Fall means pumpkin spice everything, cooler temperatures and all the trail races. Canadians excelled in two of the world-renowned races that happened last weekend, with Squamish’s Nick Elson taking an extremely close third at Run Rabbit Run in Steamboat Springs, Colo., and Quebec’s Cédric Chavanne finishing second at the Barkley Fall Classic in Frozen Head State Park, Tennessee.
In Manitou, Colo. at Pike’s Peak Ascent and Marathon, a unique event that has been running for almost seven decades, the deepest field yet gathered for the annual race to the top.
Pike’s Peak Ascent
For the past 66 years, athletes have faced the same challenge: climb the requisite 2,382 metres (7,815 feet) to the finish line just below the Pike’s Peak summit at 4,282.4 metres (14,050 feet), faster than everyone else. The 21.4 km course up the well-known Barr Trail averages an 11 per cent grade.
Pike’s Peak Ascent and Marathon are part of the Golden Trail World Series, and was founded in 1956 when a Florida-based doctor, Arne Suominen, wrote a letter to the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce challenging cigarette smokers to race him up and down the mountain.
Pike’s Peak Ascent results
Rémi Bonnet 2:07:02
Daniel Osanz 2:08:42
Joseph Gray 2:09:13
You can see Pike’s Peak Ascent and Marathon full results here.
Run Rabbit Run
This Hardrock 100 qualifier is known for its beautiful climbs, along with having the most prize money of any ultratrail race–this year’s total purse was $75,000, and $15,000 went to each of its winners. Run Rabbit Run is non-profit, and has contributed more than $250,000 to local charities since it was started in 2007, mostly those serving the children of northern Colorado.
Renowned Canadian climber and ultrarunner Elson held second place briefly before being overtaken by Ohio’s Arlen Glick and finishing right on his heels. Ontario-based ultrarunner Reid Burrows finished eighth in 20:46:19.
Richard Lockwood 18:01:44
Arlen Glick 19:04:02
Nick Elson 19:12:06
Annie Hughes 21:26:00
Tara Dower 23:08:03
Mary Baughman 23:10:50
Barkley Fall Classic
The Barkley Fall Classic (BFC) is a 50K race designed by the legendary Lazarus Lake and intended to give runners a taste of what the infamous Barkley Marathons are all about. Not for the faint of heart (or legs), the BFC is known for its harsh cutoff times, strength-sapping climbs and strict rules–racers are not allowed to carry GPS devices with them, and the course changes yearly.
“Everything is arranged to play on the doubts and weaknesses that exist in all of us. The BFC’er must not only beat the course to finish, but they must conquer their own darkest fears,” the website boasts. Quebec ultrarunner Cédric Chavanne, 45, managed a remarkable second-place finish in his second race in Tenn.’s Frozen Head State Park.
Aaron Bradner 9:28:36
Cédric Chavanne 9:44:41
Luke Nelson 10:10:33 (fourth overall)
Andrea Larson 10:02:08 (third overall)
Jana Fridichova 10:50:48
Karen McNeany 10:56:16
You can see the full results of the 2022 BFC here