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Tim Parr has made his choice. The 28-year-old mountain runner plans to pull a double on Pikes Peak this year.
He’ll compete in the Pikes Peaks Ascent, the race he won in 2009 (2 hours, 12 minutes, 32 seconds), on Aug. 21, then come back the next morning to run the marathon.
“Pikes Peak, it’s grueling. It is tough. It is terribly wonderful,” Parr said.
Parr had a homecoming of sorts on Saturday, visiting the Boulder Running Company in Colorado Springs during the store’s Trail Running Extravaganza.
He graduated from Hilltop Baptist High School in 2000, winning state track championships in the 1,600 and 3,200 that year.
But his return to Pikes Peak this summer means he won’t have the chance to repeat as Leadville 100 champ. Both races are scheduled for the same weekend.
Pikes Peak or Leadville? He’s taking Pikes Peak for two reasons: cash prizes and Matt Carpenter. Parr didn’t throw down any challenges. He didn’t talk about how he’d like to defeat Carpenter, 10-time winner of the Pikes Peak Marathon. Parr just wants to get on the mountain and have a good time.
“Getting to race Matt, that will be fun,” he said.
He also wants to earn the cash bonus delivered to the runner with the quickest ascent time of the weekend, a time that can be set on either day.
“I like it that Matt beat my Ascent time by 28 seconds last year,” Parr said. “I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do against him.”
In that statement lives the truth about Tim Parr. He loves the challenges posed by mountains like Pikes Peak and runners like Carpenter. He’s chosen the trail over harder surfaces because trail running is difficult.
“I have always preferred trails. I’m better on them, they’re harder, I don’t like anything to be handed to me on a silver platter,” he said. “I like to be able to work for it.”
He had a great year in 2009 with victories at Imogene Pass, The Cheyenne Canyon Mountain Race, Grin and Bear It, the Sage Bruner 50K in Gunnison and the Run Through Time in Salida, plus his Pikes Peak and Leadville wins.

Check his blog http://www.timruns.com/ for more results, etc.
And he is off to a fast start this year with two big accomplishments: He and wife Lynette were recently married, and he repeated as the Salida Run Through Time Marathon champ on March 13.
Coming up this year, Parr has plans to run in the Miwok 100k Trail Race, May 1 near Sausalito, Calif., possibly the Western States Endurance Run June 26-27 at Squaw Valley, Calif., and the Mt. Washington Hill Climb in New Hampshire, which is a qualifier for the World Mountain Running Championships.

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If anybody can get the fastest ascent time at Pikes, it's probably you...or Matt. I still want to be third.


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