Missed my stated 24 hour goal (and Brownie's time by a half hour), but still had a fun race. My fault for too aggressive of a plan in the lower 20's when I had no business doing so, especially for a mountain/altitude/Leadville first-timer, trying to get impressive results. I had a great run for 60 miles, then early leg pain caught up to me, subjecting poor Slush to a night-time hike around endless Turquoise Lake while gobs of people passed us. Should have backed off like many experience runners have said and run a first 60+ miles that felt very easy, and I know better! Lots of things went well, especially the crew and pacers and numerous friends on and along the course, and nutrition/gear/stomach/head all felt fine all day (more than any 50M)
But, for those unfamiliar with these races, the "award" is a belt buckle for finishing. There is often a more strict cutoff for a "big buckle." In Leadville, the cutoff for "La Plata Grande" is 25 Hours. I certainly wanted to earn this and was excited to do so -- the 24 hour number I came up with was only because it's a more "natural" number and would end the suffering earlier. Once I knew 22, 23, and 24 hours were out of reach, I focused on being conservative enough not to get injured and to get the big buckle.
So, overall it was a blast and I really enjoyed the Leadville experience more than I thought. It was also very difficult and satisfying to finish this race. Tedious report and pictures forthcoming.