Jim Heidelberg

Club Member Since 2/25/2001

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Jim Heidelberg - Coming off the summit in 3rd place..1989 Pikes Peak Marathon. Do I look fat?
Coming off the summit in 3rd place..1989 Pikes Peak Marathon. Do I look fat?








“Laugh, Love, and Live and if your kids want to dance with you ...DANCE!!”


City: Colorado Springs State: CO Country: U.S

Favorite Shoe: 1980 Nike Daybreak Size: 8.5

Age: 58.1 years old

Marital Status: Married

Family members:
Wife- Susan age 49
Son- Ryan age 18
Daughter- Kori age 16

What I do for work:
Surgical Nurse at The Orthopedic and Spine Center of Southern Colorado

Places I’ve called home and why I like where I am now:
I was born in Colorado Springs, love it but don't like the growth.
Guatemala in the Peace Corps 1982-83
Glenwood Springs, Colorado Mountain College 79-81
Carbondale, 81-82
Steamboat Springs, Winter of 86.

When I started running and what got me started:
In 1968 a long haired runner with a red bandana named Bob McAndrews (fellow incline club member) stopped by "Auntie's house" during a run down on Tejon street. I thought, "he's cool" and I've been stumbling along ever since. Amazing how one day, one encounter can change your life. Thanks Bob.

What does running mean to me:
Life. I see people in hospital beds who give up, never get out of the bed again. Gotta keep moving......
I couldn't run for 15 months due to hardware in my hip from a cycling accident. I never realized how much I would miss it.

Running accomplishments: View my Pikes Peak Ascent/Marathon results
In the Summer of 1990 I ran down the Cog Railway tracks, top to bottom in under 50 minutes (8.9 miles) racing a Cog train driven by my friend and fellow Cog Engineer Dan Tollefson. I beat the train by 15 minutes to the station in Manitou. This blew my foot fascia out and I was never the same. I get a little carried away at times.
I've ran sub 4 hours for the Pikes Peak Marathon a couple times and sub 2:30 for the Ascent. Now I'm old and slow, rats.
Won the Mt Evans Bike race in 1986 (category 3-4).
Climbed Mount McKinley in 1981. In 2011 I won the Elephant Rock 24 hour mountain bike race solo.
In 1986 I was 20th in "The World's Toughest Triathlon" in Lake Tahoe against some of the best in the world at that time. This was good for a little prize money so I erroneously spent the next 4 years of life trying to be a professional athlete. Should of went to med school.

What I like about trail/mountain running:
Solitude, freedom, joy. Spindrift on an alpine ridge at 13,000 feet in the winter. The magnificent alpine world.

Favorite running trail and why:
An alpine trail up Brown's pass under Mount Yale. Classic meadows, soft trail, scenery.

Favorite trail/mountain race and why:
Pikes Peak Marathon: The history of the race, the joy, sorrow, heartache, competition, camaraderie, terrible pain and challenge.

Best running experience:
The 1989 Pikes Peak Marathon (3:55:30), feeling in "the zone".

Worst running experience:
Running the winter series in Black Forest in the 80's. I was in the lead pack with some guy, "drafting" him because of a strong head wind. He turned around and threw me in the ditch, we both wrestled for a bit, threw a couple punches, then he blew up and dropped out. I guess he was having a bad day.
Also trying to "blood pack" by sleeping on the summit of the Peak during an amazing electrical storm. Being curled up on a foam pad as lightning blasted everywhere, not able to touch anything without being shocked, expecting any moment to be "gone".

Neatest thing found on a run:
I love Indian artifacts, found numerous arrowheads over the years.

Running related bathroom stop story:
During the 1986 "World's Toughest Triathlon" in Lake Tahoe. About mile 110 of the Bike, hypothermic during an icy mountain drizzle, loving the warmth of urinating on myself (can't stop, gotta keep moving). Don't worry though, 10 more miles on the bike then a 27 mile run in the rain rinsed me well.

Running pet peeves:
Dog owners who say "don't worry, he's not mean" then the dog bites you. Talking to.... or trying to pass someone with Ipod ears.

Something non running related that no one would guess about me:
I worked on the section crew and as an engineer for the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway for years. Nothing like changing railroad ties at 14,000 feet for a little "cross training". I used to work on the Incline when it was still a functioning cable car with a nice snack shop on top. It was nice to cut the first 3 miles off of Mt. Manitou and run to Barr camp after a relaxing Summer evening ride up the cable car. Ahh...the good old days.

Other hobbies and interests:
I'm more of a cyclist now than a runner due to injuries over the years, love the bike. Also love writing, playing the guitar and watching my kids grow up.

Other stuff:
I still have trouble accepting the fact that I can't run a sub four hour Pikes Peak Marathon or sub 2:30 ascent again. I did it before, why not now? Seems like another lifetime and another person ago, and I guess it was.
I broke my hip during the 2008 Leadville 100 MTB race. Spent 15 months with a titanium rod and lag screws in my leg. I returned to nice bike form but could not run due to the lack of flexibility of my femur from the metal rod. In Sept 2009 I had all the hardware removed from the hip. Started to slowly jog again then in 2010 I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. Every run seems harder now but I appreciate them more knowing time and health are passing quickly. In 2015 I tore my femoral vein cycling on Mt Almagre and came within minutes of bleeding to death. Thank you Flight for Life and Teller county sheriffs. In 2016 I broke my pelvis, acetabulum, five ribs and clavicle by yet another bike crash. That one hurt and running doesn't come easy now. I plan on "running" the Peak as long as I can and hopefully in 30 years you can spot me...I'll be the old man at the back of the pack on race day, violating social mores with no shirt on, way too short shorts, flowing grey chest hair, and a fresh colostomy bag glinting in the early Manitou sunrise.... realistically thinking, "next year I'm making a come back and I'll kick all your asses!".....and then, when I have gazed at the Peak my final time, my family will take my ashes and spread them on the summit so all the descendents of the cute, fat Marmots I inadvertantly ran over while I was an Engineer on the Cog Railway can finally piss on me.

Page last modified: 3/27/2017


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