Leadville is so important and cherished to me that today at 11:00 AM MST I logged onto the race's website to enter the 2012 100-mile run at the very second registration opened. I simply could not fathom missing the LT100 in 2012, or being locked out of registration, and so I confirmed my entry at the earliest possible time. When my registration went through and I got my confirmation e-mail, I breathed a sign of relief. I truly believe the day will come when Leadville turns to a lottery system due to overwhelming demand, and by then I hope to have enough finishes to earn an automatic entry into the race--kind of like how they do it at Hardrock. Until then, my entry will come in the second registration opens!
|Me running up Hagerman Pass. 2011.|
I think we all in some way have dealt with pain and adversity in our own lives. I know I have. And so I find inspiration in a town like Leadville, which has risen like a phoenix from the ashes, overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds. In many ways, the town has come back from the dead and reinvented itself as the High Altitude Racing Capital of the World. Like many people out there, I have a special place in my heart for Leadville. It's one of the reasons why I wanted to move to Colorado in the first place.
As for the 2012 race, it feels good to have it penciled into my calendar. As of right now, it's my big event for next summer. If by some miracle I get into the Western States 100, my strategy will shift a bit to a strong finish at Western (sub 20 hours) followed by a "strong-as-I-can-muster" finish at Leadville. That would be two epic 100-mile efforts in a period of seven weeks. For some guys and gals (like this dude or that dude), such a feat would be a cake walk. For me, this will be quite a challenge. In 2009, I finished 1st overall at the Mohican 100 and then about 11 weeks later ran 131 miles at the USA 24-Hour National Championship--an effort that really took a toll on me. So it would be interesting to see how I would do with a Western States/Leadville double. That said, I'm well aware that my chance of getting into Western is very low, which would mean Leadville--and the sub-20 finish there I've been chasing for a few years--would be my only focus. That's just the way the WS100 lottery works these days.
Parting words: You are better than you think you are, and you can do more than you think you can. That's the motto of the Leadville 100. Words to live by? Yes, indeed.
And, last, my personal Leadville 100 theme song: