2013 Leadville 100 Race Report: Preamble

08.12.2013 | 10:26 am

I wasn’t sure what I’d write for my Leadville 100 race report this year. I mean, this was my 17th start — and sixteenth finish — of the race. The race wound up being incredibly drama-free for me: the threat of terrible weather and a wet course gave way to a perfect, sunny day and a fast-rolling course. 

I hit — or sometimes missed, or sometimes improved upon — my goal times for the aid stations. I remember looking at my GPS at the turnaround, seeing 4:14, and knowing (not just thinking, but knowing) that I was going to be faster than last year. A lot faster.

I ate consistently and never had stomach issues. I didn’t cramp. I didn’t bonk. 

I moved from fourth to second place in the singlespeed category during my fastest Columbine Mine climb segment ever, but then moved back into fourth place around mile 70, when the eventual second- and third-place riders blasted by me together. I wasn’t upset; I was having a banner day. My best racing day ever, possibly. They were just faster than I was.

I crossed the finish line in 8:23:54.88, which is about 25 minutes faster than I was last year, and only five or so minutes slower than my fastest time ever, in 2011, when I was on a geared bike. 

IMG 7116

And I’ve got ironed-on time on my sweatshirt sleeve to prove it:

IMG 7130 

But really, my story this year isn’t about me. It is about everyone around me. And on the 20th anniversary of the Leadville 100 (and, less impressively, after my 16th finish), I’m thinking about the people around me in the race. And about the race itself

For the next post or two (or three), that’s what I’m going to write about.


  1. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.12.2013 | 10:27 am

    It feels kind of Constitutional to be reading a preamble to the race report. I need to go wash my hands and freshen my coffee so I am in the proper spirit of serious attention.

  2. Comment by Lacosta | 08.12.2013 | 10:40 am

    I had the pleasure of seeing you going so fast up on St. Kevins and then descending columbine when I had a mile to go. Congrats to both you and the Hammer you both rock.

  3. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 08.12.2013 | 10:45 am

    Is it a spoiler to link to Doug? Already caught his Part 1 and am looking forward to your report of all our incredible friends!

    And it goes without saying that we’ll wait as long as it takes for Hammer Time!!!!

  4. Comment by MattC | 08.12.2013 | 10:48 am

    Very cool Fatty, you were on FIRE! (as was THE HAMMER! 1st place for her, and for you BOTH, just riding a SS on such a hard ride simply blows my mind!) I was working but watching when I could (well, not really watching, but refreshing my screen over and over until you finished (same for THE HAMMER). I can’t hardly believe how strong you both are…just awesome! Can’t wait for BOTH your race reports!

  5. Comment by Jenni | 08.12.2013 | 10:53 am

    Check your email account, I just sent you a bunch of pictures, use on here or just show the family, all is well with me. I took them all. I also took a bunch of pictures of some random blonde woman before I remembered Lisa’s hair is brown now. Awwwwkard….

    I’m going to do my write up soon, what an incredible adventure it was!!

  6. Comment by Jesse | 08.12.2013 | 11:21 am

    This is the first year since I moved to Colorado that I didn’t make it out to see the race. I wish I’d been there to cheer for you guys! Congrats on a spectacular finish from both of you!

  7. Comment by Susie H | 08.12.2013 | 11:38 am

    Preamble, postamble, it’s all good, and we’ll all be here waiting for it! What a great day it was for you all!

  8. Comment by GenghisKhan | 08.12.2013 | 12:23 pm

    Excellent preamble, but I do prefers mine slathered with a bit o’ Vegemite (okay, really, Nutella). Can’t wait for the next installment(s).

  9. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.12.2013 | 12:55 pm

    @GenghisKhan – I had Nutella on a bagel for breakfast this morning (no Vegemite, thank you) – so I guess I really was all ready for a preamble.

  10. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 08.12.2013 | 1:07 pm

    Looking forward to all parts of your report, and of The Hammer’s report as well. What are the chances of guest posts from the Friends of Fatty who also rode or supported the race?

    Very impressive performances, and we are waiting anxiously on the edges of our recliners to see the reports.

  11. Comment by Christina | 08.12.2013 | 1:24 pm

    ^ooh, what the guy with the fancy new bike said. I’d like to see Doug Way Upstate’s take, since we saw him so much.

    Hammer Time!

    And I enjoy your race reports. I’m excited to see you write about the people around you, because it takes a village to raise a mountain bike racer.

  12. Comment by Dan | 08.12.2013 | 2:32 pm

    Wow. Just. Wow.


    Maybe another guest post?

  13. Comment by AKChick | 08.12.2013 | 3:19 pm

    Oh wow. @Dan I got chills when I linked over to your post about the Ride 2 Recovery team. Retired Staff Sgt Matt DeWitt almost had his ride derailed in Alaska. He was up here on a weeklong tour of Alaska when someone broke into their van and stole several bikes. Fortunately, his was soon recovered (probably due to all the customization that makes it impossible for someone to ride without know how everything works). I’m SO excited to see he finished Leadville! Thank you for posting the link. It’s such a small world!

    Fatty (HA!) make that Speedy is just an animal. Wow. I’m awed by your finish! Wow. How do you top that? And The Hammer – you two are just elite athletes! If The Hammer would feel comfortable writing about it, I’d love to hear how her day went and what it’s like to be a woman on an SS passing guys on geared bikes (YEE HA!). I see that Corinne finished but not in time for a belt buckle. :( I don’t know her hubby’s name so couldn’t find results for him. Saw Doug Way Up State NY did excellent as well! My coworker did superb and finished under 12 hours and got a belt buckle. There were other HDR folk in the race too but I don’t think any finished under 9 hours.

    I can’t wait to read the race reports. I hope we can get some Friends of Fatty reports too!

    Thanks for taking the time to write!

  14. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 08.12.2013 | 3:24 pm

    The double amputee from that story did the Wilmington Whiteface qualifier too. I rode with him for a while there. He is very very strong climber. But after going DOWN Columbine myself, I respect him even more for his ride.

    Leadville was a wonderful experience just getting to meet and ride with so many very cool people.

  15. Comment by Carl | 08.12.2013 | 8:07 pm

    Congrats to Fatty, The Hammer and Doug (who needs a nickname) for such great rides. I can’t wait to read all the upcoming reports.

  16. Comment by Davidh-marin,ca | 08.12.2013 | 8:54 pm

    @Carl for Doug it seems natural; The Professor

  17. Comment by VA Biker | 08.12.2013 | 8:55 pm

    Yeah, but what’s Skippy have to say about The Leadville Experience? Oh, I miss his postings so. (That filter is still on, right?)

  18. Comment by Mandy | 08.13.2013 | 3:55 am

    Looks like a great day for you all Fatty. It’s a shame I couldn’t be there to see you and the hammer in action. Maybe next time :)

  19. Comment by Jacob | 08.13.2013 | 6:03 am

    That is one of the weird things about being an amateur racer. It’s rare that you’re actually really racing anyone. If you’re having a good race and doing the best you know you can, it doesn’t really hurt that bad when someone passes, at least not me.

    I do get a little whiny when someone fatter than me beats me. I’m used to being one of the fastest guys for my size. I’d really love to find the self discipline to lose the last 20 lbs of flab I’m carrying to see how fast I really could be.


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