Sunday, June 15, 2014

2014 Mount Evans Ascent Race

Mount Evans' (14,264') summit from Summit Lake (12,850')

Ever since my father, Paul Torrence, told me about the horrible conditions (wind, freezing rain, snow, drastically dropping temperatures and lack of oxygen) he faced at this race years ago, I knew this was an event I had to try myself.  I finally remembered to enter the always sold out Mount Evans Ascent Race this past November.  I'd finally get my chance to test my mettle at "America's Highest Road Race" and bag another Colorado 14'er in the process.

The course as seen from the summit.

At 14,264 feet Mount Evans looms over the Colorado front range.  A one-of-a-kind paved road winds to within a quarter mile of its summit.  The Ascent Race starts near Echo Lake (10,600') and climbs nearly 4,000' in 14.5 miles.  On the way runners struggle for air, fight a variety of grades, and battle the weather of the day.  This year that would consist of sunny skies, but some tough (40 mph gusts) winds.

Read Nancy Hobbs' post-race report.  Full race results are here.

Thank you to good friend Carey Martin for providing these awesome photos.  Also must thank Emily Harrison, David Martin, Jana Gustman, and Mason Martin for their race day support.

Boulder Running Company's Andy Wacker would claim victory in 2014 in 1:44.

Nike's Zach Miller finishes third overall in 1:51

Marathon killer, Jeffery Eggleston, deviates from his usual terrain to finish 7th in 1:57.

Fellow Flagstaff runner Forrest Boughner finishes in 2:02.

Stevie Kremer, who has run under 2 hours for this event, finishes second in the women's race today in 2:07.

Jason Bryant finishes first in the 40-44 age division in 2:08.  The first runner from the east coast. 

Catching air where there is no air to catch.

The final steps in the chute and a 2:18 finishing time.

Looking down on the Chicago Lakes.

Summit Lake sits along mile 9 of the course.

Mount Evans' rugged summit slopes.

Race spectators donned their winter parkas.

The spoils of victory: my race bib, finishers medal, "A Rock" for finishing under 2:40, and a clay bowl for taking third in the 40-44 age division.