Erich Wegscheider

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Leadville Marathon

If I could only compete in two events this year, I’d choose the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike and Leadville Trail 100 Run. Why? They’re a week apart, start at an elevation of 10,176 feet (3,101 m), and are two of the toughest single-day races in the world.

However, I needed to qualify for the 100-miler, so I signed-up for Leadville Marathon. In short, I totally came down with a case of naivety, because the race was a big slap in the face/wake-up call.

Reasons for Slap in the Face:
  1. Mentally compared previous winning times to road marathon times.
  2. Over-estimated my ability to cope with elevation on such short notice.
  3. I’m not nearly as good of a power-walker as I had thought.
  4. I ate three bananas during the race.

The race wasn’t a shit show by any means, but I definitely failed hard on a few key aspects. Namely nutrition. Somehow only three bananas found their way into my stomach. My race time was 4:49:02, so that’s a ridiculously small amount of calories for a race that takes place above 10,000 feet, where one’s basal metabolic rate is increased. In my defense, I nibbled at every aid station. However, nibbling didn’t cut it.

I really need to remedy this nutrition fail trend.

I also need to work on power walking, because I got dropped hard on several occasions. You read that correctly. Even in full sasquatch mode -swinging arms back and forth and grunting – I couldn’t keep pace. Even with my 6’3″ (1.92 m) frame. I must be all wingspan.

Overall, the Mini Race Across the Sky was an awesome experience.

Reasons for Awesomeness:
  1. Injinji socks and Hoka One One shoes are a perfect match – happy feet start to finish.
  2. I have slightly better idea of what to expect for the 100-miler.
  3. The mountains are beautiful.
  4. It’s a hard, honest race.

Now that I’m all set to do the double, one question remains…

Do I keep growing the beard?

Let me know by leaving a comment!


  • Suzanne Butler on 18 Jun 2014

    Nice going, Erich! Keep the beard. Maybe you can grow it really long and store your nutrition in there. That will remind you to actually eat more next time! Remember: they don’t call a mustache a “flavor saver” for nothing!

    • Erich on 19 Jun 2014

      Thanks! That’s a terrific idea! I’ll slather almond butter in there and have easy access to tasty, high calorie snacks 🙂

  • Loren on 18 Jun 2014

    Great work Erich! You are truly head and shoulders above everyone in that race. Less purple on race day, you’re like a hill-billy barney. Except faster. I love the Hoka’s I got! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Erich on 19 Jun 2014

      Thanks, Loren! “Hill-billy barney,” ha! I’ll tone down the purple for the 100.

      Glad to hear you’re liking the Hokas.

  • Jody Gold on 18 Jun 2014

    wow, I’m inspired your tenacity and ambition (oh and your shredded legs)! Good reflections here, you make me want to try Hokas, maybe one more time? From start to finish, feet good? That’s testimony! Kudos to who takes your photos, they’re great! Always say yes to purple, pink and neon! Beard, jury is still out. I would make it a milestone beard – grow it until you [insert date or milestone here]. How will you adjust your nutrition?

    • Erich on 19 Jun 2014

      Yeah, start to finish my feet felt great! In large part, I have to credit Injinji socks for that – toe socks are where it’s at! I’ll pass your kudos on to Christen; she does do a fantastic job! Thanks for reading!

  • TramAnh on 19 Jun 2014

    OMG! I have recently started running with Hoka One One and Injinji as well. They are by far the best combination 🙂

    Have fun on your race Erich!

    • Erich on 19 Jun 2014

      Awesome, TramAnh! Which marathon are you targeting? Best of luck!

  • Matthew Daneel on 11 Jul 2014

    Hey Erich,

    Rad write up, I guess we felt pretty similar on the day as ended running most of the race very near to each other. I totally did not eat, could not stomach anything, so blew early as well! Super cool to see all the planned adventures! Shout when you are in SA for the epic!
    Also, where did you get the cool pics? I got none from the event!

    • Erich on 11 Jul 2014

      I don’t know about you, Matt, but I was hoping to see boiled potatoes at the aid stations.

      My girlfriend took all but one of the posted photos. She took almost all the photos on my website as well. I’ll look back through the event and see if she snapped any of you. Batman shirt if I remember correctly?

      If you’re ever in need of a partner for the Cape Epic, give me a shout!

  • Matthew Daneel on 13 Jul 2014

    For sure, I was hoping for some actual food as well. Next time I’ll take my CamelBak with me!
    Sure thing, if I get the chance at Epic I’ll give you a shout. Its super expensive for us locals and not easy to get an entry.

    Yeah I was Batman, a very weak and poor attempt at pulling off the Batman shirt. haha.
    Would be great if she might have snapped a pic or two? Event camera seems to have missed me.

    Check you on Strava!

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