The rains came. Then they stopped. The sky cleared. What a great night for a run with friends!
As has become tradition, we opened up our home to as many runners as we could to cap off the training for the Leadville Trail 100. Runners gathered at our house throughout the evening. We had the grill going. We had “In The High County” on the TV. People were swapping advice and war stories. Runners meeting other runners. It was a great social scene. But we were here to do a job. So I got everyone organized and gave me pre-run briefing before shuttled all the runners about 4 miles to the Fish Hatchery to start our journey back to the warm house along the LT100 course.
It all starts with a nice kick in the teeth as you climb up Powerline relatively fresh and only thinking one thing — I have to do this same climb with 75+ miles on my feet in two weeks. Fuck me. But we persevered and the lead pack was at the top in about 60 minutes after leaving Fish. We regrouped and then started the colder and darker descent to the lake. I always find myself playing host and wanting to be sure that everyone has a great time and is safe. The runners are all adults but I don’t want to leave anybody behind. So I played sweep and bounced around at the back of the pack keeping tabs on things.
We came into Timberline trailhead to find our aid station rocking out to Prince. The beer was flowing. The mood was hopping. However, a bunch of folks took the opportunity to abbreviate their run by getting in the warm cars for a ride back. Never! I am always trying to get a good final long run out of this night no matter what. Time on my feet.
As I came around the lake, we had a lost runner calling me and calling back to my house. He ended up missing the CT turn. Oops. Ended up on the paved road and the crew picked him up in the car. I was trying to coordinate my version of search and rescue from my iPhone while passing through Mayqueen.
The run to Tabor is far too long at night. No bearings even though I know the trail. The lake is just too dark. Ugh. Finally got there and made my way around the lake with a few other runners in toe. The trail is so sketchy through there at night so I led. Felt good to be running through that section given I have NEVER ran it in the race. Maybe this time.
I picked up a another group near the Boulevard and led them back home. Got back at about 1 AM after starting at 8. 5 hours on my feet but never really working too much minus the Powerline startup. Everyone stayed up until about 2 AM eating and drinking and socializing. Plenty of questions about how this was going to go down in two weeks.
Thanks to George Zack and Rob Timko for manning the aid station at Timberline. We threw that in a couple years back and I think its a nice add to the event. Gives you a small break and chance to view the amazing star show that Leadville offers.
All photos here are from Rob Timko. Thanks Rob!
Thanks to my wife, Kim, for allowing me to open our home to a bunch of crazy stinky people who eat our food (that she makes!) and camp in yard! I couldn’t pull it off without her.
Appreciate everyone who came out to run! Hope it was a good experience. See you on the trail in 2 weeks. I feel ready. How about you?
I went 21.35 miles with an elevation gain of 2,367 feet in 04:37:35, which is an average pace of 13:00. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.