Pikes Peak Marathon Testing For Drugs

  • By Duncan Larkin
  • Published Mar. 15, 2013
  • Updated Mar. 15, 2013 at 2:20 PM UTC
The Pikes Peak Marathon will start drug testing its athletes at this year's race. Photo: Pikes Peak Sports

The top 10 finishers will be randomly screened.

Yesterday, organizers for the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent made an unprecedented decision: they will randomly conduct drug tests of the top 10 finishers.

According to a report posted on, no other U.S. trail running event is doing this.

“We are taking our races very serious as well,” said race director Ron Illgene, referring to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal that has rocked the cycling world. “We have some very famous records for our races, and when these records are broken, like they were last year, we want people to know they’re done legitimately.”

Lisa Rainsberger, a former winner of the Boston Marathon, is in favor of this practice. She was affected by doping when she finished fourth at the 1984 Olympic Trials Marathon; the third-place runner tested positive for drugs, but was still allowed to compete at the Games.

“It prevents people from even considering it,” Rainsberger said. So it’s a huge deterant. Plus, it levels the playing field. It means everyone in the race has the chance to be a winner, not a cheater.”

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Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin

Duncan Larkin is the news editor at and a freelance journalist who’s been covering the sport of running for over five years. He’s run 2:32 in the marathon and won the Himalayan 100-Mile Stage Race in 2007. His first running book, RUN SIMPLE, was released last July.

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