22 Sep

…1 hour til go time and I am ready to go.  I had packed all my stuff the night before as well as had all my gear laid out that I was going to wear in the beginning…  Consumed about 1000 calories in shakes and food, packed up our gear in the truck and headed towards the start line.  As I previously stated we were only 4 minutes away, so when we showed up we still had roughly 30 minutes of time to kill before we started…  plenty of time to go to the restroom for the 3rd time and oh yeah my pregame puke!  About this time is when my nerves were at their highest!  Up until now I had done a great job of keeping my emotions at bay, well I was now surrounded by 700 people, 700 people who were about to attempt to run 100 miles, knowing less then half of us were going to finish!  So the only thing I could do was take a deep breath and tell myself, was to run one mile at a time and lets see what happens!  My nerves calmed long enough to hear the words of encouragement from the race director… “Commit Not To Quit!” was what I heard that rang the loudest with me, and it was a mantra I would repeat to myself at least 100times before my Leadville journey would come to an end!  4Am, BAAAAAAAM, the shotgun sounded and my Leadville race was off…

this is the beginning of the 2010 race… pretty similar to my start

The first 13.5 miles was cake, not an extremely fast pace because the pack was so congested and the trail was small, as well as the fact it was 4am so it was still very dark even with our headlamps..  Initially the three of us (Zac, Elliot, and myself) decided we would just run our own race… basically, see you at the finish line!  Well once we started, Elliot and I got into a pretty good groove together so I mentioned to Elliot, if we kept this pace lets just see how far we can go together…(We thought Zac was ahead of us.. basically we stopped 3times to use the bathroom, twice to tie shoes) but at anytime either one of us felt the need to take off or slow down, we would separate.  Before the start Carlos mentioned to me that we should get through the first 13.5 in about 2hrs10minutes which is not blazing by any means but nice and steady and a good way to get warm… In my previous blog post I posted a pic of Turqouis Lake, well I spent the first 10miles running beside it but it was so dark I couldn’t see the beauty of it until the last 3 miles as the sun started to rise and there you had it, and let me tell this pic doesn’t serve it justice… not only is it beautiful it is HUGE!


Well it didn’t take the 2hrs10minutes I was hoping, it actually took 2hrs20minutes, but not bad.. my legs felt good, Carlos refilled my camel back..told me I needed to drink more water because it hardly was gone!  Found out that Zac was behind us which was crazy but knowing how dark it was it wasn’t too much of a surprise that we passed him without seeing him.. Grabbed some food and now I was ready to start my first climb!  Another bit of advice from Carlos was to talk to as many runners as I could and try and pick out those that looked or acted as if they had done Leadville before…  still run my own race if they were too fast for me though..  This is where I met “Big Chris”, 7 time Leadville participant, finisher everytime!   “Big Chris” was a big dude!  6’5″ 260#s late 40’s!  I started talking to Chris and just getting as much advice as he was to give which was a lot!  The running community is just like the Crossfit community, very supportive of each other during the heat of the battle!  Everyone wants to see EVERYONE Do well and more importantly FINISH!  This next leg we were currently on was the SugarLoaf climb with the PowerLine descent…  Chris had mentioned that if we could make it to the 50mile turn around in a certain time, “We can basically walk the rest..”  Well those words would stay with me for the rest of the time.  Around this time is when Elliot and I started getting separation from each other and after about 15 minutes of turning around to see if I could see him I finally lost track.. and this was when I now knew that I was now on my own (mile 18 or so )until the turn around (mile 50), other then the “single serving friends” (Fight Club reference from the plane) I would meet on the trail…  “Big Chris” and I would run the next 10 miles together before I noticed him slowing down a bit…  My first dilemma, do I slow down with “Big Chris” or do I stay at the pace I was running, hell I felt great but this cat had finished every Leadville run, the dude even had notes with him on where he should be and at what pace he should run to hit it….  Screw it, I feel good, so off I went.. now I was looking for my next “single serving friend” to run with…..

…to be continued


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