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With summer underway, I relocated up to Leadville to kick off summer training. I had planned to hit a lot of peaks but the extra snow pack kind of crushed my motivation. Plus, it was cool and rainy. However, as the days went on, the weather turned the corner. I had a few good runs and started feeling better. My family decided to come up and stay that weekend so I registered for the race just 3 days prior. It is one of my favorite’s so I figured I should get out there if not just to run with friends.
The race staff got Denver news coverage on the snow prep too!
I still remember the day when I got 8th in this race. Probably my best mountain run of all time. Not in that shape today but that was OK. We headed out at 8 AM and I took the climb easily. Even with the time at elevation, my lungs were not happy. I purposely did not medicate on this stay in Leadville to get a clean test. And it showed. Hacking on the ascent while running.
Once we hit the incline of the pass, I was able to start making up ground as the runners turned to hiking and my paces was greater than theirs. I was on the top of the pass in no time mentally. Said hi to Ken and turned tail back to town. The downhill is always glorious — if you train there.
With all the snow, the race staff had dug tunnels through the snow for us so it made things cozy but really fun. Made up lots of ground on that downhill picking off the folks that weren’t ready to downhill the big rocks. Was having fun. Started seeing my marathon buds and saying hi as they had a long way to go.
The roll back into town is always a grind. 4 miles of road downhill. The Hokas did well. Concentrated on keeping the knees up and the pace came in nicely. Got passed by one guy on the road but he had me easy. Wasn’t able to break 3 hours today but I was content with the finish.
Such a fun race. Start in town and run to the top of the mountain in the back of this photo, then return. How simple.
While I am not racing the Leadville 100 this year, the races there remain near and dear to me. I hope to return to the series one day.