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This August we - the runners of Colorado Springs - will celebrate the 60th running of the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon.  Really, we are celebrating the awe-inspiring history of running in the Pikes Peak region and you, the thousands of runners that make our community unique.  Over these 60 years, we have played host to the first ever female marathoner, Arlene Piper, who will join us again this summer.  We have hosted the WMRA Long Distance Challenge, the Sky Runner World Series, and various USATF championships.  We have run through fires, floods, and snowstorms.  We have watched in awe as records are set and shattered.  We have witnessed individuals at all levels of the sport test their limits and succeed.  In our 60 years we have seen 51,683 runners cross the Ascent finish line at 14,115' and 23,367 runners make the return trip to finish the marathon in Manitou Springs for a total of more than 1.3 million miles and 550 million vertical feet run.

It's undeniable that running has changed dramatically over the past six decades.  For instance: the half marathon is quickly becoming the most popular race distance and over half of American runners are women.  We like to think that is a trend that started here on America's Mountain. And we no longer buy our shoes at the "dime store" as Arlene Piper tells us was once the norm, nor do we rely on drinking from the creeks for on-course water.  Without a doubt, Colorado Springs has grown into a trail running mecca - boasting hundreds upon hundreds of miles of trails, three specialty running stores, races every weekend, and running clubs that are a model for others nationwide. With this tremendous growth, however, one thing has remained the same - just look west.  Pikes Peak continues to dominate our horizon, and for many of us, our summer race calendar.

Join us as we celebrate all things running at the foot of Pikes Peak this year!  The opportunities to get involved abound: you can run the Ascent, Marathon, or Triple Crown (remember, registration opens on March 18th).  You can join our force of over 500 volunteers who make these world class events possible.  You can help area organizations, like RMFI and Friends of the Peak, maintain our trails and training grounds.  Or you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date with the excitement of another year spent running in Colorado Springs.

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