Springs resident sets age-group record in Ascent

August 15, 2009

Ed Baxter listened to Matt Carpenter’s advice, and it helped him make history.

The 55-year-old Colorado Springs resident set an age-group record Saturday in the Pikes Peak Ascent, finishing in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 35 seconds after implementing Carpenter’s pace calculator for the Incline Club.

He broke Michael Donovan’s mark among 55- to 59-year-olds — established in 2007 — by 8:22 on the 13.32-mile course. Others setting age-group records were Keith Wood, 80, of Sultan, Wash., and Blondie Vucich, 60, of Vail.

“The pace calculator breaks the race down,” Baxter said. “I felt pretty strong the higher I got, so I pushed a little more in sections where it was flatter.”

Another close call
Gerald Romero got close again, but he still wasn’t close enough.

The top four Ascent finishers share a $2,000 purse, and Romero, 37, of Colorado Springs, took ninth in 2:32:59 — less than 9 minutes behind fourth-place finisher Zac Freudenburg. It was his fifth top-15 finish, his third in the top 10.

“I’m just a little off,” Romero said. “They’re just a few minutes out of my threshold.”

Runners were treated for dehydration, hypothermia and hypoxia but none suffered serious injuries, said Judy Aker, the race’s medical director. … Six-time Marathon winner Steve Gachupin was the honorary starter. … Race organizers spent $3,000 on summit tents.

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