Yvonne Carpenter, 47, finished Sunday’s Pikes Peak Marathon in 5:08. Her husband, the legendary Matt Carpenter, was at the finish line with a big hug and lots of congratulatory words for his wife.
Yvonne was very happy with her time, especially considering she’d taken two years off running before beginning to train for Pikes Peak.
“Matt reminded me, if you don’t run next year, you’ll have to qualify again,” she said. “So I got on the bike and started running with The Incline Club. It was hard, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Yvonne said beginning to run with The Incline Club was really the deciding factor in her getting back into marathon shape.
“The Incline Club has been a lot of fun,” she said. “You can measure you progress against the other runners. Club running was the key to me having a good race. You get used to chasing and being chased. You see people crash and burn, and you learn a lot.”
Another lesson Yvonne learned was the importance of keeping her ankles in good health.
“Back in March, I had four or five ankle sprains within a six-week period,” she said.” Matt said, ‘You can tape it all you want, but it won’t fix it.’ So I went to a podiatrist and learned some ankle-strengthening exercises. You keep a band attached to your foot and move your ankle in all directions to strengthen those muscles and ligaments. Once you’ve sprained it a few times, once you’re in that boat, you’re hosed. You have to make it stronger or stop running.”
Yvonne peeled off her shoes and socks to show the bright blue athletic tape covering her ankles and feet. “A lot of people don’t realize: This race hurts, and the downhill is worse. It’d be easier to go up twice than go up and back down.”
Matt Carpenter, the 12-time Pikes Peak Marathon champion, walked around the finish line area with a big smile on his face.
"I'm really proud of her," he said. "She worked really hard for this."