Leadville Silver Rush 50 Race Recap

By Guest Contributor Cassie Cilli

Leadville, Colorado probably isn’t on your tourist destination list this summer. This one street town popular for mining and its lawless past lost its fizzle in the 50’s and ultimately pittered out in the early 80’s. That’s when Ken Chlouber came up with the now infamous Leadville Trail 100. Regardless of what sport you are in, even if you aren’t in running or can barely move at all, chances are you’ve heard of “THE Leadville”. They’ve created their own niche of events including mountain biking and ranging distances from a 10K to marathon to a 50 miler, you know, in case you weren’t feeling like signing up for a hundred. This past weekend, concluded the Silver Rush 50. A race the website claims “will leave your lungs burning, heart pounding and eyes completely amazed!” Well, I’m here to tell you it lived up to its description.

What I love most about Leadville besides the “Oh and Ah!” of the surrounding mountains, is the people. Nothing is more bone chilling than hearing Ken and Merilee, the original founders of the race, come say their epic spiel of how “you’re stronger than you think you are, and you can do more than you think!” At the end of it they scream at you to “dig deep!!!” and then gun goes off! I’ve heard this 3 times now and it still gets to me. Mind you, they come to every race and recite this motivating speech. That’s pretty amazing. There’s as many volunteers as they can dig up that are out there all day, all darn day! They’re feeding you, watering you, taking off your disgusting shoes to bandage your even more disgusting feet, they spray you with sunblock, and tell you everything is going to be ok! One aid station even had amazing eighties music blaring and men in neon tights! Serious dedication right there.

There’s more than that though. It’s the moment when you really do feel like your heart is about to beat through your chest over the last climb, and you come into a beautiful meadow of columbine flowers and your body relaxes and your heart calms down as you take in the view. Then you trip over your own feet and fall into a small stream and laugh your butt off about it cause it’s just so darn pretty out here nothing matters (sorry to the person behind me as this happened, I’m not crazy I was just giggle high!). It’s when you’ve hit the turn around and it dawns on you you’ve still got twenty five more miles to go, and someone comes up behind you tells you how strong you look! And you’re like “really?! I’m about to barf all over myself! But awesome, I’ll keep going!”

It’s that dreadful moment you don’t think you can really go any farther, and you remember a conversation you’ve had early on with a stranger. A conversation I will never forget. A young woman asked me if it was my first time doing this and I said it was, and it was hers as well. She was nervous as she had been pregnant and sick and hadn’t trained but only 5 weeks. I was slightly confused and asked about the baby. She had lost it unfortunately 5 weeks ago, that’s why she didn’t have time to train. “This can’t be as painful as burying my baby” she said to me. I immediately teared up and embraced her. If this doesn’t bring you to your knees and put things into perspective I don’t know what will. Her words echoed in my head all day. I saw her again around mile 40, she told me how fresh I looked and I yelled at her that I better see her at the finish. Which I did, as I was leaving, she probably had a dozen or so family with her to support her. One of the most amazing memories I will cherish forever. And that’s why we are all out here, to prove to ourselves we have the discipline, the determination and the desire to finish something like this, that we are able to dig deep.

At the end of the day we all are suffering. Whether you’re in the lead chasing that course record, or you’re struggling to put one foot in front of the other… it’s going to hurt. What makes ultra running, is the community. It’s that connection you share with someone even for a moment of mutual pain, a swap of your life story, a high five, an “Are you ok?!”. What makes Leadville special is coming in to that finish line and getting your medal and a huge embrace from Merliee, as if she’s your own mother, who’s also been there all day hugging 335 other finishers. And that’s the Leadville experience. What we all chase… a finish.

 

Pants on Fire – Cheating in Endurance Sports

From Marathon Investigation
Tuesday, February 21, 2017
Runner Disqualified After Claiming 2nd Place in Fort Lauderdale Half Marathon

The initial 2nd place finisher of the Ft. Lauderdale A1A Half Marathon was disqualified Sunday night. She cut the course.

Splits:

10K – 44:22
13.1 – 1:21:46

These results would equate to a 7:09 minute/mile pace for the 1st 10k and a 5:25 minute/mile pace for remaining 11.08 kilometers.

After the race, she denied having cut the course. She approached other runners and race officials to defend her time. She was on the podium to accept the 2nd place award.

Shortly after the race she posted this to her Strava account.

One member commented on the lack of data. This entry was posted manually and was not linked to any GPS data.

Later that afternoon, she made another Strava entry. This one shows that she did indeed travel the entire course.

She had this labeled as a run, and the total time almost matches her original time for the 1/2 marathon. The cadence data is more consistent with what you would expect on a bike ride, not a run. Also, through the Flyby screen, I was able to confirm that she actually covered this course in the afternoon – long after the race was complete.
Read the full article…

 

RELATED – Age Group Triathletes doping – From Slowtwitch
Ironman AG Champ Gets 4yr Doping Ban
The IRONMAN® Anti-Doping Program announced that American age-group athlete Holly Balogh tested positive for a prohibited substance and has accepted a four-year suspension. Ms. Balogh’s positive sample was collected at the 2016 IRONMAN® North American Championship Texas, which took place on May 14, 2016. Her 4-year suspension commenced, according to Ironman’s release, on July 11, 2016.

Balogh’s sample tested positive for the presence of an exogenous testosterone and/or its metabolites, according to Ironman, which was confirmed by Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) analysis. Ironman noted that Ms. Balogh did not apply for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

Read the full story…

Racing Burnout and Mid Winter Blues

By 303 Ambassador Marty Rosenthal

I am often asked, “Aren’t you going to burn out?” “Don’t you need a break?” “How can you enter 2 or 3 full distance Ironman races in a year? I need to take a year off after each race.” My reply is typically No, No and it’s easy….

Truthfully, I think it is all a mindset and how one goes about their training and racing. Quite simply, I love it! I love to train and I love to race. I enjoy the comradery. I like staying healthy and fit. I am humbled by the challenges and obstacles that many have overcome to just make it to the starting line of any race, let along a full distance triathlon. I am in awe and inspired by the thousands of people that stand besides me at that starting line.
I believe that people shouldn’t race, if they don’t love it. Why put yourself and your family through months or years of stress and training if you don’t truly love it and desire to be a part of it? Why get monkey butt for hour upon hour of riding unless you love taking it all in and feeling alive. I could not image enduring anything for 10+ hours let alone 2 hours if I didn’t find enjoyment and satisfaction in what I am doing. There is no medal they could give me after crossing a finish line that would be worth it, if I didn’t relish in taking flight and flying to finish with a smile on my face.

Training and racing are times for us to truly be free and experience life and explore our minds our souls and wonderful regions of this world we might not otherwise get the opportunity to experience. This is why for the 3 years that I have been racing, I’ve done it non-stop and toed the line for 7 Ironman races and a countless number of sprints, Olympic distances and half ironman races.

Mindset is not the only way to keep the mid winter blues from destroying your training. I like to mix things up. So besides
just doing triathlons, adding cross training into my routine, is extremely helpful and an essence of me staying fit and having fun. Hitting the slopes, snowshoeing, going to the rock climbing gym, trail running are just a few ways in which I like to stay active in the winter. Another favorite activity for me to do is to enter in ½ marathons in warmer climate cities and plan a great 3 day weekend with my wife. It gives us some great quality time to share together. Visit a city we may not have been to before. Forget about PR’s and racing and age grouping and just enjoy being with one another and having fun running together. Screaming for more cowbell, flying to the finish and sharing Bloody Marys afterwards.

 

Broomfield runner reaches goal of 50 marathons

Lucy West runs near her home in Broomfield in late December. Cliff Grassmick / Staff Photographer

From the Times Call

Broomfield runner Lucy West has turned Lake Link Trail, and other paths that intertwine in Broomfield, Louisville and Lafayette, into an outdoor health club.

Along the trails lined with trees, she’s made friends and woven herself into the scenery.

Frank Bowling, another Broomfield marathon runner and friend of West, met her about four years ago because the two run the same trails — usually going the opposite direction.

“She’s a fixture on the trails and she’s kind of a legend for anyone who knows her history,” he said. “All people who walk or run the trails in this part of the city know her.”

Last year, West reached her goal of running 50 marathons before she turned 60 in February, which meant running four in 2015. She tackled the Boston Marathon in April, Colfax in May, Revel the Rockies in July and Loveland Marathon in September.

In 2016, she ran another four.

“Now my new goal is to run at least 75 before I turn 70,” she said. “My husband thinks I can do 100, but he doesn’t have to run them.”

Few things keep West away from the trails she runs five to six days a week….

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