Saturday, August 18, 2007

Rescue off the peak

An Ascent runner manages a smile (thanks for the photo, Christian!)
OT reporter Dave Philipps looked strong this morning as he hit Barr Trail after about 1.5 miles on the pavement at the start of the Pikes Peak Ascent. I haven't called to see how he did - and didn't see him in town afterward. (That's a photo of him below, closing in on the summit - by Gaz photog Christian Murdock.)

But there's a lot of chatter in the last 40 minutes about rescues on the mountain. Bad weather has hit and apparently there are still entrants on the course. I'm sure rescue teams, the aid station workers and Neal and Teresa at Barr are ready to help.

I have to say, it looked like there were a lot of people entered this year who I believe should probably join a charity hike of Pikes Peak instead of enter the Ascent. They were planning to hike it, no running or jogging involved. It's a challenge, either way, but when you're still on the trail more than 8 hours later... And when there were people who wanted to run it and couldn't get a bib...

Just sayin'.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Having just returned from the Pikes after working the race, I would agree with your comment about too many out of shape maybe hikers. No serious rescues, just pooped out people who should not be that high.

Dena Rosenberry said...

Good to hear. When you start hearing people ask where helicopters land you fear the worst.

Dena Rosenberry said...

Oh, and results posted online (pikespeakmarathon.org) say Dave came in 25th at 2:45:41.

I predicted 2:40 (that's what my sign said, anyway). Maybe he got that "Safety Dance" song stuck in his head and it through him off rhythm.

Al said...

I was an aid station worker (Cirque) and a downhill sweep. I ended up walking to the bottom with the absolute last turnaround off the mountain. Sure, there are people who shouldn't have signed up, but how can you tell that _a priori_? I have extremely in-good-shape runner friends who signed up, but who ran into trouble with business trips, injuries and training screw-ups which made them not try to run at all. I suppose there are all sorts of reasons to be disappointed about who ran in the race and who didn't. But even the guy I escorted down, despite all the perhaps dumb stuff that led to his not succeeding, had a decent time. He spent some money on the race--drove here from Texas--and found out that a 14,000 foot mountain can kick his trained-in-Texas butt. Nevertheless, he probably did more with his life in the 10 hours he spent on the mountain than a lot of folks do in weeks. Dena, I feel the same way you do, but I'm not sure I think the same way. And I'm probably too tired to argue about it.
Cheers.
Al.

Fatty McHiker said...

My only comment is if those runners were so fast they need to be just a bit faster. The out of shape 'hikers' beat them to the registration to get a bib. Register at the right time and pay your money and I guess you bought the right to 'try.'

Dena Rosenberry said...

Al, Christian and I were talking about this Saturday night. It's great to have it open to everyone. I guess I'd be happy if the registration process is better next year.

I think I was in a bit of a snit because one guy (local) bailed when pavement hit the dirt trail. He'd finished more than one Ascent in the past and said he decided he just didn't want to hike that day.

I talked to another guy who said he knew he probably wouldn't make the cut off, but wanted a shirt. (I don't know whether he made it or ot.)

Ahhhh. It's just a run, jog, hike up the mountain.

Dena Rosenberry said...

Yeah, Dave was 25th in men and 27th overall, so it appears he did as he planned and ran within sight of the fastest women.

brownie said...

FYI, Neal had someone covering for him at the Barr Camp aid station while he was busy getting his 1000 mile belt buckle with his 10th Leadville finish.

Al said...

Dena,
Thanks for your reply. I talked to Neal at BC the week before the race and he had some interesting stories about people who couldn't register for the races because of the computer problems they had and the fact that the ascent got filled in 10 minutes. My thought is that there's no perfect way to run a registration. Lottery is what a lot of people are accustomed to, but it has disadvantages, too. Any selection method will have its prejudices and I'm sure compelling arguments against each will be made by folks who didn't get in. I don't want to be an apologist for the status quo. I'd hope that a good discussion of alternatives might lead to a change of heart (and mind) on the part of the race organizers.
To add another vignette, I also escorted the last runner down during the marathon. She was the woman who broke her hand last year and still managed to finish before the end of the race. She didn't do as well this year, but what a story she has. Cancer survivor, 60th birthday this week, fighting nerve damage problems...technically speaking, she wasn't fit for the mountain, but she had no shortage of guts. We'll probably always be able to find examples of poor sports, hopelessly unfit people taking up space and folks making disastrous decisions on the course. As it is, though, I think there are a lot of stories of courage and strength among the runners. If the race spots were given over to the fully qualified and elite runners, we'd lose that populist aspect--ordinary folks who do extraordinary things.

Al.

Fatty McHiker said...

Amen and some good points. Even us Fatty McHikers need to get our miles in. I take a sack of Bambinos from Good Times when I do the Ascent. When I get tired I just find a rock and have a Bambino and take a slug off my 64 oz. root beer. If I get too tired I wait for one of those supply carts and they wheel me back down to Manitou.

zen said...

LOL

Al said...

Sheesh.
Al.