Road Race Stats - Marathons & Other Running Races

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Largest Net Elevation Gain Races

The 13.32 mile Pikes Peak Ascent is this Saturday and the Pikes Peak Marathon is Sunday. The Pikes Peak Ascent starts at an elevation of 6,295 feet. At the end, the elevation is 14,110 feet on top of Pikes Peak. That's a net elevation gain of 7,815 feet. According to Wikipedia the mountain is one of the 54 peaks in Colorado with a summit over 14,000 feet (known as Fourteener). California has 12 fourteeners and Washington State has 2. No peaks in the continental US are over 15,000 feet. The Pikes Peak Marathon on Sunday reaches the summit and then goes back down to a final elevation of 6,345 feet. The official site has more info, plus there's a good personal account of the race here.

Last year's winning Pikes Peak Ascent time for the men was 2:23:31. The winning women's time was 2:44:58. As a crude form of comparison, at the Indy half marathon last May, 42% of the finishers had times of over 2:30.

This had me wondering about other net elevation gain races. The Badwater Ultramarathon has a net elevation gain of 8640 feet (starts 280 feet below sealevel and ends at Mt. Whitney at 8360 feet above sealevel).

I found one that's even larger than both of these. It's the Mount Fuji Ascent in Japan. It's 13 miles with a net elevation gain of 9770 feet. I haven't found any English race results of this race. However, there are some race accounts and details here and here.

This Mt. Fuji race seems to be king of net elevation gains. I'm surprised there doesn't seem to be one on the Big Island of Hawaii. If you know of one that beats Mt. Fuji, please leave a comment.


  • well, if you add in the fact that pam reed and other badwater runners often add in the summit of mt. whitney, then you're looking at a net gain of 14780 (14498 + 282).

    By Blogger jeff, at 3:03 PM  

  • You can find a lot of stats related to the Mt. Fuji Race online. The following link relates the race held 22 July 2011.

    I took part in this race and just scraped in under the 4:30:00 summit time limit. The winning times this year were 2:27:41 and 3:10:45 for men and women respectively.

    Full race stats at this link -

    Top men runners: 1 - 500 (includes the foreign runners)
    Women runners: 3000 - 3500

    You can find finish times in previous races too. This year was the 64th race. There are also links to more English language information including a course map using Google Maps.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:37 PM  

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