Running 13.32 miles doesn’t seem like much of a marathon, unless one realizes they’re struggling to breathe where trees can’t grow and it’s just the halfway point. Runners demand an edge in grueling conditions like these, which makes the Pikes Peak Marathon in Colorado on August 19, 2012, a perfect fit for one of its supporting sponsors: CW-X.

The marathon organizers refer to the race as “America’s Ultimate Challenge,” and it’s not difficult to see why: the first ten miles gain nearly 6,000 vertical feet on their way to 7,815 vertical feet at the peak. After this arduous task – organizers say most runners take 30 minutes or more just to cover one mile at 12,000+ feet peak altitude – competitors must turn around and run back down the mountain to the finish. “Lungs, heart and mind will be worn to a ragged nothingness,” warns the web site, www.pikespeakmarathon.org, and 30 degree swings in temperature are the norm.

“Some of the finest endurance athletes in the world wear CW-X in training and competition,” said John L.A. Wilson, president and COO of Wacoal Sports Science Corp. “We fully support racers and events that wish to push beyond the limits of average human performance.”

Now in its 57th running, the Pikes Peak Marathon began as a challenge between smokers and non-smokers, and is number three on the list of longest running U.S. marathons, behind Boston and Yonkers.

Logos courtesy of Blumenfeld and Assoc. PR

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