My father qualified in for Leadville 100 at a qualifier race in Austin this April. He called me and told me the news and said, “your going, right?” I hadn’t planned on racing the 100 mile mountain bike race this year as I’ve done it the past two years. But seeing how my father will be there, I made arrangements and signed up for the qualifier event in Tahoe, CA.
In order to get into Leadville, I would need to qualify in Tahoe. I knew I would need a top-5 finish in my age group to do this. I was confident I could achieve this goal!
The race venue was at the North-star resort. A buddy of mine and I drove up (long drive from Southern California!!! 8-9hrs!) and stayed Fri, Sat, and Sun nights. Tahoe sits at 6,500 feet with parts of the race climbing to 8,500 feet. I knew it would be a good test of my fitness and a quality workout for the upcoming Leadville race which races at elevations of 9,000-12,600 feet. Ouch!!
There were 800 or so racers at the start line. I staged right up on the front and waited for the gun to go off. When the race started, we immediately started climbing on the paved road and then onto a dirt fire road. Within 10 minutes, the race was split and I was hanging onto the front group of 6 guys. After 20-30 minutes of racing, I knew I would not be able to keep pace with these guys and settled into my own pace. A group of 6-8 guys came up to me fairly quickly and I joined them and sat back and watched as guys blew up and dropped off the groups pace.
On the final climb at the completion of the first of two laps, I was feeling good and set a harder tempo then the rest of the group and rode away from them all. I stopped to fill up my two bottles at the feed station on the second of two laps and pleased that I was still in front of the group I rode away from. After riding solo for 20-30 minutes, one of the guys caught me and was riding well. By the time we hit the final climb at the completion of our 2nd of two laps, I was worked. The other rider dropped me and we finished 1 min apart, he in 6th place and me in 7th overall.
I placed 3rd in my age group, gaining an entry into Leadville for my 3rd year in a row. The Tahoe trail 100k was a total of 64 miles, 8,400 feet of climbing and took me 4hrs 24min to complete. Endurance legend Dave Wiens won with a time of 4hrs 2min.
Without the Chamois Butt’r there is no way this ride would have been possible! It made for a comfortable 4hrs of riding on the dirt. Another big help for these endurance races is the Hammer Nutrition Perpetuem and Endurolyte caps. Hammer Nutrition kept me going strong without cramping!!
I’m looking forward to the Leadville 100 event on Aug 9th and my goal is to ride a sub 7:30.
Thanks for reading and stay tuned!
Congratulations to Justin Dillon of Shimano for also qualifying for Leadville!
Thank you KHS, Maxxis, JAKROO Custom Apparel, Shimano, Serfas, Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, IRT Wheels, Xpedo, Velo Saddles, Praxis Works, Rennie & Associates, Q2, Bike Religion, Chamois Butter, WD-40 Bike, Bicycle Blue Book and the Management of IPA sports.