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Runners spring from the starting line in the 2017 Pikes Peak Ascent. (Bryan Oller photo)

MANITOU SPRINGS, Colo. – In the interest of fair play and clean sport, Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., has announced that it will conduct independent drug testing at its 2018 running races. Testing will begin on Sunday, June 10, at the 42nd running of the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile & 10K Run.

“We want to ensure the integrity of our races, as well as our iconic course records,” says Ron Ilgen, President of Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. “With the rapid growth of mountain running, along with providing substantial prize money awards, it is important to provide drug-free competition.”

Runners may also be tested at the Summer Roundup Half Marathon, the Barr Trail Mountain Race and the Pikes Peak Ascent. As part of the new Golden Trail Series, drug testing at the Pikes Peak Marathon will be provided by Salomon, race sponsor and Golden Trail Series organizer.

Racing clean has been a priority for Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., which in 2013 contracted with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to become one of the first mountain races to test for performance-enhancing drugs.

Costs for drug testing can be prohibitive, especially for mid-sized and smaller race organizations. Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. is fortunate to have forged a partnership with Any Lab Test Now, a Colorado Springs company, making it possible to host cleaner competitions.

“Ensuring that local events maintain the highest standards of fair play and healthy competition is of utmost importance to us,” says Amy Neary, owner of Any Lab Test Now.  “We are thrilled to be able to partner with Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., an organization with goals and a vision that match ours.”

Any Lab Test Now makes it easy for consumers and businesses alike to manage their health by providing direct access to clinical lab tests, paternity and other DNA family relationship tests, drug and alcohol and other toxicology testing services. The company provides the doctor's order free of charge, which saves time and money, and gives consumers a unique and previously unavailable experience.

The tests will look only for performance-enhancing drugs as outlined by USADA, and the results will be reported only to Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., and tested competitors. A positive test will result in race disqualification and a lifetime ban from all Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc., events. The decision to test has received positive feedback from the running community.

Elite runner and Barr Trail Mountain Race committee member Peter Maksimow said it’s important to take a stand in the name of clean competition, and to protect the integrity of mountain running.

“As an athlete, this gives me peace of mind that my performance and the performance of other competitors is honest,” he says. “As a race committee member, this protects the integrity and financial assets of our race. This should send a strong message to those that do not play by the rules.”

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