2014 Leadville 100 Race Report, Part 6: Finish Lines

08.21.2014 | 11:17 am

I have tried, over and over, to understand why Leadville has such a grip on me. Part of it is the place. Part of it is the tradition. Part of it is the incredible drama in three acts it seems to naturally create.

But a big part of it — a part I had never really thought about until just now when I needed an introduction to this chapter of my story — is the finish lines.

Yes, finish lines. Plural. 

Every year when I race the Leadville 100, the phrase, “If I can just make it to…” runs through my brain. 

…If I can just make it to the bottom of Powerline…

…If I can just make it to the top of Columbine…

…If I can just make it to the bottom of Columbine…

…If I can just make it to the top of Powerline…

…If I can just make it to the top of Carter’s…

Every single one of these is a significant finish line for me. And every time I cross one of those thresholds, I feel a huge surge of accomplishment. And relief. 

Which is instantly replaced by the next iteration of my “if I can just make it to…” mantra.

Of all the times I mutter “If I can just make it to…” in the race, it’s while I’m climbing Powerline that I mean it the most. That’s the finish line I’m most grateful to cross. 

Ask anyone who’s raced The Leadville 100, and if they’re honest, they’ll agree: everything else in the race — including the Columbine climb — is just buildup for the Powerline. The Powerline is the real test of this race, and once you’ve reached the top, you know that — barring terrible luck (my brother-in-law once broke his handle bars after this climb) — you’ve got this race in the bag.

And now, by riding whenever I could and walking whenever I had to, I was at the top of Powerline. Finish line crossed.

And somewhere — not very far — behind me, The Hammer was on her way up.

The Next Pass 

Just two more finish lines. If I can just make it to the top of Carter’s, the rest is easy

But first, there’s the matter of getting down to the pavement: the descent down SugarLoaf. And that hasn’t always been easy. Once, in fact, I crashed while descending this section. Dislocated my shoulder. I’m pretty sure I screamed loud and long when that happened. My riding buddy Ricky would have found that hilarious.

No crashes this time, though. There’s something about this new Ibis I’m riding. I’m descending better, more confidently. I’m hopping over stuff I’d usually tiptoe around. Riding fast over stuff I’d usually pick my way through. Having fun 85 miles into a race.

Weird.

I make it to the bottom of SugarLoaf and onto the downhill dirt road. I pedal pedal pedal, and then I stop pedaling. I’m spun out, going fast enough that pedaling doesn’t make a difference. 

Out of nowhere, a tandem flies by me. Flies by me. I could put it down to gears and weight and power, but that’s only part of it. The truth is, I wouldn’t dare go as fast as they are going. Certainly not on a bike, probably not on a motorcycle. Maybe in a car. Maybe.

I remember: I had passed that tandem as I climbed Powerline, about the same time I passed The Hammer and The Queen of Pain.

Which means I’m going to be passed again soon. By my wife.

I am pleased to report that I feel no envy or competitive angst at this prospect. I feel nothing but joy. Pride. My wife kicks all kinds of ass; shouldn’t I feel some pride that she can now kick mine? 

I get to the bottom of the dirt road, slow way down for the hairpin turn that puts me on pavement. I’ll be going downhill on this pavement now for 1.5 miles, then uphill for three. I’ve been stung too many times by false hope made by false flats on this climb; I verified the distance before the race. 

“Fatty!” Someone calls out behind me. I know who it is. Who they are. 

“Are you still cramping?” The Queen of Pain asks. 

“No, those pills helped,” I reply. “Thanks.”

The Queen of Pain looks over her shoulder and shouts to The Hammer, “This is where we earn some time! Pedal! Pedal! Pedal! Pedal!”

I look at The Hammer as she goes by. She has the most determined look on her face I have ever seen. The look of someone who has gone well past what she thought she could do and is now in uncharted territory.

She doesn’t say a word.

The Hammer had just grabbed a bottle, was about to take a drink, but she pedals. They get up to a crazy-fast speed almost immediately, and I watch, alarmed, while The Hammer holds the bottle and the handlebar with one of her hands. 

I drop back, silently willing her to just drop the bottle on the side of the road. She needs both hands on the bars when she’s going this fast.

She doesn’t drop the bottle. She doesn’t wreck. She pulls away and around a bend. She’s out of sight now. In the course of three minutes, the two of them have put a minute on me. Wow.

I’m relieved. And also spun out again.

I know that this will change shortly.

The Pass After That

I love the climb to Carter’s Summit. I may, in fact, be the only person who regularly does this race who can say this. But I do.

I love standing up, letting my head droop down, and getting into the rhythm of the climb. 

I love watching the sweat drip down off the tip of my nose onto the pavement. 

I love passing all those people who just passed me on the descent a few minutes ago.

I see one guy, and I know it’s only a matter of time: the fact that I couldn’t see him before and can see him now means I’m catching him.

“Hi,” I say as I go by. Nothing more. I’d be more friendly if I could be, but what I’m doing takes pretty much everything I’ve got to give.

“Hi,” I say to the next guy. And the next. 

I love this climb.

I see The Hammer. The Queen of Pain. 

I don’t tell The Hammer that she’s got it in the bag, I don’t tell her to keep it up, I don’t tell her anything about riding. This is not my kitchen. I am not the cook. The Queen of Pain is drawing something new and powerful out of The Hammer, and I do not want to interfere.

“Hi Baby, I love you,” I say to The Hammer. 

“I love you too,” she whispers back on the exhale. 

Considering what she’s going through, that is a lot for her to say. 

I hit the neutral aid station at the turnoff back onto the dirt at Carter’s Summit. I don’t need anything, and I don’t stop. 

The Last Pass

The “Carter’s Summit” aid station leads you to think you’re at…well…a summit. But you’re not. You’ve got another mile or so of climbing to do. Remember that if you ever do this race.

I’m still passing people, because we’re climbing. I know that this is just temporary; the people I’m passing right now will likely pass me again, either on the descent down St. Kevens, or on the flats leading to The Boulevard.

That’s OK. I’m not racing these people. These people have gears.

Then someone says to me, “There’s a guy about 45 seconds ahead of you, also on a singlespeed.”

Huh. Well, I guess I am racing that guy. Are we racing for second and third? Fifth and sixth? I don’t know. But it seems like it might be worth it to burn whatever matches I have left.

Except all my matches are already burning. 

If he’s ahead of me, either I’ll catch him or I won’t. But as hard as I’m going is as hard as I can go. And it feels incredibly satisfying to know that this is true. 

I take risks going down St Kevens, going down faster than I usually would. I’ve seen so many people fixing flats on this section of the trail over the years, and know that this aggressive approach I’m taking may well cost me time.

But I get down to the bottom of St Kevens just fine. I exhale and laugh. A mini-finish line behind me.

It’s nothing but flat ’til I get to The Boulevard, and then about two miles of climbing to the finish.

I pedal as fast as I can, trying to delay — not prevent — what I know is inevitable: The Hammer and The Queen of Pain are going to catch me again, and they are going to fly right by.

My wife is going to be waiting for me at the finish line, I realize.

It’s an awesome thought. 

But she won’t have to wait for me for long

I look for another match to burn. Nope. Already burning ‘em. Furthermore, I’m pretty sure the one I’m currently burning is the last one in the box.

I get back on the pavement, cross the railroad tracks. More flat pavement. There is never not someone passing me. My kingdom for a taller gear.

And then, pulling alongside me: The Hammer. And The Queen of Pain. And Selene Yeager. 

“I love you, Honey!” The Hammer calls out. She can talk again!

“You too,” I huff back. I am currently Cap’n Crazy Legs, and long talks aren’t easy. But I do want to tell her this: “You’ve done it! You’re going to finish in under nine hours!”

“Really? Do you think so?”

“Honey, at this point you could get to the finish line with a sub-nine-hour time on foot.”

It was true. I had actually just done the math. We could, right now, set down our bikes and run ten-minute miles from where we are, and we’d get to the finish line with — barely — a sub-nine-hour time.

The Queen of Pain flashes me a look, and I understand. It is not yet time for congratulations. The race is not over.

They drop me. I start doing mental story problems to figure out how long they’ll have to wait for me at the finish line.

Elden and Lisa have four miles left in a race. Lisa is 3mph faster than Elden on flats; Elden is 2mph faster than Lisa on climbs. The distance between the two racers and the finish line is divided equally between flats and climbs. Who will get to the finish line first, and by how much time?

My answer, for the record, was, “Lisa, by as little as Elden can manage.”

The Boulevard

I turn onto the final climb of the day: The Boulevard. It’s a wide dirt road that starts with a steepish grade, then flattens out to one or two percent.

I stand and go as hard as I can. Every year, I do the same thing: ask myself if I have anything left to give in this race, and then give it here.

Every year, I see photos people riding a wheelie across the finish line here. Every year, I wonder why they didn’t use that effort to go faster on the course.

Different priorities, I guess. Or maybe I’m just jealous that I can’t ride a wheelie.

Hey, wait a second. I see them. The Hammer. The Queen of Pain. The Fit Chick. And if I can see them, that means I have a chance at catching them.

Well, what do you know: I have one last match I can burn after all.

But they don’t make it easy. No. Far from it. In fact, it’s not until the very end — the last hundred feet or so — of the boulevard that I pull alongside them.

“Hey.” It’s pretty much all I can say.

The Finish

It’s a surreal moment. We’re down to the last quarter mile of the race. We’ve crossed paths nine times during the race, but haven’t ridden at all together. 

But here we are. The Hammer, The Queen of Pain, and me. The only reason we can’t see the finish line right now is because first we have to get over this little rise.

“Do you want to finish together?” The Hammer asks.

I start laughing. “Of course I want to finish together! We’re a quarter mile from the finish line! How could we not finish together?”

And then The Hammer imploded. Right there in front of me. She had just turned in the performance of her life, and now we were together again. That was her mental finish line, I think.

All of a sudden — truly, all of a sudden — she could barely turn the cranks.

Which, really, was just fine. We could have crawled from that point and made it to the finish line in under nine hours. We had plenty of time. 

But here’s the thing: I had taken a good hard look at my GPS and knew that if we didn’t push, we’d finish in 8:40 or 8:41. Which is a good finishing time. A dream finishing time, for a lot of people

If, on the other hand, we did push, we just might finish in 8:39. 

Do you see the difference? It’s the difference between being able to say “I finished in the eight-forties” versus being able to say “I finished in the eight-thirties.”

And that difference is huge

I told The Hammer, “If you go hard for just a minute longer, we can have a finish time printed on our sweatshirts that say 8:38 or 8:39. That would be even cooler than 8:40.”

The Hammer understood. The Hammer rallied. 

And here’s how it ended:

Screenshot 2014 08 21 04 25 41

8:39:22 for her; 8:39:33 for me.

So yes, even though we crossed the finish line together, The Hammer beat me by eleven seconds, thanks to the the fact that I started in a corral further forward than she did.

I am OK with that.

Group finishphoto
Photo taken by Linda Guerrette. Used with permission.

In fact, I am perfectly OK with that.

Elden lisa finish
Photo taken by Linda Guerrette. Used with permission.

Screenshot 2014 08 21 04 32 58

Afterward

I didn’t get on the Singlespeed podium. In fact, I missed it by about 3.5 minutes. Huge congrats go out to David Yacobelli for an incredible second half of his race. He took a ten minute lead I had built up by the halfway mark of the race, erased it, and pulled ahead with a three-and-change minute win. 

Part of me looks at how narrow the gap was between us, and how close I was to getting on the podium. And then the sane part of me reminds myself that even when that gap was less than a minute I couldn’t close it. David was fast and getting faster. I was going as fast as I could, and couldn’t catch him.

It feels good to not be plagued by “What ifs.”

The Hammer got both her big belt buckle for finishing in under nine hours, and a ten year belt buckle. As far as I know, she was the fastest non-pro on the course. And faster than many of the pros.

Here she is with The Queen of Pain, each of them with their trophies. All of which were hard-earned.

IMG 9535

Along the way — during the week before the race and during the race itself — both The Hammer and I developed an even greater respect and liking of Rebecca Rusch. You want a sports hero to look up to? I honestly do not know of anyone who could fill that bill better.

And me? Well, I got my fourth consecutive sub-nine finish. And I got to finish with my wife.  

Eldenbling2
Photo taken by Linda Guerrette. Used with permission.

And finally: of my seventeen finishes at Leadville, this one has been far and away my favorite.

PS: Next year for me: gears and sub-8.

62 Comments »

  1. Comment by Rick S. | 08.21.2014 | 11:30 am

    AWESOME.

    That is all.

  2. Comment by Paul in TN | 08.21.2014 | 11:33 am

    Pure Awesome!!!

  3. Comment by Mark in Bremerton | 08.21.2014 | 11:40 am

    Fantastic! You’ve got the race thing figured out, and your praise and admiration of The Hammer is what is just awesome. I’ve felt the same in rides with my wife – there is nothing better. Can’t wait to hear her side.

  4. Comment by pbrmeasap | 08.21.2014 | 11:42 am

    Great story, shows all of us that we are better than we think we are. Q/P pushing The Hammer totally supports that.

  5. Comment by Bart the Clydesdale | 08.21.2014 | 11:45 am

    Great race, great report. I will make sure I yell at you next year when you are heading down Columbine and I am heading up (at least if I get in next year.)

  6. Comment by Rob W | 08.21.2014 | 11:51 am

    Awesome!!!!!

  7. Comment by Steven Nichols | 08.21.2014 | 11:55 am

    Excellent. Anxiously awaiting the Hammer’s report!

  8. Comment by Welnic | 08.21.2014 | 11:58 am

    Even though I knew what happened at the finish since I saw it live on the Leadville finish line cam, that was a great story.

  9. Comment by Rob W | 08.21.2014 | 11:59 am

    I gotta add that this whole story is so dang inspiring! It makes me want to set some goals and to go for them. I so hope that you go sub-8 next year. I’ll be cheering for you!

  10. Comment by Doug (way upstate NY) | 08.21.2014 | 12:00 pm

    It is so very perfect that you guys finished together. Perfect.

  11. Comment by Daniel Weise | 08.21.2014 | 12:01 pm

    Well done to both you and the Hammer. You are both truly amazing! I am so impressed I wrote about it here: http://danielweise.blogspot.com/2014/08/amazing.html
    I felt I had to tell everyone how inspiring you two are.

  12. Comment by Steve Pavlovic | 08.21.2014 | 12:05 pm

    Awesome finish for both of you! Maybe we’ll be able to say Hey! next year!

  13. Comment by s dot r | 08.21.2014 | 12:06 pm

    Congratulations. That is way cool. Also, the whole “go all out on an activity you both really enjoy” thing is inspiring/eye-opening. Hopefully my husband and I can change that thing from the current “yay Netflix”.

  14. Comment by CycleMedic26 | 08.21.2014 | 12:09 pm

    Excellence, as always, Fatty.
    Last night, I got my wife her first real bike last night (Trek roadie).
    Here’s to hoping I can share some of these type of moments with her. Truly inspiring!

  15. Comment by Even Fatter Cyclist | 08.21.2014 | 12:11 pm

    Awesomeness – thank you for sharing! Question – Did you say “hey” like The Fonz or like Uncle Si?

  16. Comment by Noel | 08.21.2014 | 12:24 pm

    Awesome story. Can’t wait to read The Hammer’s story.

  17. Comment by NZ Ev | 08.21.2014 | 12:49 pm

    Just wonderful!!! Thank you so much for the story. Can’t wait to read the Hammer’s!!!

  18. Comment by Sara T | 08.21.2014 | 1:24 pm

    A tear or two may have been shed whilst reading this. So great.

  19. Comment by Jesse | 08.21.2014 | 1:41 pm

    Yeah, you made me cry too.

  20. Comment by Fat Bike Racer | 08.21.2014 | 1:45 pm

    Inspiring, thanks for sharing.

  21. Comment by cyclingjimbo | 08.21.2014 | 2:00 pm

    Totally awesome – and inspiring! Thanks for the great writeup, congratulations for the awesome rides, and kudos to Rebecca for taikng The hammer under her wing and coaching her through this really challenging race.

    Your insights are right on target and your support of The Hammer is an example for the rest of us.

    Fatty, your friends are legion, and you keep inspiring us every day with your wit, your insight into the human psyche, and your love for what you do and for the people whom you hold dear.+

  22. Comment by Rebecca Rusch | 08.21.2014 | 2:31 pm

    AWESOME trip down memory lane! I had so much fun being part of the ride with both you and the Hammer. It was perfect in every way. And yes, she did find another gear and go into the pain cave like she never had before. On the other side, her smile was bigger than anyone could imagine!

  23. Comment by Flyin' Ute | 08.21.2014 | 2:47 pm

    Great job. You guys are fast!

    I’m coming back next year for number 10 and a PR.

  24. Comment by owen | 08.21.2014 | 3:08 pm

    the last photo says it all big buckles and big smiles

  25. Comment by Road Mike | 08.21.2014 | 3:29 pm

    What a great story! Congratulations to both of you, Fatty, and praises and honor to the Queen of Pain.

  26. Comment by Brandon Banks | 08.21.2014 | 3:33 pm

    Great write up, man. Congrats to the both of you. Very cool!

  27. Comment by Kukui | 08.21.2014 | 3:49 pm

    Next year for me: gears and sub-8.

    I got chills! I’ve been hoping to read your sub-8 story since you posted 8:18:01 in 2011. Go, Fatty, go!!!

    Of all your write-ups, this is by far my favorite finish-line. Congratulations to The Hammer on her sub-9! You guys are amazing. =)

  28. Comment by Clydesteve | 08.21.2014 | 4:13 pm

    !!!!!!!!!!wow!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Comment by rohit | 08.21.2014 | 4:34 pm

    Congratulations! Incredible work for all of you. One day, I will bring my family to Leadville. And if I am very lucky, I’ll ride across the line for #18 with one of them at my side.

    Once again, you have inspired us all just by putting yourself out there.

  30. Comment by Evia | 08.21.2014 | 4:35 pm

    That high five finish line picture between The Hammer and The Queen of Pain made my eyes a little misty. Super cool!!!

  31. Comment by Bob B. | 08.21.2014 | 4:57 pm

    Do you take requests? For 2015 Leadville, go for a no-stop, no-dab sub-9 finish with gears.

  32. Comment by Grego | 08.21.2014 | 4:59 pm

    Big congratulations to Hammer, Fatty, and Rebecca!

  33. Comment by Susie H | 08.21.2014 | 5:07 pm

    very inspiring, all of you! a couple of chapters into Rebecca’s book, (and i love that it’s inscribed to me) and i think i agree that she is just the real thing…so lucky you are to be friends. makes me want to go for a bike ride right now! :-)

  34. Comment by Corrine | 08.21.2014 | 5:37 pm

    What a great story! The smiles at the end are so incredible. I got a little teary-eyed, too reading this. Can’t wait to hear The Hammer’s story. Makes me think maybe I should try to go back next year again.

  35. Comment by dug | 08.21.2014 | 5:38 pm

    elden, i’ve known you for a long time, and read more than my share of your stuff. this is my favorite race write up. nice one.

    while i have mixed feelings about what leadville has become, there is something special about that last mile through town to the red carpet.

    i wrote this about hanging out at the finish line the last time we were in leadville together:

    http://suncrestdug.wordpress.com/?s=saddest+sight+in+the+world

    Thanks Dug. It’s been a while since I read your story. It describes perfectly the drama that happens at twelve hours in Leadville. – FC

  36. Comment by Eric L | 08.21.2014 | 5:48 pm

    OK, I’m with Owen above. That last picture is priceless. The only thing missing is the little hearts floating around your heads. You two are so made for each other.

    Awesome racing as well as writing.

  37. Comment by Jenni | 08.21.2014 | 7:14 pm

    Oh please oh please Reba do it for Elden next year. Please puleeze please please.

    I’d second that, but I’m more in the “Go for the win again in 2015, Reba” camp. – FC

  38. Comment by Sunny | 08.21.2014 | 7:47 pm

    Total enjoyment. Thank you.

  39. Comment by erin | 08.21.2014 | 7:57 pm

    Great report! I had chills, I got chocked up in the waiting room at the doctors office, I laughed out loud! You are a truly talented writer that keeps me coming back for more! Congratulations!

  40. Comment by melinda | 08.21.2014 | 9:04 pm

    I am a long, long time reader and I am using my first ever comment to say “I cannot wait for the Hammer’s side of this story!” What a glorious smile she has on her face.

  41. Comment by bart | 08.22.2014 | 4:17 am

    Awesome story!
    you will be going back and forth on that “Next year for me: gears and sub-8.”
    In fact, I’m counting on it. It will result in more great stories.

    PS I cannot wait to read the Hammer’s story.

    You might be right about the “going back and forth” bit. Up until a month before the race this year I was registered to ride with gears. But (at least for now) I’m pretty committed to this new goal. – FC

  42. Comment by Doug (Way upstate NY) | 08.22.2014 | 4:26 am

    Hey Elden, Whats the SS course record. The 7:58:57 seams like a pretty stout ride. Bet he was pedaling hard at the end to get in under 8.

    I don’t know the SS course record; it’s not officially maintained. I know, however, that it’s in no danger of being broken by me. – FC

  43. Comment by Richard | 08.22.2014 | 5:08 am

    The close up taken of you and the hammer at this finish is priceless. Your blog constantly reminds me how life has so many finish lines. Nice work! 2015 is the year of the bike for me!

  44. Comment by David Yacobelli | 08.22.2014 | 5:40 am

    Thanks Elden for the shout out. I had a frustrating first 1/2 of the race. For a variety of reasons I just could not move quickly through the course. This left me extremely motivated coming back home on Pipeline, Powerline, and Carter’s. I also have a newborn son and I wanted to do something special for him since he couldn’t make the trip to Colorado. It was a great race because of how hard I worked to catch you. Congrats on a great ride.

    - David

    Thanks, David! Do you remember passing me? Where was it? I tried to keep a lookout for other SS riders, but I didn’t notice you when you went by. Not that I could have done anything about it. – FC

  45. Comment by Brian in VA | 08.22.2014 | 7:36 am

    I took the time to read this after I got home last night when I was by myself as I knew there would be moist eyes. You didn’t disappoint. Great story telling. I can’t wait to read The Hammer’s story, too.

    The pics are just perfect. Thanks so much for sharing this with us; it makes me want to get off my butt and do things. Not many folks can pull that off.

  46. Comment by Daddy Style | 08.22.2014 | 7:45 am

    smiling, thx for sharing

  47. Comment by ScottyCycles62 | 08.22.2014 | 8:30 am

    Congrats to the two of you! I’d love to be able to race with my GF sometime.

  48. Comment by Jeremy | 08.22.2014 | 9:29 am

    Excellent. As always, thanks for sharing.

  49. Comment by elektrische fietsen | 08.22.2014 | 10:28 am

    Awesome story!

  50. Comment by Heidi | 08.22.2014 | 10:50 am

    Outstanding write-up!

  51. Comment by TimE | 08.22.2014 | 11:43 am

    “Hi Baby, I love you,” I say to The Hammer.

    “I love you too,” she whispers back on the exhale.

    - – - –

    Perhaps the nicest two lines you’ve ever written. I could feel the emotion and effort and it made me tear up.

  52. Comment by Todd Mallow | 08.22.2014 | 1:32 pm

    Wow. Elden, you captured it all and all the emotions that are the Leadville 100. You are so blessed to have the Hammer and she you! Long time “stalker” of your blog and have to say this is by far and away your best Leadville re-cap!! Congrats to you and the Hammer!

    On a rather lengthy side-note; I was born in Leadville and have done Leadville 3 times (I will be back)! When the race passes the cemetery I get chills… my grandparents are buried there and I know they are watching over me each time I take on this race (no mechanicals, crashes or flats). Each ride up the Boulevard brings tears to my eyes, I am emptying the tank and the sheer effort of everything that has propelled me toward that particular day in August and all of the miles that are behind me just washes over me and like you, I can’t wheelie, and like you I am wired differently than those who would wheelie there… I am cross-eyed and pushing, pushing, pushing with everything I have to crest the final rise and charge toward the finish line… find a nice shaded spot on the courthouse lawn and let the pain and euphoria course through my dirty, salty body!

    Reading what you have written reminds me of how grateful I am to have raced at Leadville and how blessed I am in my life and relationships.

    Thank you, for some reason I needed a little reminder today on what is truly important!

  53. Comment by Carl | 08.22.2014 | 8:09 pm

    So many stories within the story this year. So interesting and what an awesome race you and The Hammer had.

  54. Comment by SuomiTri | 08.23.2014 | 7:04 am

    I agree that this was a great race write-up. It made me think back on (and go back and read some old posts) the journey you’ve had the last 10 years (yes, I’ve read the whole blog and followed you for years now. Sorta creepy when you say it like that.). How biking and family and work have ebbed and flowed with tragedy and joy mixed in along the way. I bet not too many years ago it would have been difficult to imagine ever feeling as much joy as you seem to have felt at this year’s Leadville. It gives me hope that notwithstanding my own setbacks, life will come back around to give me my fair share of joy. Enjoy it; it’s great to see it.

  55. Comment by Nic Grillo | 08.23.2014 | 8:08 am

    Wow! Big congrats to you and Lisa!

  56. Comment by David Yacobelli | 08.23.2014 | 3:26 pm

    Elden,

    I passed you on the pavement climb up to Carter’s Summit. You were wearing an almost entirely black jersey with cursive writing on it?… Correct?

    Dave

  57. Comment by David Yacobelli | 08.23.2014 | 3:34 pm

    I tried to pass you quickly so you wouldn’t notice I was SS. Or if you did notice, you might not chase.

    Your strategy worked; I don’t recall seeing another SS go by. If I had, I promise I would have chased (futilely, but still…). – FC

  58. Comment by Matt | 08.24.2014 | 3:52 pm

    A beautiful love story wrapped in a bike story. The race pales to the incredible relationship you express in these reports. Lucky man.

  59. Comment by MikeL | 08.24.2014 | 5:16 pm

    You have been blessed in life to have had the love of two fantastic women and the your family. May it continue.

  60. Comment by Jeremy | 08.24.2014 | 6:55 pm

    So awesome.

  61. Comment by Jeff Bike | 08.25.2014 | 8:18 am

    Just finished my 3rd. reading.
    Thank you each time.

    What a great compliment. Thank you! – FC

  62. Comment by Mike S. | 08.28.2014 | 4:50 pm

    Remember when going sub-9 felt nigh unto impossible? It’s pretty cool to see how far you’ve come.

    Congrats!

 

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