Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon

Hiking Barr Trail to the summit of Pikes Peak certainly has it’s challenges for many who try. But what about racing to the top on foot, and/or turning around and running back to the bottom? That’s exactly what runners do during the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon in August of each year!

For the Pikes Peak Ascent, runners start in Memorial Park in Manitou Springs, join up with the Barr Trail just west of the Cog Railway and race to the summit of Pikes Peak. The Pikes Peak Marathon is double the fun – racers run up to the summit of Pikes Peak and then down the same trail to the finish line.

Initially started in 1956 as a competition between smokers and non-smokers, the Pikes Peak Marathon is the 3rd oldest marathon still being run in the United States.

Race Length

  • Ascent: 13.32 miles
  • Marathon: 26.21 miles


  • Manitou Springs: 6,300 feet above sea level
  • Summit of Pikes Peak: 14,115 feet above sea level
  • Difference: 7,815 feet
  • Average grade from bottom to top: 11%

Average Time to Complete

  • Ascent: 4 hours 22 minutes for men; 4 hours 50 minutes for women
  • Marathon: 7 hours 5 minutes for men; 7 hours 41 minutes for women