Image courtesy of Jody Grigg.Leadville Wrap up.
I think Leadville has turned me into a passionate endurance MTB racer.
I chose this race as an A race earlier in the year, partly as a new challenge.
Its been a great experience from start to finish and I am officially totally hooked.
The womens field was exceptionally deep and fast in Leadville this year. I am psyched to have finished the race 8 minutes under the existing record time. It was also really an engaging and mostly enjoyable experience to race with the fast deep field of women out there. .
Now that I have completed the event I have a heightened respect for the 100 mile distance and for this particular race.
The altitude in Leadville ( 10, 400 ft is the lower elevation of the day). and the road nature of the race make it one tough day out.
For me any road aspect adds difficulty and requires more skill. It adds the whole dimension of other wheels to ride on, and having pace and effort dictated by said wheels, need to hang on the descents and not get dropped from a group, responding to efforts of others around me, etc..
The road nature is only true for part of the course too, others parts are mountain rough, steep, loose, and sketchy. Plus had I mentioned it is an altitude upwards of 10, 400 feet!
My race was honestly really great until it wasn't. I had good legs, good attitude and for 85 miles was fully committed to the race.
I did have stomach issues from 65 miles in . Not sure why. ( heat, altitude, effort. distance: who knows?) juststarted bringing back up my food and fluid. It wasn't a huge problem as I was still eating and drinking and my legs still felt good.
My lights first went out on the pinch of a climb up Powerline. I redlined and never really came back. At the time I was riding with Gretchen Reeves. Super grateful for both the company and the fact that she wasn't accelerating and dropping me. ( . My mantra up that entire 4 mile climb was go quietly.. hmmm ....not exactly effort inspiring ?!)
From there we descended for about 5 miles and transitioned into a pavement climb around Turquoise lake. That pavement did me in. It was bye bye me time.
At the end of the day while disappointing to have grovelled my way home, I was pretty happy to have lost only 7.5 minutes to Rebecca's new course record.
Congratulations all the women on the podium. Rebecca Rusch for really bringing her A game and defending her title. To Gretchen for riding a near perfect race. Gretchen was so consistent and smooth and really finished strongly. Another 5 miles and she quite probably would have won. To Pua who hung in there amidst bike problems, it takes alot of strength to keep focused when things don't go the way you hope and plan.
Plus to Kelli, Sari, Tammi, and Amanda for making it such a valid race.
Any event like this is a team effort. A huge thanks go out to:
1. Alpine Orthapeadics and Dr Rhett Griggs.
Alpine Orthapeadics investment in the Alpine Ortho mountain bike team is the reason I am cycling this season.
It has been an amazing experience that has completely rejuvenated my interest in cycling as my sport. To have the support and companionship of my teamates ( who also happen to be my friends and peers) has been building a sense of comradeship , fun and pride.
Success breeds success and I really believe our team is on a path to success. It is evident in the way that riders have been developing and improving.
Dr Griggs and his family camped out and fed us while racing. Which is huge and we couldn't have done it so smoothly without them ( Twin lakes feed zone has to be seen to believed, It had seeminly about the population of Gunnison out there which totally overwhelmed my senses: thank goodness Brian was in Brasil and not my feeder as planned, he would not have been as kind and tolerant to my confusion as Lisa and Rhett).
Along with all our supportive sponsors making this team a reality.
For excellent Leadville 100 images of the entire Alpine ORTHO crew please visit Kevin Krills website: Kevin Krill: http://crestedbuttephotography.com/blog/2011/08/14/leadville-trail-100-mtb-race-2011/
andBeth Sneider's: Peleton post article. www.peletonpost.com
I was only one of the Alpine Ortho crew out there racing. Nick Kempin, Dave Ochs, Travis Scheefer, and Stuart Grosse have their stories too: You guys need to post them .....