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Runners offer positive reviews of drug testing ahead of Garden of the Gods races

June 9, 2018 Updated: June 11, 2018 at 12:08 pm
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Michael Weiss competes in the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run Sunday, June 11, 2017. Photo by James Wooldridge, The Gazette

The Garden of the Gods 10 Mile and 10K Run on Sunday will mark the first time Pikes Peak Marathon Inc. will conduct drug testing, and the move drew a positive response from competitive and recreational runners during Saturday’s pre-race packet pickup at Acacia Park.

Both Brian Glotzbach, who hopes to finish top five in his age division and add to his Colorado Runner magazine’s race series point total, and Brianna Tammaro, who plans to use the 10K to gear up for longer races, were aware of the implementation and offered few complaints.

“I think it’s good,” Glotzbach said. “I think any time you’ve got prize money on the line, you want to make sure you’ve got a clean race, so you don’t have cheaters come in and winning. Taking performance-enhancing drugs is cheating in my mind. I think it’s a good idea.”

Tim Bergsten, one of the Pikes Peak Marathon board of directors, said drug testing will be focused on the elite runners in the open races. U.S. Anti-Doping Agency guidelines will be used.

For Tammaro, a Texas native who works in “the Olympic movement,” drug testing is almost the norm.

“It’s something that’s not very strange for me,” she said. “I think that Colorado especially, running it just kinda takes on a whole new meaning and a lot of people are super competitive, so as long as we can maintain an equal playing field … if that constitutes drug testing, then sure.”

According to a Pikes Peak Marathon release, testing is possible at the Summer Roundup Half Marathon, Barr Trail Mountain Race and Pikes Peak Ascent. The Pikes Peak Marathon will have testing conducted by sponsor Salomon.

A positive test will bring a disqualification and lifetime ban.

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