Less than two weeks after arriving in Colorado Springs for my new assignment to the AF Academy, and a week before the annual Pikes Peak Marathon, I had a go at the 13 mile Barr Trail.
Trail to Pikes Peak
Sam on Pikes Peak Trail
Beginning near the Cog Railway in Manitou Springs, the trail switchbacks steeply for the first 4 or 5 miles. I was on the trail by 5 AM, running up by moonlight.

After the initial climb, the trail levels off more or less as it passes Barr Camp. A ranger greeted me as I ran past.

Above timberline, over the last 3 miles, around 10 runners ran past on their way down. At first I was incredulous that so many had ascended before me. Soon I realized they had started from the top, apparently getting some altitude training before the next weekend's Pikes Peak Marathon race.
Pikes Peak

Manitou Springs After half an hour on top, I ran the entire way down, reaching my car before noon--just as the day really began to heat up.

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