Friday, August 14, 2009

Leadville Trail 100 Stats, Primer, and Quick Updates

Well it's one week until I'll be toeing the line at the Leadville Trail 100. I thought before putting up a Race Preview, I'd put up a few stats to illustrate just how insane of a race this is. Plus, I need a break from thesis writing right now, and writing about Leadville seemed like a good distraction!

The Vermont 100 was an unreal undertaking for me, yet with all of its ups and downs, the entire race took place at elevations under 4000 feet. Last year, when I thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, I can remember just how hard it was to breathe at high altitudes. Even with a 10lb pack, I stopped so many times on climbs to catch my breath. With that said, here are a few Leadville numbers to help put it into perspective:

1. The town of Leadville Colorado is the highest incorporated city in the US at just over 10,200 feet.
2. The Leadville Trail 100 is the highest 100 mile ultrarun in the US (avg elevation)
3. Last Year only 186 runners finished the race out of over 300 (~half)
4. Of the 186 finishers, only 35 finished in under 25 hours and received a buckle.
5. The course is a 50 mile out-n-back and has a highest elevation of over 12,000 feet at Hope Pass, which must be climbed and descended TWICE!
6. Unlike Vermont, aid stations are only on the course roughly every 10 miles....meaning I have to carry more food/water
7. The weather can go from hot/humid, to thunderstorms, to hail, to snow, to sub-freezing....meaning I have to carry more clothing
8. Pacers ARE allowed to mule for their runners (thank god)....meaning they can carry stuff for you.

Here is the elevation profile:

I will post a full race preview, but as far as a few quick updates:

1. The race is still on for me
2. My goal is to finish. That is all.
3. I will have a crew of at least 1, maybe 2 people.
4. I will have a pacer from mile 50 on (return trip from Winfield back to Leadville).
5. I will use trekking poles on some sections

Oh and I'm going to make a very early prediction for winners:

Men: Anton Krupicka or Duncan Callahan (08 winner)
Women: Jamie Donaldson


Jeremiah said...

Hey Lakewood!

Man, I cant wait to hear the recap on this 100 miler! Can your "mule" carry a portable oxygen tank as well! lol.

Here is a recap of a guy who ran the Leadville Marathon this year, which incorportates some of the Leadville 100. He is a sub 3 marathon runner and he thought it was pretty tough...actually his 2 worst marathon times have been both Leadville marathons he has done!

Have a great run! I am predicting a new belt buckle for ya!


Anonymous said...

One of your stats is wrong: The average elevation of the Hardrock Hundred, at 11,186 feet, is higher than Leadville, plus it goes over a 14er. Yes, Leadville is a difficult race, but Hardrock is in another category of tough. (And if you don't believe me, compare Hope Pass on the Leadville course map with any of the climbs on Hardrock's course map.)

Lakewood said...


You're absolutely right. I was just going off of what it said on the profile picture that leadville trail 100 was the "highest ultramarathon in the us", but in the back of my mind was thinking, "what about the hardrock 100?" Thanks for clearing that up. The profile map was probably made before the hardrock race started back in 92.

Still can't believe last year's winner at hardrock broke 24 hours. sheesh.