The announcement was made Saturday at USATF's annual meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla., where the national championship events in several distances were determined. Howard Nippert, vice chairperson of the USATF Mountain Ultra Trail Running Council, said the decision to add the Pikes Peak Marathon was unanimous.
"It's a different style of course for us with unique challenges,” he said. “It combines elevation and altitude with terrain variations from the fast start on the pavement to single-track terrain with rocks, scree, and dirt trails. Add to the mix the world-class field and you have the perfect event to host our 2013 USA Marathon Trail Championships. We're excited to see Pikes Peak join our lineup of events."
The race will also be a part of the USATF Trail Series (sub-ultra), which will include the 10K Trail Championship in North Carolina (Beech Mountain), the U.S. Mountain Championship in New Hampshire (Mt. Cranmore), and the Half Marathon Championship in Moab, Utah. Series runners will be scored in each race entered, with up to three results counting toward their series total.
The Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent have always been internationally famous, but the races garnered more attention in 2012 with additional prize money, including the $5,000 "Bounty" bonus. And the marathon drew the endorsement of 2012 winner Kilian Jornet, arguably the biggest name in mountain running, who said it is one of the top three mountain races in the world.
Pikes Peak Marathon, Inc. President Ron Ilgen said the USATF championship and Pikes Peak Marathon are a natural fit.
"We are proud to include a USATF championship to our history of providing international mountain running competition such as our World Mountain Running Association and World Skyrunning Federation events," Ilgen said. "This championship race adds to our tradition of having the Pikes Peak Marathon and Pikes Peak Ascent in the forefront of mountain running competition."
For more information on the Pikes Peak Marathon, visit http://www.pikespeakmarathon.org/