Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011: LT100?

Thinking about 2011.

Looking for a (singular) 100-miler.
WS lottery fail...and I would like a Hardrock qualifier, so I can at least begin the cycle of that lottery every year.

August timeframe works pretty well: I should have a better situation to train next spring and summer then I do now. Being within driving distance is another bonus.

That leaves Leadville. Some love it...some don't. I've been worried about it being overhyped (ironically, I've deeply bought into the WS100 hype), so I never thought too much about it, but I think a big part of that is the attention of the mt. bike race. If it's clearly a crowded, money-making endeavor, I could imagine being a bit bummed -- will it be worse this year, with more "Born to Run" hype, or better, with new sponsorship? I'm looking for a chill day in the mountains, with occasional calories and fresh water and llamas. Another criticism is there's a fair amount of jeep trail and roads in this trail marathon. Then again, I was perfectly pleased with the Silver Rush course...and also running near the highway, at times, in South Dakota. I kind of enjoy the variety.

So on the other hand, there's the camaraderie: there's always a large contingent of recognizable folks, sort of like a reunion atmosphere, as well as any family/friends that might make it out there. It's the home-state 100. Should be fun knowing some people, and some of the trail sections (CO trail, Hope Pass, Turquoise Lake) have historical meaning to me. And I read about epic stuff going on at night, and it starts to sound pretty interesting.

Wasatch sounds fantastic, but the travel and timing make it a bit tougher to swing. Same with Bighorn and Black Hills 100: both look awesome, but being in June conflicts with the end of my school schedule.

So that leaves Leadville -- should I pull the trigger?
What does anyone else think? Who's in, who's out, who's got a better idea?



  1. If you can do it I would say go for the Bear 100 in Sept. Being in Sept. you would at least have the summer to train. It is a bit of a drive though so time could be an issue but I think you would enjoy it more than Leadville.

  2. Ah yes, The Bear, looks gorgeous, great suggestion!
    Desafortunadamente, I won't know about the Friday/scheduling situation until this summer.

    I think I very well might like it more...but I'm trying to figure out if I'll like LT100 -enough-, so that combined with the other reasons it'll be a fun day.

    Nick, how does the LT100 course compare with the Silver Rush course? I was happy with Silver Rush and thought it was scenic enough.

  3. Do the PPA PPM double instead of Pb

  4. But that doesn't add up to 100!
    I wanted to do WS and PPM, thought that woulda been a fun summer.

  5. My complaints about leadville are:

    1. Overpriced. The entry is steep which is fine but I don't think you get anything close to what you pay for. At Winfield I was told I could only take 1 gel - personally, I think if you pay $300+ for a race you should have very good aid stations and be able to take what you need. I can see not letting me take 10 but 3-4 seems reasonable.

    2. Aid Stations. There are only 11 which is a little sparse in my opinion. They also are not very well stocked which comes back to (1) - if I pay $$ for the race I think expecting good aid is reasonable. If the race cost $150 then my expectations may be different.

    3. Finish line food (and beer!) or lack thereof

    4. Course. The course is not great but I think it is enjoyable enough. There is a good bit of road/double track and only a few sections of nice trail. I would imagine crowding may be an issue now as well.

    Basically my dislike of Leadville is not so much related to the course as it is with other parts of the race. If it were run better I would be much more likely to overlook the slightly disinteresting course. Anyway that is just my opinion.

  6. Thanks Nick, your comments are similar to what Nick, Pete, and others have said.
    The early entry is $250, so that's why I'm thinking about it now, because $350 would be over the top for me, in combination of the things you mentioned. I can deal with that, and the finish line food.

    But I could imagine flipping out if I were told I could only take 100 calories in the middle of nowhere. And it sounds like a pacer that's also a muler is a necessity.

    Hmm, lots to think about. I'm (we're) very lucky to have these choices in the first place! Sounds like there's potential, especially with new management, to make improvements...

  7. Pull it dude. Not the most exciting course out there, but a classic to be sure. Bighorn is far superior, though.

  8. I laid out my $250 the day before yesterday, so I'm in. I am thinking the new race management will improve things some and the area around Leadville is great. Maybe we can get out for some long training runs out there in July. Happy New Year and have a great trip to SA.

  9. I've got my eye on Cascade Crest in August. It's a long way to travel but the course looks incredible and I've heard that it's well supported so crew and pacers would be optional.

    There will be a big group from Ft Collins going up to Bighorn this year so it's too bad your work schedule doesn't work with your schedule.

    But if you decide to run Leadville, I think you'll do well. You're pretty fast on the flats so you'll make good time on the long road sections. Crewing and muling is almost required but there won't be any shortage of locals to get support. You should join Alex and I for a vertical beer mile to train. Alex can demonstrate how you can best keep your hydration down and I can demonstrate form and style for projectile vomiting. That should help you prepare for race day.

  10. Thanks Pete and Alex. My wife wants to go to Wisconsin on the Solstice, ruling out Bighorn (and SJS) until 2012 -- another reason WS would have worked out.

    Pete: Cascade Crest certainly looks awesome and in a great place, good luck there! With some friends and possible family in Leadville, it makes it more attractive. It would have been even better if you were ahead of me picking up garbage/wrappers, cuz I know that would put me in a foul mood as well.

    I look forward to meeting up for the next vertical beer mile: this last one, the roads would have been treacherous for a one mile run...and I still wish I were there!

  11. I was turned off by Leadville this year (except for the part where I crushed Brandon). Definitely #4 of the 100s I did, and #3 was way ahead. Had a lot of the same complaints as Nick, and it started right away when they ran out of XL shirts - I signed up on Jan 1st, did they not know I was coming?

    But, everyone does it, and it is fun to see so many friends out there. I will certainly enjoy the race from my lawn chair this year, sucking down beers while noticing how much pain all those runners seem to be in!