Kim Dobson Smashes Pikes Peak Record

Kim Dobson obliterated the Pikes Peak Ascent course record on Saturday. Photo: gazette.com

She netted a $5000 bonus for breaking the 31-year-old record.

From: Running USA

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. – Kim Dobson, 27, of Grand Junction, rewrote history Saturday at the Pikes Peak Ascent, finishing in 2 hours, 24 minutes, 59 seconds, crushing the women’s course record by an astounding 8:32.

“I was a bit surprised,” Dobson said following the 13.32 mile uphill race. “My training has gone well and all of my training runs are faster than last year, so I felt like if I had a good day I could take some time off of the record. I was thinking if I came in at 2:30 I would be happy – I was not expecting 2:25.”

Nobody was.

The previous record was 2:33:31 set by Lynn Bjorklund in 1981. Dobson barely missed the record in 2011 finishing in 2:34:04. Dobson and Bjorklund are the only women in race history to run under 2:35 for the Ascent.

With the win, Dobson also captured the new $5000 Ascent Bounty prize, given to the first woman to eclipse the 2:32 mark, and overall, she took home $8000. Race officials and fans gasped in disbelief as she approached the finish with her arms spread wide in celebration.

“That’s the most amazing thing I have seen besides Matt Carpenter’s many wins in my 18 years here,” said Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon race director Ron Ilgen. “To do what she did is phenomenal.”

Dobson’s time was fast enough for a sixth-place finish overall. She crossed the finish line a few steps in front of three-time Ascent champion Simon Gutierrez.

“I almost felt like I was in a dream honestly,” she said. “It was probably the most happy I have ever been after a race.”

First-time Ascent runner Ellie Keyser, 23, of Fort Collins, placed second in 2:38:13, a time that put her among the top-five fastest Ascent debuts in women’s race history. It was all the more impressive because she had mostly been training for road races.

The 2010 Ascent champion, Brandy Erholtz, 34, of Evergreen, clocked a 2:45:42 to finish third.

Erholtz will run for the U.S. Mountain Running Team at the World Championships in Italy in two weeks. It’s always tough to have two big races so close together.

Lisa Goldsmith and Amanda Ewing rounded out the top five for the women, crossing the line in 3:03:34 and 3:03:42 respectively.

For the men, Jason Delaney also felt the joy of victory. He already knew the pain of running the 2012 Pikes Peak Ascent all too well.

The Golden resident won the men’s race up America’s Mountain in 2 hours, 13 minutes, 19 seconds for his first victory in his third attempt.

“The third time really is the charm,” he said Saturday morning at the summit. “It was a brutal but wonderful race.”

Delaney, 32, who runs for the Boulder Running Company, was hoping to surpass his goal of 2 hours, 10 minutes as he reached Barr Camp, but had to stop for 15 seconds to stretch after his calves started cramping near the incline.

“I guess it was an adrenalin thing after that,” he said on soldiering through the pain. He held off acclaimed mountain racer Rickey Gates of San Francisco (2:15:42) who moved from sixth at Barr Camp into second by the summit, passing Colorado Springs’ Ryan Hafer near the A Frame.

“I was looking over my shoulder a lot,” Delaney said. “I knew Ryan is a very strong runner above the tree line. The adrenalin helped me hang on.”

Hafer, who has enjoyed a strong season, uncharacteristically struggled at the higher elevations as he approached the 14,115-foot summit. He finished third in 2:16:35.

Hafer, 26, and fourth-place finisher Sage Canaday, 26, of Boulder set a fast pace early. It proved to be a mistake for Canaday, a first-time competitor in the 13.32-mile Ascent.

“I pushed hard for the first 20 minutes and I couldn’t maintain it,” said the Oregon native who finished in 2:21:16 and moved to Boulder a month ago. “I didn’t respect the mountain. The last three miles, my whole body was hurting.”

Former Fountain Valley School standout Steven Stoot placed fifth in 2:22:48.

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