|850 or so riders to start|
I finished the Leadville 50 in 7 hours 36 minutes. The time cutoff was 8 hours, thats when they sweep you off the course and call you girlie names....but no girlie names for me!
The first 10 miles or so of the race is up the mountain, yes 10 miles, but it is an out and back course so I knew miles 40-50 (i.e. the last 10 miles) would be downhill (comforting, right?) I made the first aid station at 13.5 miles at 1 hour 52 minutes, I knew anything under 2 hours 10 minutes, I was finishing! Hudson changed out my accelerade bottles, Darla changed out my water filled camelpak, and Madison filmed the whole thing with Darla's iphone. I took on two salt tabs and was off.
At stop number 3, about 38 miles in, I knew barring a bad crash or a mechanical issue I was going to beat 8 hours by quite a bit. I took on a couple more salt tabs, changed out the nutrition stuff, kissed my wife and kids and headed up a torturous climb for a couple of miles which led into that aformentioned 10 mile downhill to the finish.
|Entering AID Station #2|
|Leaving AID Station #3|
So, my buddy Brad that I ride with quite a bit tells me to be careful on the downhills before the race. Why you ask? Because he does ride with me and has seen me on the downhills.... However, I always rein it in as I know I have to go to work on Monday so I never really do let it all hang out.....except for.....evidently........maybe.......in......Leadville colorado during the Leadville 50. At the top of the climb there were 7-10 riders waiting to point their machines downhill and start screaming. Some were taking on fluid, others nutrition, and some checking their equipment (brakes) before heading for home. I smiled, said hello, and started down. OK, so, on the climbing part (especially in CO) I struggle, I get passed, but I keep going..... On the downhill, not so much. I passed 10-15 riders on the down and did not get passed once.....I was flying, we have all heard of being "in the zone", well, for the first time ever on a bike for me, I was "in the zone". My lines were beautiful, my body was loose, my legs were strong (yes I did pedal when I could), and I felt like I was just floating down the mountain (at an average speed of 25mph with a peak of 37.5!) I have never felt the exhileration of that descent. I have goosebumps right now typing this.....
|Crossing Finish Line!!|
Then the finish. Crossed the line, my family rushes to me, I see the proud faces of my children and my wife, I think about what they have done, the training sacrifices my wife has made, the downhill feeling I just had, the pride of finishing and.....yes,,,,,, I had to take a moment,,,,,it was very emotional, I did not expect that.
Go Big or Stay Home