromsø og skriver på svensk i bloggen.

      I think you are correct Tobias. She lives in Tromsø, Norway and her blog is in Swedish.


  2. Mt. Mutt

    Kilian is a fantastic runner,but PPM has had so many top runners over the years,Pablo Vigil,Pat Porter,Al Waquie,Rick Trujillo,Carpenter,on and on,that Matt's record is super stout.Kilian would have to attempt Pikes for alot of years to get close,but probably someone with more pure speed on non-technical terrain would have more of a chance at it.Kim's record now is in the same place,almost unbeatable until a goat disguised as a runner tries it,even than….

    1. David T

      Completely agree. A better comparison in order to understand how Kilian's time stacks up is Matt C's 20-24 age group record. It is 3:38:05, which Matt set when he was 24 year old. So Kilian (age 22) actually got fairly close to it and set the new descent record for that age group. Not bad for his first crack at the mountain.

      Matt devoted so much time (years) and energy to the PPM, and is such a unique athlete, that I honestly doubt his record will ever be broken. One would literally have to do what Matt did which is move to the base of the mountain, run on and around it over and over again, and race it year after year. Not to mention have an off the chart VO2 max, have a body perfectly built for the race, and be tough as nails.

      1. Mt. Mutt

        Spot on David.Bet Matt had a name for every rock he jumped over,and an assigned number for every switchback,and how long it took to get to each one.There's alot of well established mt.races around,especially in Europe,but i doubt many,if any,can compare to having the pure quality of runners that have toed the PP races over the years,it truly is the Olympics of the mt.races.

            1. MARK T

              Here is an excerpt from "Running Times." You can read the full article at their site: http://www.runningtimes.com/Article.aspx?ArticleI

              "With Catalonia’s Kilian Jornet running, the Pikes Peak Marathon was thought to have been a showdown between local mountain legend Matt Carpenter (Manitou Springs, Co.), now 48 years old, and Jornet, age 24. With Carpenter absent and Jornet content to race for the win rather than the record books, he summited the mountain in 2:18, cruised down in 1:21, and finished first in 3:40. That does best Carpenter’s winning time from each of the last two years, but is well off his 2:01 ascent, 1:15 descent, and 3:16 course records.

              * Disclaimer- I have not verified these numbers.

  3. Clark

    @David T – I think the age comparison is fairly legitimate, but not because of the age. Ergo, because of the circumstances – I believe Matt actually lived in Vail for most of the 80's and did not move down there until late 80's/early 90's, although I don't recall or have the specifics at hand. But if you look at his results in the 80's he's quite up and down between winning and not so good days. Then he got seriously obsessed with it, moved there to train and etc…

    In fact in '93 when he set the record, he volunteered to be the (unpaid) caretaker of the Barr Camp cabins for the summer, for the sole purpose of training on the trail. And by training, I mean twice a day camp to summit roundtrip, weekly intervals sessions at 13k I the trail, and etc… He wasn't there just to win it, he was there to destroy it, which he did. Even he has never come anywhere close to that record again.

    I was there at the finish to spectate this year, and had the great pleasure of watching Kilian and the other elites finishing. I could be wrong, but it looked to me like Kilian probably is just as gifted as Matt, and could scare the record under the right circumstances. However, the right circumstances, as just described above, are not likely something many people will try to replicate again. That intensity of focus is the reason the record has held up so long to present, and who knows how long into the future. It is his legacy.

    1. David T

      I completely agree. I honestly don't think age matters too much but instead pointed to the 22-24 age group because at that time Matt had less (though still a lot) of experience on Pikes, as you point out. I appreciate the additional details you provide.

    2. Chris Cawley

      Great details re: Matt's ppm record, Clark. Matt's focus is as legendary as his achievements, and it is evident in his account of his leadville 100 experiences.

      Amidst the attention paid to KJ's descent, has it gone unnoticed that Max King went downhill 1m29s faster than Kilian?

  4. Clark

    David – his website used to have a blog link where he described his training in great detail, and I can sure you and everyone else, those are just the surface facts, it went far deeper than that. For example, his driving motivation for '93 was the '92 race in which his arch rival of the day, Ricardo Mejia, crushed him and serry the CR at 3:21. Apparently that didn't go over so well with him, resulting in '93 in which he returned the favor on Ricardo. Those guys were the Shorter/Rodgers of Pikes Peak

  5. Kristin Z

    also worth it to note that Max King from Central Oregon also finished and won the solo category of the TransRockies 3 day a few days before his PPM 3rd place. Not too shabby.

  6. CJ

    Awesome to see Alex perform so well in his first Pikes Peak Marathon…I was an eye-witness to the fact that he trained hard and put in his dues on the Barr Trail leading up to the race. Also incredible to see Killian win such a variety of races against varied competition. The guy is a true talent

  7. Josh C

    I think Kim's ascent deserves an article of its own. I know its not an ultra but it is a tough mtn race. Arguably one of the greatest Colorado races ever…

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