Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Fantasy Run: Leadville 100

In 1991, I knew nothing about running, except that I didn't really do it.  I knew I loved the mountains, though.  I went backpacking in the Collegiate Peaks area of Colorado with Dale, a Baylor recreation professor, a couple of other "adults" (we were right out of college), and some high school kids.  While we were huffing along one day with our sea-level lungs, a woman came running toward us.  Dale recognized her from TV coverage he had seen of the Leadville 100.  We stopped her and she said she was up there training for Leadville.  The concept of such a race was new and astounding to me, but now running that race is on my long-term to-do list.

The elevation of the Leadville 100 has a low point of 9200' and a high of 12600'.  The air's thin up there, especially if you're used to 600'.  I don't know the specific trail, but I know it's a gorgeous area.
Who is this guy?  I don't know.  But I'd sure love to be where he is.

Duncan Callahan, from Gunnison, Colorado, took the men's victory, finishing in 17:43:24.  He also won in 2008.  Sea-level, flat-land runners got some encouragement from the winner of the women's race: Elizabeth Howard (who won Rocky Raccoon this year) from San Antonio won in 21:19:47!  A Texan won Leadville!  That's fantastic!  Texans were well-represented overall.  Sean Lewis from Fair Oaks finished 8 minutes before Elizabeth, and Steven Moore from Austin finished about 12 minutes after her.

Closer to home, Drew Meyer of North Texas Trail Runners finished in 28:59:37.7!  Drew, 63, is now 3/4 finished with the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning.  He has three short weeks to recover before Wasatch.  Congratulations to him and good luck at Wasatch!

One of these days, I'm going to run this race.  A flatlander from Texas took the women's title.  The two Texans who finished near her are a couple years older than me.  I'm not saying I'll be in the top ten in 2011 (or ever), but I sure would like to line up at Leadville and cross that finish line, and, more importantly, to enjoy the ride in between.

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