Sunday, August 21, 2016

On a plane home from Leadville.

Sunrise at the Leadville 100

This weekend I had a chance to do something I really love that is unique to the trial and ultra world  - crewing (Carrying supplies and meeting a runner at places along the trail) and pacing (running with the runner in later stages of a race to offer support and safety) a runner in a 100 mile race.  Our runner, Adam Benkers, was a Flatlander who had never ran mountains or at altitude before.  Nonetheless, he was pushed off the cliff to sign up for the Leadville 100 - the "Race Across the Sky," which happens entirely at it above 10,000 feet of atlltitude and has two 2,500 foot climbs to 12,600.

Adam, John and I had many adventures packed into a few short days in Leadville.  We reunited with our old friend Dusty (Pacer of the Century) Bill Dooper (Ultra running fan of the century) Patrick Sweeney (Beer mile Yoda) and Jen Coker (Boxed wine enthusiast) Vanessa and Shaky Runs....and so many more.  We were lucky enough to rub elbows with Leadville 100 winner Ian Sharman, Western States champion Tim Olson and Max King.  

Johnny D, Adam and Box of Wine
Dustball and Me

We raced a beer mile. (4 beers and 4 quarter miles). 

We discussed complicated race strategies while playing Yahtzee.

We attempted to climb a 14'er (Mount Quandry) only to be turned back at 13k by a storm....but we did make a new friend.  

We woke up at 4 am to see the start of the race and tracked it and our runner Adam all day. Eventually the effects of running at altitude caused him to miss a time cutoff, ending his day at mile 50. Nonetheless, we had an amazing time and it felt like we were in Leadville for weeks when it was only days.  

If you get a chance to pace or crew someone in a 100 mile race, Do It!!  the memories are priceless and they will last a lifetime. 

I am going to continue to try to post here weekly.  As some of you may know I am working on a book.  I am trying to get into the habit of physically writing more and this is helping quite a bit.  Thanks so much for reading!

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