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!