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