With a week to go until the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon, trail volunteers at the bottom and top of the peak are getting Barr Trail in tip-top shape. It can certainly use it after all the rain we've had, but Larry Miller (below), who runs the Pikes Peak Road Runners club, said while he was moving boulders on top of the peak Sunday that he had an ulterior motive: smoothing the way for what could possibly be a record time in the marathon.
Current record holder Matt Carpenter of Manitou has been training at speeds that suggest he has a chance at breaking his own record, which he set 13 years ago. I didn't even bother asking Carpenter whether he thought this was possible. He never likes to talk about an event before the start. I guess he figures talk is cheap; you either do it, or you don't.
We'll see if he can do it.
In June he was running barefoot on a grass field and cut his foot, setting him back in his training. At first, I think he thought he wouldn't be able to get back up to the same level, but only a few weeks later, in the Barr Mountain Race, he was only about 30 seconds off his record pace. Now he's had more time to train and recover. This could be a very interesting race.