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Why Run Pikes Peak? by Roger Patrizio, Director of the CO Institute of Massage Therapy

It’s too easy to simply say, “Because it is there”.

But here are just a few reasons some may consider signing up for America’s Ultimate Challenge:

  1. The Challenge-- Almost 8,000 ft. elevation gain in 13.32 miles, double that for the marathon.
  2. The beauty of the trail as you climb into different ecozones.
  3. Being a part of a world class running event, competing with or following some of the greatest elite trail runners from around the world.
  4. Watching the interesting array of runner bodies. Have you seen those awesome, fit bodies out there?
  5. Listening in on the conversations, woes and joys of runners whether it be flatlanders, city or mountain folk.
  6. Setting a goal and working hard throughout the year to accomplish it.
  7. Some run for the cool apparel, accessories and fun colors of the running industry.
  8. Some run to win!
  9. Others run for personal bests.
  10. Some run for the T-shirts, prizes and swag.
  11. Some run for the rewarding feeling of a long shower or bath or for a massage after the race.
  12. We run to embrace each day, each moment, grateful for the ability to exercise and move my body.
  13. Running is a good excuse to think, dream, reflect and zone out.
  14. Completing the unique and challenging triple crown of running.
  15. Burning this many calories- eating and drinking a little more than you would or should!
  16. Running in the solitude and beauty of wherever you live or train.
  17. The countless hours of training with friends, training partners and running groups.
  18. We run for health and fitness.
  19. We run because we want to grow stronger.
  20. We run to set running goals meanwhile embracing the discipline required to overcome obstacles and challenges….like 14,000’ mountains.
  21. We run to represent health to those around us.
  22. We run because for today we can.
  23. We run and think of those who because of injury, sickness, limitations or death cannot run. We run because of and for them.
  24. We run to cover more scenic ground than we can walking.
  25. Some run because others can’t because of time or circumstances in their lives.
  26. We run Pike’s Peak because aside from being a monster challenge, we embrace the weather and conditions albeit hot and dry, cold and snowing, hail and/or muddy trails- you just never know what you’re going to get (Forrest Gump).
  27. Some run for a new beginning.
  28. Some run Pike’s Peak as a stepping stone to an even greater challenge.
  29. Some run Pikes Peak for the runners high during or after the race.
  30. Some run Pikes Peak for bragging rights over spouse, friends or co-workers.
  31. Some run Pikes Peak to see if they can. Can they qualify, stay healthy and make it to the start line and even get registered with the short window of time before it fills up?
  32. We run to give those dedicated boisterous volunteers someone to cheer for.
  33. We run Pikes Peak to show that ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things.
  34. Altitude, the challenge and exhilaration of high thin air especially for those who are not from a high-altitude city like Manitou Springs.
  35. We run to be alone in our thoughts amidst a thousand other adventurers.
  36. Some run Pikes Peak for the memories and stories to share later.
  37. We run Pikes Peak each year as a barometer of our fitness and aging.
  38. For many it has become tradition to run the Pikes Peak Ascent (and/or) Marathon.
  39. Locals run Pikes Peak because it is in our backyard and we see it each day, enticing us up onto its slopes.
  40. We run Pikes Peak because it sounded like a good idea…. when we signed up in March.
  41. We run Pikes Peak because our friends and family members decided to do it.
  42. We run up a mountain for the strength it builds in our bodies and minds.
  43. We run up a mountain because the city looks small and quiet from up there.
  44. We run up Pikes Peak to see the lakes, streams, valleys, forest and tundra wildflowers.
  45. We run Pikes Peak to tackle the infamous 16 Golden Stairs.
  46. We train on Pikes Peak and complete the 3,2, 1’s so we can say yes to a treat at the summit house afterwards.
  47. We run Pikes Peak in contrast to the tourists on the trains and autos standing in parkas and shivering on our mountain while we bask in smiles and shorts.
  48. We run Pikes Peak to let the world know we are alive, living life to the fullest, pushing our bodies beyond what we might have thought possible.
  49. We run Pikes Peak to cross the finish line up on the mountain or down below on Ruxton.
  50. OK, like any mountain, we run Pikes Peak, because it IS THERE!


If Roger isn't teaching the importance of massage to athletes, he's teaching at his massage therapy school in Colorado Springs, or is giving a massage or hiking the many trails with his friendly dog Scout. Roger has competed in the PPA or PPM for 32 years. Look for him at the Ascent this year.

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