Ortiz four-peats at Pikes Peak | VailDaily.com

Ortiz four-peats at Pikes Peak

Eagle’s Anita Ortiz certainly has made a name for herself at the Pikes Peak Ascent running race in Colorado Springs.Saturday, she ran into the first aid station of the race and asked a volunteer for some Gatorade.”There’s this old lady who says, ‘Now, Anita, you know we don’t have Gatorade at this race,'” Ortiz said. “It’s really neat because they know who I am now.”Ortiz definitely has made a name for herself down in the Springs, winning the Master’s division of Pikes Peak Ascent Saturday for a record fourth time in a row. And, she flew up Pikes Peak, a 13-mile ascent from 6,500 feet to 14,100 feet, in a record 2 hours, 44 minutes and 58 seconds.”It’s not the same once you get above the treeeline,” Ortiz said. “I don’t handle it well. I get a little buggy. I don’t think rationally. I think weird things like, ‘I’m going to lay down and sleep here.’ I don’t know. Maybe, I ran a more steady race this year. I went out slower so that I’d have more at the end.”Making this feat all the more amazing is that Ortiz ran the race with a fractured left hip. She injured herself at the Bolder Boulder on Memorial Day Weekend and was on the shelf until Aug. 1Normally, she trains for the Pikes Peak Ascent months in advance. In addition to her normal running, once a week Ortiz will get on the treadmill and amp the machine up to simulate Pikes Peak.Not this year.At the beginning of the month, she got the OK to run every other day and she trained on Vail Mountain, running up to Eagle’s Nest and taking the Eagle Bahn Gondola down – running downhill is still too painful.”I’m on a first name basis with the gondola guys,” Ortiz joked.Ortiz’s hip still hurts her, but she’s not letting it slow her down. She’s getting on a plane for two World Cup races in Italy during the next two weekends.And who knows? The way Ortiz has recovered, she might be on a first-name basis with the Italians by the end of her trip.Chris Freud is the sports editor of the Vail Daily. He can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 614, or via cfreud@vaildaily.com.Vail, Colorado

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