Mt. Evans Ascent Road Race: 3,664 Feet of Climbing

Remember those days before social media existed? When you only had your real-life friends to convince you to try stupid things? These days, my number of “friends” is infinitely higher than it was ten years ago. Obviously, there are tons of benefits that come along with this, but more so, tons more opportunities for peer pressure!

Which leads me to my point…

I registered for the 2014 Mt. Evans Ascent!

It all started last year after reading Heidi, Lynne and Paula’s recaps of the 2013 race. Prior to that, I’d only viewed Mt. Evans in terms of a hiking conquest on my 14er list. You see, Mt. Evans is one of Colorado’s 53 peaks that is over 14,000 feet. Y’all have heard my tales of hiking these mountains, and Evans was crossed of my list many years ago. In fact, I think I have summited it four times now. However, I have never considered trying to run to the top!

Mt. Evans Ascent

I totally stole this photo from Heidi’s blog post. Just saying.

The catch with Evans is that it conveniently flaunts the highest paved road in North America. On past hiking trips, I hated this fact since you struggle your way to the summit only to find buses full of tourists, looking fresh and clean in their heels and cute outfits! However, this paved road is what makes this road race a possibility.

In essence, the run starts at 10,600 feet at Echo Lake. The lake itself is beautiful and is one of my favorite memories from childhood. Not only do I still frequently snowshoe in this area, but it’s also the same lake where my parents used to take us ice skating as kids. My sister and I vividly remember my dad skating to the middle of the lake while we waited on shore, awaiting his cue that signaled the ice was safe enough for playtime.

How’s that for a random tangent?!

Anyway, after leaving the lake, the road heads immediately uphill towards the summit. I could go into tons of details, but they really don’t matter. The bottom line is this: the Mt. Evans Ascent course begins climbing at the lake and continues for 14.5 miles until it reaches the summit at 14,264 feet!


The kicker with this course is its double whammy factor: not only are you climbing a ton, but you are also doing all of it above 10k feet! Again, I’ve spent tons of time at high altitude and tend to do very well above 12,000 feet, but this whole running thing will be new to me. Not quite sure what to expect!

In terms of training, I have absolutely no idea what to do. Just do all of my runs while climbing up the side of mountains? Do wind sprints through the neighborhood with a clothespin on my nose to simulate the lack of oxygen?!


Seriously, training tips?!!



  • Reply eric at

    get your vo2 max as high as possible – intervals – sprints – and yes – climb mountains 🙂

  • Reply Logan @ Mountains and Miles at

    Hill repeats with a snorkel?

    • Reply heather at

      Haha nice 🙂

  • Reply Kayla at

    Yikes! That sounds hard! Good luck with that! Better run with an O2 bottle for support….haha

  • Reply Paula at

    Yay! You will love it! It was so so beautiful.

    As for training, normal half-marathon training with 2-3 hill workouts a week and you’ll be set!

    • Reply heather at

      You’re also the girl who ran Pikes Peak for fun…not sure I believe you 🙂

  • Reply Amanda @runtothefinish at

    wow that looks…hard as hell and I”m sure gorgeous!!

  • Reply Ja @Ja on the RUN at

    Woah!!! The view looks sooo pretty! 🙂

  • Reply Heidi @BananaBuzzbomb at

    You may be scared but let’s face it, you’re going to do awesome =)

  • Reply Christine @ Love, Life, Surf at

    OMG Amazing. I agree with Heidi – you are going to do awesome.

  • Reply Alyssa at

    Wow. That is insane (even though you told me about it I’m lazy and your version is much easier to read than checking out the website). No clue how to train. Run up a mountain every day? I think it will be a cool event though! Seriously, peer pressure is terrible.

  • Reply Doug at

    Whatever you do, keep it fun. Maybe add one day of hills to your regular routine, but make that fun (or at least interesting) too. I’m planning to do the Manitou Incline, once a week, and in Castle Rock, Rock Park has a nice 1 mile loop (250ish feet elevation gain) that I am considering doing laps on.

  • Reply Brian at

    Glad I’m not the only crazy one. At least you won’t be last cause I’m pretty sure I’ve got that locked up! 🙂

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