PIKES PEAK ASCENT 2022: THE GOLDEN TRAIL SERIES VISIT THE AMERICAN PEAKS
PIKES PEAK ASCENT: THE GOLDEN TRAIL SERIES VISIT THE AMERICAN PEAKS. Our GOLDEN TRAIL WORLD SERIES bring us today the race preview of the next stage of this Golden Trail World Series.
After Zegama and Kilian’s record, Marathon du Mont Blanc, Stranda Fjord and Sierre-Zinal the 2022 Golden Trail World Series travels to the United States for it 5th stage with the Pikes Peak Ascent race. This 5th stage, the first of two American races, promises to be a fantastic show. Who will prove to be the Pikes Peak uphill experts! Let’s starts with how the leaders arrived to the the summit in 2018.
PIKES PEAK ASCENT 2022:
THE GOLDEN TRAIL SERIES VISIT THE AMERICAN PEAKS
The Golden Trail World Series hadn’t set foot across the Atlantic since 2019. In 2022, they’re back on American soil with two legendary races, the first is the Pikes Peak Ascent, taking place on 17th September. Usually, it’s the marathon distance that awaits the Golden, but this year, to make it easier with two races on two consecutive weekends, the athletes will be tackling the vertical race on Colorado’s legendary peak.
The backdrop: a start line at the foot of the burnt ochre Manitou Springs mountains at 1,920 metres above sea level. This mythical trail goes through rocky sections and on long forest tracks to reach a culminating peak at 4,302 metres above sea level. Who will have the legs and lungs to come out victorious on this tough 21-kilometre race with its 2,382 vertical elevation? Let’s take a look at the power houses who will be present!
PIKE PEAKS ASCENT & MARATHON: THE RACE COURSE
PIKE PEAKS ASCENT 2022: RECORDS
Men’s record: 2:01:06 Matt Carpenter in 1993
Women’s record: 2:24:58 Kim Dobson in 2012
There’s a little extra spice at the Pikes Peak Ascent; as well as the prize money awarded by the GTWS to the top runners, there’s a $10,000 prize to runners who can beat the organisers’ chosen time:
- 2h for the men;
- 2h21 for the women.
PIKE PEAKS ASCENT 2022: TEH FAVOURITES
It’ll be a showdown at the first of the two American races! Heading the billboard is Nienke Brinkman (Team Nike, The Netherlands). Record holder of Zegama and she just won a bronze medal at the European Championships marathon distance.
On an entirely uphill course, she should logically be over and above any questions, yet she will be up against some very tough women who eat uphill for breakfast! Sophia Laukli (Team Salomon, USA) showed the full extent of her talent when she won the Stranda Fjord Trail Race a few weeks ago, she who is a member of the American Olympic Cross-Country Skiing team.
Here once again, the uphill profile will suit her down to the ground! Maude Mathys (Team Salomon, Switzerland) should also be happy to wrestle in this battle, she who finished second at Zegama and Sierre-Zinal this year. Although currently dealing with a niggling Achilles tendon injury, she is still a notorious athlete who never throws in the towel!
What about Sara Alonso (Team Salomon, Spain)? This year’s Marathon du Mont-Blanc winner, and third at Zegama, she is currently leading the GTWS 2022 and will obviously want to keep this first-place lead. Next up is Blandine L’Hirondel (Team Evadict, France). She may have finished 5th in Norway, but she shone at the CCC this year where she beat the women’s record.
All these girls will have to face up to two American uphill trail experts: Grayson Murphy (Team Saucony, USA), Mountain Running World Champion in 2019, is used to running on this type of terrain. As for Kim Dobson (Team BP Run CO, USA), at 38 years old she still holds the course record that she also won in 2018 and 2019!
And if all that wasn’t enough, this incredible field is completed with women such as Bailey Kowalczyk (Team Salomon, USA), Marcela Vasinova (Team Salomon, Czech Republic), Janelle Lincks (Team Inov-8, USA), who notably won the GTNS Final last year in the Azores, and Élise Poncet (Team Sidas X Matryx, France), second at the 4th stage in Norway last month.
The men’s field is stacked for this 5th stage. At the top of the list is THE ultimate uphill genius: Rémi Bonnet (Team Salomon/Red Bull, Switzerland). Winning Best Climber of the Golden Trail Championship in the Azores in 2020, the Swiss has just established the best ever performance on the vertical kilometre at La Fouly.
On paper, this 5th stage is just for him! But he needs to be wary of the likes of Ruy Ueda (Team Red Bull, Japan) who most notably finished 3rd at the Marathon du Mont-Blanc, and Anthony Felber (Team Sidas X Matryx, France), 8th at the Marathon du Mont-Blanc.
But the real unknown for these guys is Joseph Gray (Team Hoka One One, USA), he has won this race on multiple occasions (notably in 2019 and 2021), and ran an incredible 2h05 in 2016, the best time since 1995. Francesco Puppi (Team Nike Trail, Italy) will also be out there to perform. He had a complicated start to the season after an injury, winner of the final at El Hierro last year, he had to put up with 14th place at Sierre-Zinal this year.
We also need to watch what Bart Przedwojewski (Team Salomon, Poland) can do on this entirely uphill course. Known for his exceptional downhill skills, which he proved by finishing 3rd at Stranda.
The list continues with guys like Sam Hendry (Team Salomon, USA), Andy Wacker (Team Salomon, USA), Darren Thomas (Team Salomon, USA), winner of the GTNS Final at the Azores in 2021, and William Boffelli (Team Hoka One One/Crazy, Italy).
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