Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Get the Lead Out

Yeah, I said it.  Leadman.  My thought is that once I am able to do the Leadville Trail 100 run then I’ll be ready for the Leadman.  I can train for a 100 mile run right here in Kentucky on the Sheltowee and with a dress rehearsal at the Cloudsplitter 100 maybe next year. 

All of this social media fire about the most recent Leadville 100 mountain bike race and my distinct absence from the scene has outlined the void in my life.  Until this past weekend I was losing my obsession.  I was ready to let it go.  Running has taken over my attention, but I still love mountain biking; I just haven’t figured out where it fits into my life.  I don’t want to have to drive to ride.  In Kentucky that’s my reality. 

And so what are my options for Leadville?

1)      Go in the lottery in January 2015 or,

2)      Race a qualifier (Wilmington Whiteface or Silver Rush most likely) or,

3)      Volunteer at the 2015 LT100MTB for an improved chance at the 2016 lottery or,

4)      2016 lottery or,

5)      Signing up for the 2016 Leadman competition

I won’t be ready for the Leadman next year.  I’m not an ultrarunner yet.  I desperately want to do the 50k Cloudsplitter run this year but I don’t feel it right now.  I’m still almost two full months out.  It could happen.  I’m shooting for the Flying Pig full marathon in May of next year.  I have some non-organized running objectives that would motivate me to go longer distances.  So it might be possible by next fall to attempt the full Cloudplitter 100.  But I don’t want to go to Leadville with my running shoes until I’m ready to be a Leadman.

The life logistics of this whole scheme are an ordeal aside from the physical and mental challenges of the events.  Right now today I see no possibility for being able to afford the Leadman or have enough time off to train and complete it.  When has that ever stopped me in the past?

You might be wondering what the Leadman/Leadwoman competition is.  Basically you sign up to do a series of running and mountain bike races in Leadville between June and August.  The list is simple:

Leadville Trail Marathon

Silver Rush 50 mountain bike OR run

Leadville Trail 100 MTB race

Climax Molybdenum 10k race (the day after the MTB race)

And, the coup de gras…

Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon

You have to complete each race within the cutoff time to move on to the next race.  It’s one of two guaranteed ways to get a spot in the mountain bike race.  The other is to pay $2,000 for the Camp of Champions.

A truncated version of my plan might be: try to get into the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race any way possible within the next two years.  Isn’t that how it all started back in 2010?  Seems like I remember something like that.

This all comes on the heels of an interesting realization I made while running on Friday afternoon.  There will be more on that tomorrow.

Speaking of Leadville…Todd Wells won with an amazing time of 6:16.  I think that’s still shy of the record.  No, Lakata smashed Leipheimer’s 6:16:37 by twelve minutes last year.  Wells beat Levi’s previous record by ten seconds, but was still short of last year’s fastest.

In other Leadville family news Doug also bemoans his absence from Colorado. He starts out his post from Saturday echoing my sentiments:

“Leadville is today. I find myself wishing I was in Colorado.”
Sam was my cohort for the ill-fated Cougar Slayer race and also did the swan song Alpine Odyssey back in 2012.  I’m stoked he got into Leadville through the Silver Rush 50 and that he finished Leadville in a respectable 10:53.

Congrats Sam!   


  1. Hey, thanks for the shout out! Leadman eh? I guess there's no time like the present to start in! I met a couple of them, ad they are either tough, crazy, or both : ).

    1. A little bit of crazy is good. :O)

      I think having goals is absolutely one of the best ways to keep moving forward --and this would definitely be a big one-- but, with the right training anything is doable - I really do believe that - so, why not?

    2. I think anything is possible. What makes things impossible is our perception that they are so.

  2. I am much better now that the live feeds from the race course are down, and all the people I know who were there are home. A couple of 10 mile XC races are feeling about right just now ;)