Leadville 100 qualifiers - practical solution
How much does it cost to run the Leadville 100?
takes place, the GROUP NAME will be the name entered in the drawing. If the group name is selected, every member of the group will be accepted and automatically charged the 0 registration fee (100MTB) + applicable processing fees, or 5 registration fee (100 Run) + applicable processing fees.
That is, I climb over 13,000 feet in the middle of the night. My partner Kevin here is about 70 miles into the Hardrock 100, one of the toughest ultramarathons in the world, with a cumulative 33,000 feet of elevation gain in the rugged San Juan Mountains of Colorado. I met him about 14 miles ago in Ouray as his pacemaker, to guide him through the night and bring him safely to his destination.
But maybe I've made some progress here - let's go back to when this whole adventure began. I had left Vancouver about a week earlier on a road trip to Colorado with Salomon athlete Gary Robbins. We picked Kevin up en route near Mount Vernon and continued on our way, covering the 22 hour drive over about 31 hours and camping at a rest stop outside of Price, Utah, we are on our way to Hardrock .
We're almost in Ouray right now, and then we're on to Silverton. Yeah, we just got over the Ridgeway which is just under 2,600 feet and we're going up to Ouray right now at 9k and then to Silverto n at 10 km. Just over those mountains on our right is Telluride and that's 9.5k and what I've learned from many conversations with a lot of people over the last few years is that too many people come up and they stay up and they don't come out and take a rest yourself low.
You want to be around 2,000 feet or lower at night when you are resting and relaxing, and you want to train high. It's not ideal because then you'll be driving your car every day to get your workout done. You want your best chance of success, it sleeps soundly and trains high.
And at some point, if I ever get into this race, my intent is to come early, stay low in this area, go to Ouray and Telluride for the day and then for a couple of weeks to properly acclimate and allowing my body to rest and recover every night. We have just officially eclipsed 10,000 feet and I can feel it in the truck too. The truck is like 'I've never been this high'.
Hard rock is a 100 mile looping course. Every year the race changes direction, this year the race is counterclockwise, drives through the ghost town of Sherman and the cities of Ouray and Telluride, crosses 13 large passes, mostly between 12,000 - 13,000 ', the highest is the 14,000' summit des Handies Peak before returning to Silverton. The average finisher here is 40 to 44 hours and everything you will go through at an average 100 miles will only increase in size.
You're out in the elements a lot longer than in a race like Western States or Leadville or something. It may only be hours before you can come to a refreshment station to deal with it. It's hard rock.
Welcome to the 22nd edition of the Hardrock 100! Our youngest, Kevin Douglas. There are many dangers out there. The most important of these is probably lightning.
It's wet, it's cold It's not like the last couple of years that you've been up here. I'm trying to conceptualize it. I tell them, 'What you are doing is walk from sea level to the top of Mount Everest and back about 2 miles above sea level.' Okay, so here we are, day two in Silverton.
I'm preparing for a run here; I'll be going out to run the last 10 miles or so of the route with Gary Robbins. I think we will go back up to about 10 miles from Kilian, no problem. Hard rock really is the best place in the world, I would say for any true fan of ultra running.
We drove up to Grant Swamp Pass yesterday and I was expecting there to be a little more snow. And everyone I've spoken to said this is a high? Snow year what it is. But the last 9 days have been very mild when the sun is shining very warm - and then it rains.
It also rains a lot. - Yes. When we got up there yesterday there was a lot less than we expected and we posted a picture and people were commenting and saying they couldn't believe how much less snow there was than 9 days ago. - Yes.
Because you expected a little more too. - Yes, I've seen Anna Frost's pictures over the past two or three weeks. And it was like, 'Wow, that's all the course.' And yesterday was in one of the highest passes.
Well, you actually brought your Skimo gear with you, didn't you? Yes! I thought I would do it that way. Here we go! - 13,000 feet, here we come! The Grant Swamp Pass is behind this ridge in the clouds and you come down and you can see the path on the opposite side of the valley. You descend this path directly into the pool and then back up the ascent that we are currently doing.
It's just amazing out here. How was it? - I'm awake. This will definitely wake you up at mile 98.
Around that cliff and down to Silverton. That's it. Are you ready? Go slow huh? You want to be awake and a lot happier than your runner is at this point, and you want to know that even though they 'It's just as hard to run 100 miles, run 20, 30 miles.
So show up on time, take a break, have something to eat and take to the track and sit in the front row for the most exciting 100 miles out there. So this is our third day in Silverton and it has been pretty busy in town, I'm just about to get my things ready, I'm going to walk Kevin up and down tomorrow and fill in at Ou ray who is just halfway there. Take him for the last 46 or 47 miles.
And even half of this course is no joke so I just double and triple check all my equipment. I use sticks that I don't usually do a hardshell for sure. There are definitely a few extra considerations on a course like this with the rain we're going to have.
Less than 12 hours to start. I'm going to blow the bag in about 2 hours and wake up about 4 or 4:30 am and go to the start and start at 6 am. I did the training.
I feel well rested. I just wasn't up high. So slow and stable in this race even more than almost any other 100.
It will make us proud. It's a big endeavor for everyone and I think if you are willing to accept this fact, your day will be a little better. Smile and have fun out there and be ready to have a long day.
When the morning of the race finally came, 152 runners would hit the line, most for the second time, many for the fifth, tenth, and even twenty-first, going to take an average of over 41 hours to complete thanks to the height and difficulty of the terrain, including scree slopes , Snow blankets, scree fields, and river crossings. That means the sun sets twice before you finish it. I'd spend the day with some friends for the hard rock legend and 9-time finisher Billy Simpson Were crewing.
On our way between the refreshment stations while I waited to accompany Kevin on the way. We just drove to Cunningham, the first aid station. It's so great you see the runners coming down switchbacks.
You can hear people hooting and yelling. This is one of the most amazing places in the world. There are a couple of runners, probably within 10 meters of each other.
One is all the way in White and one in dark blue. Adam I was hoping to get through here by 7:45 am to 8:00 am. I've seen someone dressed mostly in black so I hope he will be.
He sort of prepackaged everything. We're just going to refill the bottles. Later in the day, maybe make some warm liquids.
And then we have 3 Pacers for him tonight and into the morning. So pretty exciting. The cloud doesn't let us see at all - oh, there are a few more people up there.
It would be unusual for Kilian not to do really well today. I would expect him to try and obviously win this. I'm a bit biased so I hope Adam is up.
And then maybe Mike Foote. I don't know, we'll see. Whoo! Adam! Adam definitely seems to be firing up all cylinders this morning.
He has no qualms about pulling it out, he's in the lead with Kilian. It's pretty impressive, yes. Adam is definitely feeling fit and he knows the track so that's good so.
I am happy to see him at the front. How does it feel so far? Are the legs okay? Not bad. Actually, I was walking, jogging downhill there.
We were on the saddle before American Basin and a couple of lightning bolts hit some of the peaks in the distance and they looked like they were coming towards us The way we are, we stripped off and got out before it got ugly. But the sun was coming out now so it blew by and it looked like everyone was fine. This jacket is now completely useless because it is wet.
When we got to the top, there was sideways hail. The legs are actually fantastic. - It's good.
That's it. It's the altitude. Okay, so it's around midnight Friday night.
I'm about to pick up the pace. Kevinhe should be here in Ouray anytime within the next half hour or so. I've slept about 20 minutes since I got there at 4 a.m.
Got up I'm a little tired, but obviously not nearly as tired as Kevin, so I just have to collect myself and try to get him through the night. So that gets us going again and back up this mountain. We mountain now faced the challenge of climbing the pass to the famous Kroger's Canteen.
Kevin had started fairly conservatively and coped well with the altitude and we started to overtake some runners. But as he got more and more tired, it was my job to make sure he was up to date on his diet and hydration. The sun rose over Telluride and with that we both got a second wind.
I had managed to get a GPS file from last year's race which we ended up relying on pretty heavily via Oscar's Pass. Some of the lead runners apparently wasted quite a bit of time routing here during the night. Thunderstorms loomed that we hoped would pass before our next big climb.
We waited for a heavy rain shower at Champman-Gulchaid station, and the clouds finally lifted as we drove on to Grant Swamp Pass, where we were treated to some of our most incredible views yet. We managed to catch up with some friendly faces, and together we battled the last big climb that Gary and I ran on just a few days ago. Exhausted but delighted, the four of us stumbled the last few miles back to Silverton.
That has to go on Facebook. James Varner. We're bringing Kevin Douglas upstairs.
Kevin is our youngest finisher this year. The next day, while Kevin was recovering, I took the opportunity to review some of the routes that I had missed. I had my own big race which happened to be a hard rock qualifier I just hope to get my turn on hard rock sooner than later.
But that will be a completely different story.
How long does it take to run the Leadville 100?
First run in 1983, the race course climbs and descends 15,600 feet (4,800 m), with elevations ranging from 9,200 to 12,620 feet (2,8003,850 m). In most years, fewer than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit.
(Fire crackles) (owl howl) (wood creaks) - I'm here in Leadville, Colorado to see if an inexperienced mountain bike marathon racer can compete in one of the toughest mountain bike marathon races in the world: the Leadville 100. ( energetic music) (cow bells ringing) - To make the race even more interesting, I'm competing against the experience of two-time Leadville veteran Walter Summers, who knows all the ups, downs, bends and twists of the track. Walter is also a Garmin test driver.
Should I measure myself against Walter's experience? Well, I teamed up with Garmin and they fitted me with their new Edge 830 device that will help coach me through the epic. I can use the future of the Climb Pro to educate Meon on the climbs and climbs ahead of me, I can even set food and drink notifications to make sure I stay on top of things even while refueling. All I have to do is follow the course and pedal and let the Garmin handle the intricacies.
Anyway that's the plan why me? Well, I grew up riding and racing for years on the road I heard about all of these great mountain bike events that I wanted to attend, but since I had a full training and racing schedule to stick to, I could only go through those Read magazines and on the internet. One of the big events that catches my eye is the Leadville 100, a 105-mile mountain bike marathon in Colorado. Now, in my 26th year, I finally have my chance to compete in a mountain bike marathon for the first time.
And I'm not going to lie if Blake and Neil asked if I was interested. I couldn't have said yes fast enough. - I mean, everyone has heard of the Leadville Trail 100, which is known to be the most famous mountain bike race in the world. - Leadville is courage, courage and determination.
I lift my head and look around because it really is breathtaking terrain to ride your bike through - there is very little that is neither up nor down all these pe people came to this race in this tiny one small mountain town in the middle of Colorado. - The registration limit is around 1,800 or a few hundred or so will get cold feet and get chickens off the starting line. The tank is empty, you have to dig deep, you have to do exactly what the Leadville miners did 150 years ago: Dig deep. (energetic music) - Garmin didn't want me to run away with the rights of bragging rights without them putting up a decent fight.
But unlike me, Walter didn't come alone. He came armed with his fellow drivers from Garmin HQ in Kansas City: Jordan and Andrew. The first few miles are actually paved and it's on the first stretch of earth where the route narrows and begins to climb Columbine.
It was tough until then, but less than an hour and 25 minutes with an average incline of 8%. The way back the event is surprisingly much more difficult than the way out. Some say the race doesn't start before the top of the race up the mountain.
The toughest part of the entire eventis power lines on the return journey. Gradients of up to almost 40% on the lower slopes overall somewhat More than 3 miles uphill with 7% average incline. From here to the finish you can really find your groove and push hard for a bit of time.
The route only slows down when you climb the last incline in Leadville and cross the line. A total of 105 miles, 4000 meters of altitude and all run at over 2,800 meters of altitude. Now I could stand here and tell you all about the Leadville 100, but I've never driven it so we thought it would be a better idea to chat with the founder and one of the most famous names in the history of the race - there is very little that doesn't go up or down.- It's the headwaters of the Arkansas River, so we're right between two mountain ranges.
The Sawatch Range in the west, the Mosquito Range in the east and Leadville is right up there in this high valley - there are many things that are special to Leadville. 1) You put the height above the tree line in such breathtaking terrain, breathtaking. The other is, it's really a huge gathering of the cycling tribe.
You know, I've never done a mountain bike race with thousands of people, all on the same track, everyone just wanted to be out there and ride their hearts out. For me, the first year it really felt like the Tour de France of mountain biking. It was crazy how screaming fans and you never see that in mountain bike races This small town atmosphere of hospitality and the locals greet you and everyone and only appreciate the mountains and the beauty of this place, but the people are really special too. - I was an underground shift manager at the Climax mine, great job god I loved that job A gear stick turned the whole gear on, ready to go underground and the mine manager called and said, 'Come on up, we meet. ' Went to the mine office and he said, 'We're closing the mine.
Go back, tell your crews to go home. Your union We will contact you tomorrow and we will contact you. It's over.' Overnight we became the highest unemployment rate in the country - it's our family.
The athletes who come here are part of our family - When we started it was - and it was from day one - because our community hurt so much that it was all about what we could give, not what we were could get. And that's what we've been saying all these years. We still do.
Because it has grown that way, it gives us the ability to give more. One of the great things about the Leadville 100 is its height. It starts at 2,800 meters and goes up to 3,800 meters.
This is not the case where we live in the west of England. We're basically at sea level, so we're going to take a gentle ride out on the wheels for a couple of hours to get you used to the altitude a little. Ideally, you would have done this three weeks ago, but do you know what can you do? (living techno music) - We had a real one on the hill side of Breckenridge.
A few final adjustments to the bike and a few hard efforts to prepare for tomorrow's race. Right, we are d We are currently at the start. It's about 25 minutes from where we are.
There is a little more traffic today than it used to be, but we have the largest vehicle in the world, a big suburb, so we can just push people out of the way, don't think we'll have problems getting into town. This is Leadville, starting line in Leadville. Not the start line, 100 meters from the start line.
Fill my pockets with all of my food I have everything else I need. Try to find a place where you have a little alley thing. And make sure I have it all.
That's the most important. That'll be most of the people I've ever faced at once. Usually there are 200 people in a bike race and what is it? 2,000 people here today? So ten times as big, unless it's not just ten times as big, but a hundred times as big.
It's the biggest and most famous mountain bike cross-country race there is - no sign of Chris. We think he freaked out. - Yeah, could be a no show. - He could be, he could have been too scared.
Quite possible. - Yeah, we think Mr. Opie is going crazy.
We're all looking for him, but we don't see him - Right, that's it, we're going. We will actually go. Okay, pick up a carnage.
Have fun.- It's pretty nerve-wracking from the start. 1,700 and more riders dismounting and trying to fight for position.
We talked about it early on and pretty much came to the conclusion that all runs should be played fairly safely. And that also applies to the beginning. You know, there is no worse place to fall than to start a bike race. especially when you're rocking down the mountain with 500 riders behind you - I'm overtaking 700 people, 800 people - (mumbles) and I'm very happy with it - probably before we reached the first gravel sector, most of them because I was in my element It was like a road rider but on a mountain bike.
Big handlebars to fit through these tiny gaps really enjoyed this. It was a bit of a challenge. Being the three of us out there was really nice.
That was really fun, like I mentioned earlier, Jordan is a pretty fast roadie and whenever we hit a big, tough, flat stretch of road we were like 'everyone forgot to bring their Jordanout' you know, because he did just come forward and tear it up for us. (intoxicating music) So I hunted pretty hard for the first two hours trying to find Walter, Andrew and Jordan, and I just got to the point where I thought, 'I feel like I should have caught them by now.' This is my ego from years past, but I just felt like I had ridden really pretty hard for those two hours and had to slack off a bit.
I had kind of noticed that I was having a harder time than I expected. From then on it got really difficult. T he Power Lines descent was probably, aside from the guy who switched, tried to cross in front of me and then got upset with me, it was the best descent of the day.
Just because it was 80 - what 82.8 km per hour I was doing? down there. Considering you're riding like marble pebbles, it's an average of 12%, but the inclines are like 27% or more, and when you hit your brakes, you're just going to lock your tires, and there are all those little kickers too.
So you actually get a little bit of air. That was the highlight of the day. (funky music) So actually something that really got me through the day was that little feature I used on the Garmin that told me how far I was on the next climb, how long the next climb was, how high the slope was.
The only thing that didn't tell me was what the surface was made of. So I think everyone before the event had kind of made it sound very gentle and you know, just gravel, but it wasn't gravel. They were just stony and rooty and it was jagged.
It is getting terribly dark. I think driving with my pals was a big part of it. Honestly, the darkest part of it is when I'm behind their wheels and now I like to peg it, to just sit behind Andrew, sit behind Jordan.
I thought, 'These guys are so strong.' That was probably, frankly, the hardest part. Then I'd get my second wind and say, 'Now it's time for me to do something.' , it never got super, super dark.
Honestly, it was like we were going uphill and you were going to turn and it was like a wall and you're like 'Ugh'. So it was a very temporary darkness I would get up and get back on the bike and ride on. So I'd say it was a bit gray for most of the day - the worst part of my day it was Columbine Mountain that was where I really started to struggle with altitude.
Somewhere between 3,000-3,200 I realized that that was my limit and all above, I was in a dark place. I didn't think I'd get out and go to be honest, but Fe otherwise fine. At the moment, anything but pedaling feels good.
I'm being overtaken by a lot of guys again. Do not think too much to say that I am suffering more than ever. I just massively underestimated it.
So I'm nowhere near my seven-hour goal, but it turns out that was probably a little silly anyway. I'm just before eight hours. I was in a really dark place until a friendly competitor came by and said, 'Look, it's just the altitude that makes you suffer, once you're back down you'll feel better.' Your mind gets mixed up and you get dizzy You can barely see anything.
Put your glasses on, take your glasses off, it doesn't matter. There is no oxygen in your brain. Lots of guys cheered everyone.
Quite a few people recognize the jersey which, considering you guys don't wear lycra on the canal that much, was pretty cool to hear. And I had the worst arm pump in my life. So, I was on the descent behind someone who wasn't that faston Columbine, which means you hit the brakes all the time, obviously 34 PSI in the tires and the dampers are pretty much inflated.
My hands were claws and finally I said, 'Can I just drive by?' And once you let go of the brakes, everything then disappears because you're not trying to push us and slow us down. (funky music) (ringing cowbells) - We had to - we bit off a bit at Pipeline our SAG crew wasn't there or we couldn't find them so we all went in for the last three hours with a water bottle and, you know, more sugar. We'd all packed some hearty things away, we were pretty excited, and not having that was kind of a shame, so try to avoid the fact that we only had that one water bottle.
That last long stretch was kind of the hiccups, then we got over it.- I think Power Line was the toughest climb. I think Power Line is actually the toughest climb in the world - I remember when we approached the Power Line thinking, 'I'm feeling pretty tired right now.' - Until you see it, you don't realize how steep it is and how relentless it is. - So- We all got a kick out of it and watched Jordan drive away from us.
I think I made it about 7/10 of the climb. I looked back to see if Andrew was behind me for what he was, but it was enough for me I had to slide out my front wheel and we had to hike the last bit of it. It was so hard. - Suffering as if I had never suffered.
It's just like that. (laborious music) - I was thrilled that I did this nine hour break. It was so exciting to walk in and know that I did just as well.
And the whole crowd is there, everyone is cheering for you. They said my name over the speaker, 'Jordan Miller from Garmin' It was surreal, these last 10km were everything. That was me in my zone, it was like driving a road race, you have a break or a time trial.
I've got aero, I've been going fast and I've squashed it, I've got so much left too. It was a special moment - I had a little sprint at the end, because when you cross the finish line with another driver, you can just, good for the beginning, hear gear changing bu Then the pace increases. Everyone wants to look strong in the end, right? Because people watch there.
And you can just tell what would happen. It's one of those things, you get dropped in a bike race and everyone just pedals a little harder to get over the finish line so that their team managers feel like they haven't just sat up and driven in. Stupid, really, like it doesn't mean anything.
But that meant something because it was a real sprint pretty much fun. Toughest bike race. Toughest bike ride.
Toughest I've ever done on a bike. - Coming back next year, support team? - I want to relax first before I go make a bold statement, I think it would be really cool to come back and see if you can put into practice everything you've learned this week. That would be cool.
And the result, who was actually the fastest, the Leadville newbie or the veteran? Walter finished the race in nine hours, seven minutes and one second and I'm happy to say that I did it in eight hours, 14 minutes of tests and 12 seconds. About 53 minutes faster. But most importantly, I was under nine hours, which means I got one of those big, shiny finisher belts.
So it's the morning after Leadville. After one night, I woke up feeling really bad, to be honest. But we made it back to the starting town because they handed out belt buckles to all finishers the day after the event.
If you're done under nine hours, you get a big one, and you can see Walter, Jordan, and Andrew all of their own. Now it's my turn to go in and find mine. (bizarre music) (slurred voice through microphone) (applause) - We're on a huge cue, it's a bit like we were standing in line yesterday morning to get your belt buckles - that's for --- cute! Thank you, cheers! Got new toys, so I made it out of the hallway, where I put my finisher jacket with my old nickname Speedy Opie on it and my finishing time.
But more importantly, something that will look pretty cool in the dirt shed hopefully assuming they let me know. It's the buckle of my finisher. Look at the size of the thing! See you get the big one when you go under Finished nine hours and I did it.
How hard is Leadville 100 MTB?
Hard. You just never really settle in or get in a rhythm. Physically, the hardest part was the climb at mile 50. Right in the middle of that hundred-mile effort, from miles 42-51, is where you climb from 9,200 to 12,300 feet.
How technical is Leadville 100 MTB?
How do I join Leadville 100?
Registration for the Leadville Trail 100 must be completed and paid for immediately. For the 2021 Qualifiers, riders may elect to race in the Leadville Trail 100 for 2021 or defer until 2022. Registration will happen onsite for either year and payment will be assessed for 2021 or 2022.
What is the cutoff for the Leadville 100?
10am 30-hour cutoff time for all runners.
How do you qualify for Leadville 100 MTB?
Qualification slots must be claimed in person immediately. Registration for the Leadville Trail 100 Run must be completed and paid for during the designated time offered. For the 2019 Qualifiers, runners may elect to race the Leadville Trail 100 Run for 2019 or defer until 2020.
Can you ride Leadville on a gravel bike?
You can ride out from the shop, or park anywhere along the lake and close the loop with road 9c to save some time and miles. If you have a gravel or mountain bike and want to go further, you can connect to the spectacular Hagerman Pass, a rough road that crosses the Continental Divide.
How hard is Leadville Marathon?
The Leadville Marathon offers a Heavy Half Marathon options, which is actually around 15 miles. A couple of miles into the race, the half marathoners split to the left and the full marathoners went to the right. The marathon is an absolutely challenging and beautiful course. It is not for the faint of heart or breath.30.06.2017
How do you qualify for Western States?
To qualify for the 2022 race lottery, you must run a qualifier off of either the 2021 or 2022 qualifying races lists below. We limit the number of qualifying races to the largest trail 100 milers domestically, and the largest 100Ks that are also of significant difficulty.
Who are the qualifiers for the Leadville Trail 100?
The CenturyLink Austin Rattler Run provides 25 qualifying slots to the CenturyLink Leadville Trail 100 Run presented by La Sportiva, based on the total number of registered runners at each qualifier event.
How many qualification slots are there for Leadville 100?
Qualification events will be allocated 25 slots, based on the number of registered runners. 20 slots will be distributed based on performance in the qualifying event.
How long is the Leadville Trail dogleg race?
In most years, fewer than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit. The course is a 50-mile (80 km) out-and-back dogleg run primarily on the Colorado Trail, starting at 10,200 feet (3,100 m).