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Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon changes

MANITOU SPRINGS - To borrow a famous phrase from the world of theater: "The show must go on!"

That's a done deal at the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.

Though heavy rains and flooding have caused havoc in Manitou Springs, the famous Pikes Peak races will go as planned with the Ascent starting at 7 a.m. on Saturday and the Marathon at 7 a.m. Sunday. All course-related locations, start, finish, etc. will remain the same.

But there have been some changes to the race-week format.

"Our primary event locations, Memorial Park and Soda Springs Park were flooded and are unusable this year," said race director Ron Ilgen. "We've decided to go with the smallest event footprint we can in order to reduce impact to the city."

Here is a rundown, with more information in the schedule below.

The race Expo: Because of flooding in Memorial Park, the race Expo will see the biggest changes. All post-race celebrations, award ceremonies, speaker programs and the Kiwanis spaghetti dinners will be held in Memorial Hall, 606 Manitou Ave. in Manitou Springs. All other Expo activities have been canceled. There will be Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon merchandise for sale at Memorial Hall.

Packet Pick-up: Runners can get their packets, race numbers etc. at Seven Minute Springs Park, a short walk from Memorial Hall.

Press conference: A popular event with the media and public - which is invited to listen in - the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon press conference is set for 1 p.m. Friday at Memorial Hall. Several of the elite athletes in the race, as well as race officials, will be on hand to answer your questions.

Some potential topics of discussion: For the first year, the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon will conduct drug testing, with officials from the U.S. Anti Doping Agency testing some of the top male and female runners in both races.

Also, the Ascent Bounty prize money will provide big cash incentives for athletes who beat the "Bounty" times. In 2012, Kim Dobson won an additional $5,000 ($8,000 overall) for beating the pre-set Bounty time in the Pikes Peak Ascent.

Parking: Because of on-going flood cleanup efforts and activity near Memorial Hall, please park east of the race start line. There are good parking spaces at Manitou Springs High School and Middle School.

Press credentials: Friday is the best time to collect press credentials. Please stop by packet pick-up at Seven Minute Springs Park (ask for Abby Santurbane); or come to the press conference at 1 p.m. at Memorial Hall and pick up credentials from Tim Bergsten. There will be a limited number of summit car passes distributed.


Friday, Aug. 16

9 a.m. to 7 p.m.: Packet Pick-up (and press credentials) at the gazebo in Seven Minute Springs Park. Ascent and Marathon apparel for sale in Memorial Hall.

1 p.m.: Elite athlete press conference in Memorial Hall.

5-7 p.m.: Kiwanis Spaghetti Dinner, $12

6 p.m.: Featured Speaker: Bart Yasso, "Never Limit Where Running Can Take You," Memorial Hall.

6:45 p.m.: Questions, answers and race videos.

Saturday, Aug. 17

5:30-7:15 a.m.: Sweat check adjacent to start. Packet pickup (Ascent only) at Seven Minute Spring Park.

7 a.m.: Ascent First Wave Start, 600 block Manitou Ave., runners No. 1-1099 (Second Wave runners starting in the first wave will be disqualified.)

7:30 a.m.: Ascent Second Wave start. Runners No. 1100-2499.

 9:10-9:30 a.m.: Approximate time of first male and female finishers at summit.

11:45 a.m.: Approximate time that first shuttle bus with Ascent runners arrives back in Manitou Springs.

11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.: Post-Race Celebration, Memorial Hall.

5 p.m.: Awards presentation and speaker program at Memorial Hall.

(Ascent Finisher shirts will be distributed in the City Hall parking lot. Results will be posted in this location as well.)

Sunday, Aug. 18

5:30 a.m. to 6:45 a.m.: Sweat check at start. Packet pickup at gazebo in Seven Minute Springs Park.

7 a.m.: Race start, 600 block of Manitou Ave.

10:35 a.m.: Approximate time for first male finisher (finish line at the corner of Ruxton and Manitou Ave.)

11:40 a.m.: Approximate time for first female finisher.

Noon- 4 p.m. : Post-Race celebration at Memorial Hall.

3 p.m.: Awards presentation, Memorial Hall.

5 p.m.: Finish Line officially closes.

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