"I trained and slept in a hypoxia chamber for 20 days" – Swiss runner finally breaks impossible record on Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak
Swiss mountain runner finally breaks the "impossible record" on Pikes Peak (Image credit: Ronda Kimbrow Photography)

This weekend, Swiss mountain runner Remi Bonnet finally achieved what many before him have failed to do – he cracked the record for for the gruelling Pikes Peak Ascent.

The runner tells the Golden Trail Series he focused on high altitude training to prepare for the race, which entails 7,815 feet of vertical gain.

"I trained and slept in a hypoxia chamber for 20 days before coming here and today I suffered much less from the effects of altitude."

The Pikes Peak Ascent is a punishing 13.3 mile race that begins in Manitou Springs and ends at summit of Pikes Peak, a Colorado 14er at 14,115 feet above sea level. The previous record for the half marathon was set by Matt Carpenter all the way back in 1993, who finished in 2:01:06.

Carpenter has won six ascents and 12 marathons on the peak over the decades, and his dominance has largely been seen as unbeatable until Saturday, when Bonnet shaved 46 seconds off Carpenter's time finishing in 2:00:20, despite snowy conditions towards the summit.

"People thought it was impossible, but I did it and I’m really proud to show who the world’s best climber is! Now I need to come back and go under the 2-hour barrier!"

Bonnet is also a ski mountaineer and won the 2015 Skyrunner World Series in the Vertical Kilometer category.

Julia Clarke

Julia Clarke is a staff writer for Advnture.com and the author of the book Restorative Yoga for Beginners. She loves to explore mountains on foot, bike, skis and belay and then recover on the the yoga mat. Julia graduated with a degree in journalism in 2004 and spent eight years working as a radio presenter in Kansas City, Vermont, Boston and New York City before discovering the joys of the Rocky Mountains. She then detoured west to Colorado and enjoyed 11 years teaching yoga in Vail before returning to her hometown of Glasgow, Scotland in 2020 to focus on family and writing.