LooseCrew-JeffO: 39 miles at Leadville


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Sunday, July 22, 2007

39 miles at Leadville

I had an interesting run yesterday.
I parked next to Halfmoon Campground and ran to Winfield and back – the roughest 39 miles of the LT100 course. I took my Salomon Raid Revo II with 2-liter bladder and one Ultimate Direction bottle shoved in one side. In the other side was a water filter pump since I was totally self-supported. Other extra weight was enough food for the day and three lights for night-running. At the LT100, I’ll have the luxury of picking those up at Twin Lakes instead of lugging them with me the whole way. I’m not sure how much extra weight that is, nor do I know how much of a factor it played in the day’s splits.
The day, before it had rained. The sky was still overcast. In fact, I never had to don my sunglasses all day long.
IF (big if) I manage a 25-hour pace during the LT100, I’ll be leaving the Halfmoon aid-station at approximately 9:30am. So I tried to start at 9:30, but didn’t get away until 9:40.
But then I had to use an out-house. Since I might have to do the same during the race, the time was included.

Then I ran into Jeff Beuche and Christian Hendrickson running the other way. Wow, they started where Hope Pass trail meets the road to Winfield, ran to Winfield, then back, then up over Hope Pass all the freakin’ way to Leadville!!!! Those guys are animals!

I continued on with what I assumed was 25-hour pace. I got to Twin Lakes at 11:57, a full 30 minutes late.

The river crossing during a past race - about 2 feet lower!

The river was just as deep as it had been a month before. This was due to all the rain, and it made the water murky so I couldn’t see the rocks underneath or how deep it was. Good thing I knew the way across.
I reached the trickle below where Hopeless aid-station will be set up and refilled my hydration bladder.
I summited Hope Pass at 2:09pm – one 47 minutes behind schedule! Yikes, how can that be and what is going on, anyway?!
Without pushing harder, I reached Winfield at 3:15pm, 16 minutes late. So the pacing charts are wrong - for me anyways.
Returning, I summited Hope Pass at 5pm – just one minute behind pace. I certainly need to adjust my planned pace chart.

The sky was broiling and thundering. As I was coming down the north side of the pass, I saw rain on the trail far below. Then lightening struck right where I needed to go. It was very ironic – since I was exposed above treeline, the safest thing was to run as fast as I could towards the rain and where the lightening just struck!
I stopped at the trickle to refill my hydration bladder and found that I was significantly dehydrated. So I filled my Ultimate Direction bottle too.
Oddly, the river crossing was better. There hadn’t been any rain upstream, and some of the silt had settled.

I made it to Twin Lakes at 2:46pm, 31 minutes late – again.
I had to stop again to refill my hydration bladder on the side of Mt. Elbert.
It was about 8:40pm when I finally had to use lights. That slowed me down. Note to self: the farther I get before going to lights, the quicker I’ll be.
I finished at 9:20pm, just 6 minutes late.

Overall a very good day of training and the last major event before the LT100.
I feel good this morning, but my left knee and a totally new pain in my right arch were bugging me towards the end.
The rest of my taper will consist of maintenance runs, easy biking, high-altitude camping, and walks.
And sleep. I haven’t been getting enough sleep this past week. When climbing, I can really feel the effects of lack-of-sleep.


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