Monday, September 14, 2015

2015 Leadville Trail 100 MTB The Finish

My previous 2015 Leadville Trail 100 MTB posts.

Powerline Climb

I'm staring up at the Powerline climb. Dreading it. I fight this beast every year. The beast is winning. Not just winning, this 3 mile climb kicks my ass.

My Powerline Climbs - The steep section

I stop and do my best to get the sweat out of my eyes, and take this opportunity to eat and drink.

Back to pushing. Sweating. Riding. Pushing. Sweating.

Around 4 miles after you turn off the highway, it levels out. You can ride again. I find the Sugarloaf descent a welcome change of pace. Doing my best to recover and go fast simultaneously.

I'm out of water. I'm thirsty. Bad combo. Some insanely awesome spectators are handing out bottles of water at the base of the Carter Summit climb. Even lukewarm water was a little bit of heaven.

I felt some eagerness in my legs, and climbed with a purpose. I grab some electrolytes at the Carter Summit aid station and work my way through the little punch-ups en route to St. Kevin's.

The descent went really smooth.
I was getting excited.

At the base of St. Kevin's, I came upon Rhys Lyster, an Australian. Rhys asks if there's a chance to make the finish line in under 10 hours. My math, clouded by a long day, still came up with "NO".

I clarify that "NO" was just my opinion, and he should certainly try. Just be aware, you still have the boulevard to climb, and don't underestimate its difficulty.

Rhys hit the boosters and hammered through the mud holes by the railroad tracks.

I caught Rhys on that rocky section up to main road. I told him this section is short lived, and there's some smooth gravel at the top of the hill. He thanked me.

I worked the boulevard hard and a few minutes later, I was taking the right hand turn at the school. 

At the crest of the hill I see the finish line. That strip of red carpet that says you can rest now. The spectators funnel you to the finish line mats. Your mind wants to sprint that last bit, and I'm sure my pace improved, but it was lame as far as sprints go.

Merilee medals me. The awesome Linda Guerrette snaps a photo. Thank you Linda.

At the Finish Line

Super crew Cynthia takes over and guides me through the chaos. She's pushing my bike now. Cynthia, Thank You. I pushed that thing enough for one day.

My friend John Bradley crushed his way to another big buckle with a 8:48.

John Bradley at the Finish Line

Friend and Leadman competitor Jake Bradley clocked in at 10:15. Well done my friends!

Jake is Done!

A HUGE THANK YOU to Team Trailspring for all the support at Leadville. 

Myself, Matt, and Jason

Single digit finish, that's motivation for 2016.