2011 Leadville 100 Race Report: The Tale of The Hammer

08.21.2011 | 10:58 pm

What a week! Blake breaking his collar bone one week before the Leadville 100 MTN bike race, deciding to surgically fix it and being scheduled the day we are to be traveling to Leadville. What is a mom to do? These were the problems facing me the week leading up to the race.

Wednesday morning, Blake went to the surgeon and they decided to plate his collarbone. When could they do the surgery? Well, why not the next day (Thursday)?


Elden and I were leaving for Leadville later that afternoon! Blake has always been fiercely independent and assured me he would be OK; I could plan on leaving as scheduled. My brother, Scott, who was planning on crewing for Blake during the race, volunteered to “crew” Blake during his surgery instead.

So I made a few phone calls. I had already talked to the surgeon; I knew Blake was in good hands. I also talked to my coworkers at the hospital; they assured me they would act as surrogate parents while Blake was in the hospital. He was going to get royal treatment, probably better than he would get if I were taking care of him: Years of being a nurse have made me a little calloused around the edges when taking care of people — you’d better be hemorrhaging if you want my sympathy!

As we drove to Leadville Thursday, I made many phone calls to Blake while he waited for his surgery. Since I work with anesthesia, I was even able to talk to his anesthesiologist. I asked him to take a few pictures of Blake while he was asleep. He said he would be happy to, if Blake agreed.



Afterward, the surgeon called and assured me that all went well. He had plated the three fragments of Blake’s broken collarbone back together. Hopefully, Blake would have full range of motion in 2-3 weeks. He would just have to endure some pain over the next few days.

Poor Blake was soon going to learn the meaning of real pain!

In Leadville, Before the Race

Thursday and Friday, Elden and I enjoyed the festivities and traditions leading up to the race. We rode the last three miles of the race — the dreaded “Boulevard” — but for some reason it didn’t seem that hard. My breathing — which is usually fast and furious on this climb — seemed to be a little more relaxed this year. The climb didn’t seem to be to strenuous. Could this possibly be a good omen?

Friday, a group of us rode around Turquoise Lake. What a spectacular ride. The sky was azure blue, with no clouds. The lake was beautiful and the temperature perfect: upper 70’s and breezy. The company wasn’t half bad either. Elden and I commented how we should come back to Leadville for a vacation sometime when we’re not racing. Even though we were having fun, there is always a feeling of anxiety when you know the race you have been training for more than six months is only hours away.

Starting Line

We woke at 4:30 after having a pretty good sleep, thanks to the little white pill called Ambien. We dressed and went out to position our bikes in our respective corrals.

I placed mine at the front of the 10-11:00-hour finishers. Jilene placed hers at the back of the 9-hour finishers. We thought it would be fun to try and start together.

As you may remember, Jilene is my hero. She is fast! She is a fast runner and biker. I have never been able to keep up with her. She kept telling me that I was riding stronger than I had ever ridden and that she would be lucky to hang with me. I thought that sounded absurd, but I didn’t mind having someone to wait at the starting line with. I think this is the most nerve-wracking time, waiting for the gun to fire. It’s nice having a friend by your side to alleviate some of it.

I asked Jilene about her sunglasses. She was wearing them and the sun hadn’t even come out. She said they didn’t stay in her helmet like mine did, so she always just wore them. Within the next 30 minutes, I would be wishing I had just put them on at the start line…and it wasn’t because of the sun!

Beginning of the Race

At 6:30 the gun fired and we took off. Jilene zipped ahead of me immediately! I wasn’t too surprised. I’m always a little nervous on the descent. Too many people thinking they must rally for the front in the first 10 minutes of a 12-hour race!


As we turned off the pavement I breathed a huge sigh of relief….and breathed in a huge lungful of dust!

I couldn’t believe the dust storm that had formed from a few hundred bikers hitting a very dry, dusty trail. In the past years, it has always rained in the days leading up to the race making the trail nice and compact. We usually are dodging large puddles of rainwater. This year it had been completely dry and the trail demonstrated that.

I’m such a nervous Nelly. I’m always worried I’m gonna wreck. As we ascended St. Kevins, I didn’t dare take my hands off the handlebars to get my sunglasses off my helmet. So I was frantically blinking, trying to moisten my eyes so I wouldn’t lose a contact!

This year the climb seemed easy to me. I would pass people when there was a gap. I also found that if I rode up the far sides of the road and let people know I was coming, I was able to keep up a good pace during the climb.

Before I knew it, I was rounding the huge switchback, which signifies the end of the hardest part of the climb up St. Kevins. I couldn’t believe we were already there.

And guess who I could see not to far ahead of me? Jilene! What a great carrot. I was hoping I might catch her soon. At this point of the climb, riders seem to start spreading out and the dreaded dust had settled. It wasn’t long before I was pulling up along side Jilene, giving a yell of encouragement to my BFF.

And then I was passing her!

Passing Jilene so early in the race? What was up with that?

As we pulled through the Carter Summit aid station and entered the paved descent, Jilene came whizzing by me. So much for me being faster!

Getting to the Pipeline Aid Station

We had been climbing for about an hour and I thought I would take the time and eat. We were on a smooth descent, so I carefully removed my hand from the handlebars, got my sunglasses on and pulled a Honey Stingers Waffle from my Bentos Box.

201108191651.jpg Maybe you are wondering what a Bentos Box is. I love my Bentos Box. My friend who is an Ironman triathlon geek introduced me to it. It is a little box with a Velcro cover. It’s velcroed on to your bike frame below the head set. It makes getting to your food supply easy. You don’t have to reach around to your back pocket and try to find your food. For us Nervous Nellies, it’s a great invention.

When I looked up, I was headed right for the apex of a sharp turn! I frantically grabbed for my brake and was able to roll through the turn. Phew! I wondered if I was on the same corner where Elden almost met his demise in 2009. If the road had been wet, I may not have made the corner. My thoughts went to Elden. I was sure hoping things were going smoothly for him!

After I finished my first waffle, I thought to myself, I should eat another! No reason to not fuel myself. I find at the first part of a long day of riding, it is far easier to eat. Food tastes better and goes down easier. So I ate another Waffle and had a few Honey Stinger chews. No reason to not be properly fueled for the next climb up Sugarloaf.


As I rounded the bend and started down the dirt road that leads to the next climb, I caught Jilene again. I tried to ride along side her and talk, but that didn’t last long. There was really only one good line in the road; the rest was washboard. So eventually I pulled ahead.

The climb up Sugarloaf went quick. I felt strong and arrived at the top sooner then I had expected. I then started the descent down the Powerline.


Ugh! The longest descent of my life!

There is only one good line down and I am hogging it. If anyone wants to pass, they have to go kamikaze down the rutted out side of the trail. Still, I don’t think I held too many people up…but, if I held you up, I’m sorry (but you should have been faster on the climb).

When I reached the bottom of the descent, I gave a happy whoop for joy that I had made it down alive!

And then an amazing thing happened: the rider immediately behind me thanked me for leading him down. I guess I don’t always piss people off with my cautious descending!

As we came out on to the paved road to take us to the first real aid station, Jilene came whizzing past me again! This time she was in a group of riders. They were moving fast and quickly forming a train to carry themselves through the paved section. I knew it would be to my advantage to ride as hard and fast as I could to catch them, but I just couldn’t. Their pace was fast and I didn’t want to blow up.

Then, just when I thought it was hopeless, another train of riders passed me. This time I was ready. I matched their speed and worked my way in.

It wasn’t long before we had hooked up to Jilene’s train. I was the caboose of a 15-man (and two women!) train. There was some rotation going on at the very front, but it never reached back to me. I think Jilene even might have had a turn pulling. I was in the best train position possible!

I sat back and let them pull me to the Pipeline Aid Station. As we pulled off the dirt road, I pulled up alongside the train, thanked them all for pulling their caboose to the aid station and then passed them! They were probably not thinking kind thoughts toward the Caboose. Maybe that should be my new nickname: “The Caboose.”

On to Twin Lakes

As I passed through Pipeline aid station, I looked at my Garmin. It read 2:16:11. Prior to starting the race, I had written my goal split times on a piece of duct tape and stuck it to my bike frame. Before now, my fastest time to this aid station (2009, the year I finished in 10:10) had been 2:27:57.

I was almost 12 minutes ahead.

photo by Zazoosh

Honestly, I was a little worried. Last year I had ridden fast to the first aid station and then fell apart on Columbine. Would I have a repeat performance?

I knew it was important to continue to eat, so I slowed down and pulled out some more Honey Stinger Chews. Guess who passed me again? Jilene. “That’s OK,” I thought. At least I’m staying with her. Eventually I caught up to her and I got to follow her down the singletrack.


When It ended, I pulled up along side of her. We both looked at each other. My thought as I looked at her was “Wow, is her face dirty.” As I was thinking it, Jilene said, “Wow, is your face dirty.” I burst into laughter and explained to her that was exactly what I was thinking about her face!


We talked for a bit. I asked her how her nutrition was doing. She said thanks for the reminder and reached into her box for some food. While she was eating, I pulled ahead and whizzed into the Twin Lakes Aid station in a time of 3:11:36.

I was now fourteen minutes ahead of my best time.IMG_0184.jpg
photo by Kellene

Twin Lakes Aid Station

I was immediately greeted by Kellene and Kasey. Kasey filled up my Camelback and bottles, got me my sandwich, Mountain Dew, chocolate milk, and salt-and-vinegar potato chips.

Resting at aid stations is were Elden and I differ in our racing. The first few years I raced Leadville, I rushed through the Aid stations, I hardly ate and had a miserable second half of the race. Once I started actually stopping at the aid stations, eating real food and thanking my crew for their kindness and support, my races improved. Not only in time, but also in enjoyment. I may lose a few minutes in stopping, but quite possibly I make up that time in feeling better and riding faster.


photo by Kellene

Kellene just kept asking me if she could wipe off my face! I kept reassuring her that it was okay, it would just get dirty again. I must really be a mess, if Jilene and Kellene were obsessing over how dirty I am!

As I was eating, I decided to deviate from my routine. I asked Kellene if we had an extra can of chicken and stars soup, We did and I downed it. I had been feeling leg cramps threatening and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t start seizing up. All my Honey Stingers food is sweet and delicious, but I wasn’t sure of the sodium content in them.

Jilene arrived a few minutes after me.

Photo by Kellene

Jilene usually doesn’t stop at aid stations, but thought she would give her friend’s way a shot! Kellene kept offering to wash face Jilene’s face too! Jilene quickly decided she had had enough sitting and headed out first.

I finished my can of soup, replaced my camelbak, thanked my crew for their awesome assistance and headed out after her.

photo by Kellene

The Columbine Climb

It wasn’t long before I caught up to Jilene; I wished her well and forged on. I felt great, invincible almost!

Elden had reminded me that the first mile up toward Columbine Mine is steep, and to not be frustrated. I heeded his advice, shifted down, turned on my iPod shuffle and continued to power up the climb. I passed a ton of people. I’m sure it’s a bit demoralizing for some men to be passed by a girl on a hard climb…too bad, so sad.

The bonk and the cramps that I was so worried about did not materialize. When I hit the part where people are dismounting and walking their bikes, my legs told me they were strong and we powered by them.

Eventually people in their oxygen-deprived minds think they are the only ones on the trail and decide they need the whole trail to walk up and I eventually got stuck behind one and dismounted.

It was about this time that I saw a flash of orange go by me. Who was that? I yelled, “Kenny, Elden whoever you are …. Way to go!” Whoever it was..he was riding strong and was definitely under the nine hour mark. [Note from Fatty: It was me.]

I have never ridden as far up the trail as I did this time. I was lucky to have found a strong rider to follow. We blazed our way up Columbine. If there was a possibility of riding, he was on it and I followed.

Eventually, he ran out of steam, but I still felt great. The legs were threatening still to cramp up, but hadn’t seized. When I was walking, I walked fast. If there was a gap in traffic, I surged past people.


I hit the aid station in 4:58:04! “Amazing,” I thought to myself. I was now over 26 minutes faster than my best! I grabbed 2 cups of Coke and headed back out.

I was on the lookout for Jilene. I had just started to think that she must have passed me at the aid station while I was having a Coke break when I saw her tassels and bows. She was pushing her bike in what everyone at Leadville knows as the death march up Columbine. She was accompanied by hundreds of other bikers lining the trail up to Columbine Mine. I asked her why she was walking her bike, as I descended past her!

Elden dreads the descent down Columbine more than the descent down Powerline. I feel different. In the descent down columbine I feel in control. I think I probably descend Columbine slower.

Is Leadville Easy?

But as I descended, I was amazed at the number of people coming up the mountain. It was one continuous line of bike-walkers. I was surprised to see so many people walking on the “rideable” part of the climb. These people must not have realized what they were getting themselves into when they signed up for this race. I could tell a large portion of these people would not be making the Twin Lakes return cutoff and finishing this race.

Elden and I get angry when people comment that “Oh, Leadville’s the mountain bike race that’s like a road bike race on dirt.” So many people talk like Leadville is not a hard race, but nobody who has raced it talks that way. I think that once you have raced this beast, you come away with respect for it. I’m sure that the approximately 450 riders (out of 1600 starters) that did not finish this year’s race in under twelve hours will most certainly not be downgrading its toughness!

Now I will get off my soap box and return to the story at hand.

Back to the Pipeline Aid Station

On the way back down, I continued to eat Honey Stinger Waffles and Chews. I was still feeling fantastic. I breathed another sigh of relief as I pulled into the Twin Lake aid station! I arrived in 5:40:48, 26 minutes faster than my best time.

Kasey and Kellene treated me like royalty and handed me everything I needed. I downed another can of chicken and stars soup and Kellene tried to clean my face again. They happily informed me that Elden was doing terrific and was actually ahead of Kenny. Poor Kenny had a few mechanical problems with his bike, but had fixed them and was forging ahead. I was given a huge supersonic push by John Mecham (Jilene’s husband) as I left Twin Lakes aid station.

The trip back to Pipeline aid station was uneventful. I kept eating my Waffles and Chews and feeling great. I arrived at Pipeline in 6:49:22, 28 minutes ahead of schedule!

Home Stretch

I downed two cups of Coke and took some time to visit the Honey bucket. I love my Twin Six bib shorts . . . except when I have to completely disrobe to use the bathroom!

As I left the Pipeline aid station, I was met by a brutal headwind and absolutely no one around to draft. It’s funny how a race can become so broken up and riders distributed across a 100-mile course that at one point I couldn’t see another rider ahead of me! I decided to take this time, catch my breath, continue to eat and enjoy the smooth pavement under my wheels.

The Powerline ascent was just about upon me!

As I approached the dreaded climb, I thought to myself… “How long is this climb? Is it eight miles, like Columbine?” I had discussed distance with Elden the day before, but now I could not for the life of me remember how long it was! I think that is what oxygen deprivation does to you!

As I pushed my bike, I gratefully accepted the water that the spectators would pour over me. Bless you wonderful people! The day was really heating up and the sweat was rolling off of me.

When I hit the first false summit and was able to get back on my bike, I’m proud to say I never got off. I turned it on and the legs responded. Sure, I wasn’t going very fast, but I continued to pass walkers/bike pushers. Most would sigh words of encouragement through gasps for breath. A few riders would hook on to my wheel for a bit, but eventually I would outride them.

I was feeling like I really am The Hammer. I think I will take that name back, Elden!

The only thing that was demoralizing to me was that I thought I still had five miles to climb. Could I keep this up?

Then something wonderful happened! I summited the climb and started to descend. The climb was not eight miles; it was less than 4!

I cruised down Sugarloaf and, yes, I kept eating. The Waffles and Chews were not tasting as good as they had once, but I forced them down.

I hit the paved climb up the backside of St. Kevins, feeling great. Some wonderful spectators doused me with ice-cold water and gave me a supersonic push as I began the climb!

I can throw down the “hammer” on paved climbs, and that is exactly what I did! I passed a woman with a “high” number on her bib. As I passed her, I asked her if this was her first time at Leadville. She said it was! Amazing! Her first try and she was gonna break 10 hours. It’s taken me 7 tries and 12 years of biking to get to this point!

As I rolled through the Carter Summit aid station, I grabbed two cups of Coke, drank them fast, and took off. I was happy that woman was doing so well on her first try, but I didn’t want her to pass me while I was having a Coke break!

Finish Line

My final descent down St Kevins went smoothly. While I was coming down I started getting emotional. I had less than ten miles left of the 2011 Leadville 100. I was going to finish and I was going to finish strong and fast.

My thoughts turned to Racer and how he had made my bike run without any problems and I wanted to give him a huge hug! Thanks Racer!

Then I thought of Blake. It’s not always fair when life throws a curve ball at you. And I wanted to give him a hug! I love you Blake! Next year will be your year.

I thought of Elden and how grateful I was to him for taking me into his life and making me happier than I have ever been. I was also hoping he was celebrating a sub-nine-hour victory. I love you Elden!

As my misty eyes were cleaning the dirt out of my eyes, I looked up and was sucked into deep sand! I started to drift to the far left of the trail and in so doing I about ran a rider that was coming up quickly behind me off the road! He yelled at me big time! As if I meant to run him off the road! That quickly ruined the moment and I returned to the race at hand.

The little burst of adrenaline carried me up the boulevard and to the finish line!


At the finish line I was greeted by a 9:39 on the clock and a huge hug from Elden.


I think he was holding off on the kiss until my face was a little cleaner!

The icing on the cake was finding out that Elden had crushed the 9 hour mark! 8:18 absolutely incredible!



  1. Comment by Justin L | 08.21.2011 | 9:55 pm

    Way to go Hammer. I am happy for you. That was a great story and summary of your day. I was going to ride the road bike in the morning, but now i am really digging a mountain bike ride. Thanks for the great story, AWESOME.

    PS I love Honey Stinger products. That was my go to snack at the livestrong ride.

  2. Comment by zachinacubicle | 08.21.2011 | 10:02 pm

    Great Job.

  3. Comment by Bee | 08.21.2011 | 10:22 pm

    The Hammer is SO awesome!! Thanks for your story!

  4. Comment by AK Chick | 08.21.2011 | 11:44 pm

    Yay! LOVED reading about Leadville from The Runner/The Hammer/The Awesome Lady’s perspective. Awesome job! I don’t think I could ever do Leadville – the elevation alone would kill me (I live at sealevel). Thank you for taking the time to write about your experience! I can’t wait to meet you in Austin! I hope you do more guest posts…or start your own blog. :)

  5. Comment by Corrine | 08.22.2011 | 12:07 am

    Way to go, Hammer. I loved hearing your story. Keep on biking

  6. Comment by Nikolai | 08.22.2011 | 12:45 am

    Thanks for sharing your experience of this race, what a thrill!

  7. Comment by Courtney | 08.22.2011 | 2:01 am

    awesome effort. Inspirational race report. you rocked it!

  8. Comment by roan | 08.22.2011 | 2:55 am

    Woke at 1:30AM, couldn’t sleep, Fatty said that Hammer’s race report might be posted late Sunday. I checked at 8:30PM(pacific time)…nope. Then at 1:30AM the lightbulb came on and The Hammer’s report was posted & there were 7 comments already. WOW were people waiting for this one. The Hammer did a great job writing about this epic ride, awesome. THANKS, no better way to start a work week.

  9. Comment by Eva | 08.22.2011 | 3:31 am

    Wonderful report, awesome ride, beautiful mother’s and wife’s heart… Way to go!

    Now, go update the Plus 3 network with your heroic feast, dear Hammer and Fatty! Team Fatty is missing your Kudos there!

  10. Comment by Patrick #4091 | 08.22.2011 | 4:45 am

    Great riding Caboose!

  11. Comment by Maggi | 08.22.2011 | 5:38 am

    Lisa — I mean The Hammer — I mean The Caboose — no, really, I mean THE HAMMER — way to go! What a great race, and and awesome race report to boot. Congratulations on killing at Leadville!

  12. Comment by Jenni | 08.22.2011 | 6:29 am

    My favorite part of the whole story…

    I’m sorry (but you should have been faster on the climb).

    Ha!! Also, too bad, so sad. GIRL POWER!! Great story!

    Here’s my question- is the Coke you all drink along the route flat? Or are you guys gulping down fizzy stuff?

  13. Comment by Jenni | 08.22.2011 | 6:30 am

    Oh yeah, one more thing-
    I have a Bento box for my bike too (I love it), but I got one with a clear plastic cover, that way nothing gets wet if I ride in the rain but I can still see everything. It’s a great place to keep your phone/camera for quick pics while riding.

  14. Comment by Liz | 08.22.2011 | 6:34 am

    “I’m sure it’s a bit demoralizing for some men to be passed by a girl on a hard climb…too bad, so sad.”

    Ha ha! Awesome! I’m going to make this my new mantra.

    I live at sea level, too, and I would by no means minimize a race like this. I am in awe of all of you that even attempt it, let alone do this well.

    Thanks, Elden, for turning your blog over to Lisa today. It was great to read her perspective!

  15. Comment by muskyhunter | 08.22.2011 | 7:00 am

    Only one word – SWEET!

  16. Comment by Christa | 08.22.2011 | 7:08 am

    You rock!

  17. Comment by Christina | 08.22.2011 | 7:56 am

    You make me want to be an athlete.

  18. Comment by NYCCarlos | 08.22.2011 | 8:00 am

    This was the best LT100 ever. I got engaged there, you both rocked out your best times ever, and my friend NHJoe took 43rd overall and 12th in his age group.

    Congrats Lisa and Elden! I still owe you some pizza or something.

    Yeah, if you’re gonna keep expensing all your vacations because you keep running into me, you should at least buy me a meal at some point. – FC

  19. Comment by Jim Tolar | 08.22.2011 | 8:02 am

    Well done, Hammer, well done indeed.

    Don’t tell FatMan, but I think I liked your race report better.

    How you guys remember all the details in an event like that is beyond me. It all goes into a giant bag of haze for me.

    Thanks to both of you for sharing your races and congratulations to you both again!


    I don’t mind at all that you like it better. I do too. – FC

  20. Comment by MikeL | 08.22.2011 | 8:07 am

    Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?
    Good going.

  21. Comment by Mayhemnsuz | 08.22.2011 | 8:30 am

    Congratulations, what a fantastic race. I had to look up the overall women’s standings – 16th out of 126!!! Superb!

  22. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 08.22.2011 | 8:37 am

    Well done Lisa!!! It’s been a long week waiting for this and it was worth it!!! I too want to see the +3 Kudos from all Team Fatty! Looks like Levis Gran Fondo will be a ‘training spin’ for the likes of you two. Can’t wait to see you all out here at sea level….at least for the first 100 yards. Congratulations again.

    For Team Fatty Riders who are not registered for Levis Ride transfers/swaps can be found here: http://www.levisgranfondo.com/p/registration/transfer-swap/
    Let’s get a crowd together, I’m thinking Fudge Brownies for this one.

  23. Comment by The Bike Nazi | 08.22.2011 | 8:44 am

    Great job Hammer! You rock!

  24. Comment by Sara | 08.22.2011 | 8:59 am

    Awesome! It almost makes me want to try it someday.


  25. Comment by Jesse | 08.22.2011 | 9:14 am

    Thanks for the write-up!! I made myself wait until I was at work to read it, or I would’ve been late leaving this morning!

    Hope Blake is doing ok. And I’m so glad my mom couldn’t get anyone to take photos the last time I had surgery.

  26. Comment by KM | 08.22.2011 | 9:38 am

    Way to go! Congrats on the great finish! I suggest a mash up for your nickname, Hamboose or Cabammer. Feel free to use either without any fear of me suing for intellectual property. Glad to see the IT guy is on the road to recovery and that he has some titanium hardware to boot.

    Fatty, thanks for the well-wishes from my post last week. I hadn’t planned to write about my accident but apparently pain meds decrease my resolve. I’m on the mend as well.

  27. Comment by zeeeter | 08.22.2011 | 9:46 am

    Thanks for the write-up, thoroughly enjoyed it. The sad thing is that “www.thehammer.com” is already taken otherwise I think it’s about time you gave fatty a blogging HOF challenge! Well done again, to both of you.

  28. Comment by Tonya | 08.22.2011 | 9:54 am

    I salute The Hammer! I really love the way you politely put the smackdown with this line:

    “If I held you up, I’m sorry (but you should have been faster on the climb).”


  29. Comment by Dave T | 08.22.2011 | 9:56 am

    Awesome job Lisa! Great write-up makes me want to do this next year, well maybe in two years.

  30. Comment by HeidiR | 08.22.2011 | 10:07 am

    Great finish, and awesome write-up! I highly doubt I will ever do a MTB race, but you inspire me to keep improving. Now I have to go ride…

  31. Comment by mtnbikechk@hotmail.com | 08.22.2011 | 10:08 am

    Congrats on the great race result and the play by play of how it all went down…..dusty, dirty and everything in between. The morning of this years race I watched the Leadville 2009 movie. OMG what resolve this race takes to finish let alone start bettering previous times..chapeau to you both..IT GUY, next year it’s yours baby, it’s yours.

  32. Comment by Susie H | 08.22.2011 | 10:17 am

    Great report, Lisa! You both are an inspiration to so many. Following our conversation in Davis a while back, I started mountain biking this past week, and made it to the top of our tower the 2nd time out! The switchbacks nearly did me in, but I am absolutely loving it! I think after the half marathon I’m scheduled for in November, I will really back off of the running. Never, ever thought I would be a cyclist, but there you go! Thanks for leading the way for us all!

  33. Comment by RodNeeds2Ride | 08.22.2011 | 10:20 am

    GREAT write-up Hammer! I bow in your general direction…

  34. Comment by nh_joe | 08.22.2011 | 10:24 am

    Great job! Although I must say…a sandwich, soup, and chocolate milk right before a huge climb makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it. But, it obviously worked out well for you!

  35. Comment by Road Mike | 08.22.2011 | 10:33 am

    Excellent writeup of an excellent race, Lisa the Hammer! Your dirty face picture is a keeper. (Did you lose an earring? :)

  36. Comment by Dan in Sac | 08.22.2011 | 10:48 am

    Ladies and gentlemen…… THE HAMMER!

    Inspiring stories from both of you. Thank you.

  37. Comment by Bryan (not that one) | 08.22.2011 | 11:04 am

    Great race and write up, Hammer!

    I would love to do Leadville some day.

  38. Comment by FliesOnly | 08.22.2011 | 11:34 am

    Excellent write-up. Leadville is definitely on my list, and after reading your report it has moved higher up.

  39. Comment by Jacob | 08.22.2011 | 11:58 am

    I wouldn’t be demoralized being passed by a woman unless she was obese or appeared otherwise unhealthy. I’m really good at giving myself reasons to make my lack of athletic excellence acceptable to me. For example, that woman probably weighs 75-100 less than I do. Of course she can haul herself uphill more quickly.

    What really demoralizes me are men in their ’60s. Apparently, once a man retires, all he does is play tennis and run and then beat me at the only sports I play. Retired men are jerks.

  40. Comment by cece | 08.22.2011 | 12:02 pm

    Fantastic Lisa! You got me teary eyed! Great ride!

  41. Comment by Scott R | 08.22.2011 | 12:18 pm

    Awesome post, Hammer. Thanks!

    Here’s to Blake getting his chance next year! Hope he’s made it through the worst of the pain.

  42. Comment by Lynda | 08.22.2011 | 12:32 pm

    This was a really good report Lisa; I feel like I know you so much better now. I am just so glad for you and Elden on so many levels it makes my heart happy. And wow, such great pictures you found to illustrate your story!

  43. Comment by Drew | 08.22.2011 | 1:00 pm

    Not only did you have a great ride, I have to say, you have an incredibly charming writing style. Thanks for sharing this.

  44. Comment by Dan | 08.22.2011 | 1:01 pm

    Awesome race report of an awesome and inspirational ride! I just have to say hope greatful I am that you both shared your experiences with us. Also how lucky you both are to have each other.

    Congratulations on the great race both of you!

  45. Comment by centurion | 08.22.2011 | 1:23 pm

    I though you called him Fatty?

  46. Comment by Erin | 08.22.2011 | 1:23 pm

    “I’m sure it’s a bit demoralizing for some men to be passed by a girl on a hard climb…too bad, so sad.”

    Ha! Lurv The Hammer.

    It bums me out how people (and I am sure this exists across sports, not just enduro people) have to denigrate others’ success. Leadville isn’t hard. You run marathons? I run ULTRA marathons. You did your first Oly tri? Maybe SOMEDAY you’ll do an Ironman. So.very.tiresome.

  47. Comment by Heidi | 08.22.2011 | 3:28 pm

    “how grateful I was to him for taking me into his life and making me happier than I have ever been.” I think Elden’s the real winner – you ROCK!

  48. Comment by MattC | 08.22.2011 | 3:28 pm

    AWESOME Writeup Hammer! (I’ll just leave the ‘Caboose’ thing alone if you don’t mind).

    MY fav line? “you’d better be hemorrhaging if you want my sympathy!” (our mom was an RN also…if there wasn’t protrudig bone you’d best suck it up). Blake, I feel for ya’ buddy…pics during your surgery…argh…NOT fair…(but you’re a real good sport). Hope it heals fast and you’re back in action real soon! Next year…

    Very nice way to end a long workday reading your writeup…REALLY makes me want to do Leadville (and then I wake up and remember that anything over about 6 hours on a bike becomes pretty much unbearable due to a neck injury eons ago). But still….it’s not like I don’t want to give it a shot someday. Maybe if I could get some morophine…(and right after that a lobotomy).

  49. Comment by LauraS | 08.22.2011 | 4:18 pm

    Great writeup! And best to Blake on a speedy recovery.

  50. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 08.22.2011 | 5:27 pm

    Had to laugh at your lake of sympathy…….as a nurse I’m the same way……..sorry. All the men that I have been involved with were shocked that I didn’t “take care” of them when all they had was a cold! Please (add eye roll).

    The other line “too bad, so sad.” really cracked me up too. Great job, strong work. Way to go Hammer. Loved the report.

    Blake, get well soon.

  51. Comment by Nurse Betsy | 08.22.2011 | 5:28 pm

    I meant LACK, not lake. oops! I must have been laughing to hard as I typed.

  52. Comment by Paul Guyot | 08.22.2011 | 5:47 pm

    Random thoughts after reading…

    The Hammer is both a better rider and writer than me.

    I’m sort of liking “The CaBammer.” Always capitalizing the B.

    Someday I hope to try mtn biking again… someday. Maybe after I actually buy a mtn bike.

    I have so much respect for anyone who finished Leadville. People who downgrade it as a race have obviously never tried doing anything incredibly difficult while breathing through a straw.

    I hope Lifetime Fitness does not ruin this great race. Sounds like they are letting too many people in and doing other stuff that will slowly, over time, take the Lead out of Leadville. I hope I’m wrong.

    Congrats to you, CaBammer. Lisa. And Fatty. Those buckles are pretty freaking spectacular.

  53. Comment by Paul Scarlett | 08.22.2011 | 8:48 pm

    Hey Hammer, fantastic rendition! Fatty can now have holidays knowing the blog will be well looked after.
    Congratulations both of you!

  54. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 08.22.2011 | 8:53 pm

    @Comment by Paul Guyot

    I too thought the Buckles were pretty cool. I fear though Fatty may have to get some bigger pants.

    So we have Fatty penciled in for a role on Leverage. Are you thinking a writing gig for The CaBammer? Maybe just role for both of them….Bike Messengers?

    Come to the Gran Fondo you can audition them there!

  55. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.22.2011 | 9:15 pm

    Lisa – thanks for the very enjoyable writeup.

    THE Hammer – Congrats again to you & Fatty.

  56. Comment by Jolene | 08.22.2011 | 9:49 pm

    Congrats on a great race and a great finishing time! Sounds like you both had everything going right that day.

  57. Comment by Wife#1 | 08.22.2011 | 10:56 pm

    Love this report, the Hammer you are indeed!

    As much as I loved your race report, my favorite line was:

    “You’d better be hemorrhaging if you want my sympathy!”

    Only because I am kind of that mom myself. :-)


  58. Comment by not much further... | 08.23.2011 | 5:38 am

    thank you for a great race report Lisa – makes fab reading and many congratulations on your amazing time!

    Was a pleasure to meet you both in Davis on our holiday and wishing you all the best for the future.

  59. Comment by MattC | 08.23.2011 | 7:44 am

    I am anxiously awaiting the pic of Fatty wearing his GINORMOUS new buckle on his capri pants…that should be a very interesting shot. And btw, just watched “the Devil Wears Prada” over the weekend…Fatty, you were awesome in your role. Sure…some will say it’s Stanley Tucci…but I know better.

    @PaulG…when you get Fatty his role on Leverage, everybody but us will think it’s Stanley Tucci! That will be pretty humorous! I wonder if Stanley needs a stunt double for some of his scenes.

  60. Comment by Susie H | 08.23.2011 | 9:00 am

    Interestingly, it appears that every sz lg black bento box in the world has now been sold…all I can find are pink ones! aaaaaaaahhh!

  61. Comment by Fat Cathy | 08.23.2011 | 9:39 am

    “I’m sure it’s a bit demoralizing for some men to be passed by a girl on a hard climb…too bad, so sad.”

    I snorted coffee through my nose on that one.

  62. Comment by davidh-marin,ca | 08.23.2011 | 10:35 am

    Grand Slam for Zambia as of 9:44 am PDT Today

    My Fundraising Goal:
    Money Raised to Date:

    Please reach out to others. We can do this!!!!!!

  63. Comment by Evelin B | 08.23.2011 | 11:30 am

    Great story and awesome writeup!!!! Congrats and looking forweard to the next story!!!

  64. Comment by AngieG | 08.23.2011 | 11:36 am

    AWESOME job HAMMER!!! I’m so proud of you.

    I’m right there with you regarding the issuance of sympathy. In fact I often tell my kids and husband,”You find sympathy in the dictionary between S**t and Syphillis” :-)

  65. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 08.23.2011 | 11:58 am

    Awesome! Nice job Hammer!

  66. Comment by rich | 08.23.2011 | 12:57 pm

    What a great writeup and an even greater accomplishment! Thank you for sharing that with us.
    Having crashed this past weekend and sitting here with a fractured collarbone, my thoughts go out to the IT guy…

    And, as far as Fatty making you happier than you’ve ever been, pretty sure he got the best of the deal here :-) You’re both an inspiration!

  67. Comment by Carl | 08.23.2011 | 5:55 pm

    Congrats on the great ride and thanks for sharing your ride with us!

  68. Pingback by » Blog Archive » Wooooooaaaahhhhhh Blog is on Fire! | 12.6.2011 | 4:50 pm

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