Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Leadville: Part One

I've definitely been procrastinating, but it's about time for me to begin documenting the saga that was the 2009 Leadville 100.

The story begins with drunk rednecks in beat up old trucks, blaring their music and chopping down trees at 11:00 pm next to our campsite the night before the race.  It definitely pisses you off when you at least want sleep to be a REMOTE possibility the night before embarking on a 100 mile race. Ultimately, I don't think I lost consciousness once all night, but I truly doubt the presence of hillbillies had all that much to do with it.

At 2:30 the alarms went off and the thought that crossed my mind was, 'Why are we doing this, again?'

Fast forward to the race start: We had time for a few pics and saying 'hello's' to familiar faces, but before I knew it I was lining up at the start, saying my goodbyes (in case this dumb thing killed me) and running into the dark. As soon as we hit the first dirt section about a mile into the race(away from the street lamps) I began to really appreciate just how dark it was. There was no moon and very little starlight so you had to be very cautious with your footing even though we were just on a gravel road. By the 5-6 mile mark when we all hit the first section of legitimate trail, it became even more apparent of how treacherous single tracks can be in the dark, even with a headlamp. At times the shadows the headlamp casts create issues of their own as they skew your depth perception. I saw at least half a dozen falls and/or major trips that were barely saved within the first 30 minutes on the trail around Turquoise lake. Thankfully, I only had one near-fall... I was saving my big superman-esque dive for mile 38!

The time literally flew by, and before I knew it there was a faint enough light from the rising sun that the headlamp was no longer necessary. This was around 5:50am. By 5:55 I hit the paved road that takes you to the Mayqueen Campground aid station.

13.5 miles. 2 hours and 3 minutes. Still unscathed.

To be continued...

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