The Pikes Peak Marathon had a distinct international flair Sunday, a year after Coloradans swept the 26.6-mile trek.
No foreign runner was as good as Switzerland’s Maude Mathys, who set a new women’s course record despite a fall that marked up her hands, arms and legs. Her 4-hour, 2-minute and 41-second finish was nearly 13 minutes faster than Ridgway runner Megan Kimmel’s record time a year ago.
“It’s incredible,” Mathys said. “I hoped, but I know it was difficult, and I’m not used to the altitude.”
Mathys looked like she grew up high in the Swiss Alps with an Ascent of 2:29:03, which was exactly 13 minutes faster than Kimmel’s climb to the summit a year ago, and the second-fastest Ascent in women’s history.
“At the summit, I was happy to be faster than I thought,” she said.
She beat Norway’s Yngvild Kaspersen to the summit by 25 minutes and won the women’s race Sunday but nearly the same margin.
“I think she just went from the beginning,” Kaspersen said. “I didn’t expect to follow her today.”
Mathys’ only issues came just after the summit. About five minutes into her descent, Mathys took a tumble that ended up costing her about 30 seconds.
Internationals held down the top five spots in the women’s race. Sara Kadlec, of Boulder, took sixth in 4:45:44, and Colorado Springs native Sarah Guhl was seventh in 5:06:29. The Cheyenne Mountain alumna had hopes of finishing in less than five hours but hit her other goal.
“I wanted to also get top 10, but I knew there was a ton of international runners, so I was like ‘Maybe that’s unrealistic,’” Guhl said.
“The race went better than I thought.”