The 2022 Pikes Peak Ascent kicked off today at 7 a.m. local time. Toeing the start line on the streets of Manitou Springs, Colorado, amounts to a singular moment for the many who join the deeply competitive field each year. The objective is straightforward but daunting: climb the requisite 7,815 feet to the finish line just below the Pikes Peak summit at 14,050 feet faster than everyone else. The 13.32-mile course up the well-known Barr Trail averages — averages — an 11% grade. And that’s the way it’s been for 66 years.
As part of this year’s Golden Trail World Series (GTWS), this edition of the Ascent saw a stacked field take off under an unobstructed sun and cool temperatures. While the Pikes Peak Marathon has previously been featured in the GTWS, the switch was made to the shorter race this year to allow competitors better race again at the next GTWS race at the Flagstaff Sky Peaks in Arizona next weekend.
A wrinkle in the Pikes Peak Ascent prize purse: anyone who clocks a faster time than one the organizers set before the race banks an extra $10,000. This year’s times to beat were two hours even for men, and 2:21 for women. Briefly, it looked like Rémi Bonnet had a shot — but in the end, neither he nor women’s race winner Nienke Brinkman claimed it.
2022 Pikes Peak Ascent Women’s Race
Nienke Brinkman captured the women’s title with a time just a few minutes back of the course record, while Maude Mathys ran hot on her heels while moving up in the second half of the race.
[In 2015, Mathys received a warning without suspension from the Disciplinary Chamber for Doping Cases of Swiss Olympic for two positive tests for clomifene (previously clomiphene) after it was determined that she was mistakenly taking the drug without first obtaining a World Anti-Doping Agency Therapeutic Use Exemption.]
Brinkman finished in 2:27:26 to take the win. The Dutch sensation threatened at times to break Kim Dobson’s 2012 course record, but finished moderately behind Dobson’s 2:24:58 mark. Dobson ran this year, finishing fifth. Sophia Laukli ran six minutes back of Mathys and five minutes before Allie McLaughlin in taking third.
- Nienke Brinkman (Nike Trail) — 2:27:26
- Maude Mathys (Salomon) — 2:28:40
- Sophia Laukli (Salomon) — 2:34:30
- Allie McLaughlin (On) — 2:39:40
- Kim Dobson (Team BP Run CO) — 2:40:45
- Blandine L’hirondel (Evadict) — 2:44:17
- Bailey Kowalczyk (Salomon) — 2:46:43
- Élise Poncet (Sidas/Matryx) — 2:47:30
- EmKay Sullivan (Craft) — 2:48:37
- Sara Alonso (Salomon) — 2:49:21
2022 Pikes Peak Ascent Men’s Race
Near the midway point of the climb, Bonnet led Joseph Gray by 45 seconds — a decent margin but far from comfortable. Eight men passed the trailside marker, “1/2 way to Heaven,” shortly before Barr Camp within roughly three and a half minutes.
Gray dogged Bonnet, and some live feed trackers thought he could execute a pass near race end. But in the end, nobody could catch Bonnet, who won with a 2:07:02.
Drama did ensue behind Bonnet, as Daniel Osanz overtook Gray late and then gained some distance on the 38-year-old. Osanz clocked a 2:08:42, well behind Bonnet but also a half minute ahead of Gray, who finished third. Eli Hemming and Francesco Puppi rounded out the top five.
- Rémi Bonnet (Salomon/Red Bull) — 2:07:02
- Daniel Osanz (adidas Terrex) — 2:08:42
- Joseph Gray (Hoka) — 2:09:13
- Eli Hemming (Aerobic Monsters) — 2:09:54
- Francesco Puppi (Nike Trail) — 2:12:56
- Chad Hall — 2:14:02
- Anthony Felber (Sidas/Matryx) — 2:15:19
- Sylvain Cachard (Hoka) — 2:16:35
- Henri Aymonod (The North Face) — 2:20:13
- Ruy Ueda (Red Bull) — 2:20:58