Last Saturday marked my fourth Leadville Silver Rush 50 experience. Another successful year in the books.
Some may be wondering why travel all that way for a 50 mile cross country mountain bike race at 10,000 feet above sea level?
There are so many reasons. What originally attracted me to this event was I absolutely love cross country mountain biking and well the Leadville experience offer some of the best cross country mountain biking I've ever experienced. The courses are challenging and when you throw in the high altitude experience, it introduces another element that you need to train to overcome.
One other very nice attraction is that this event is one of the Leadville Qualifying Series races, which provides 25-100 qualifying slots to the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, based on the total number of registered riders at each qualifier event. Qualifying events increase your chance to get into Leadville Trail 100 MTB. This is nice because they let you bypass the lottery system to get into the very difficult LT100 race.
I must admit once you do a few races in Leadville you get the Leadville bug. I love the people, the race venue, the challenge of dealing with high altitude, traveling with friends and family, the amazing Colorado scenery, and the challenge of the race itself.
|Silver Rush 50 Finish Line right after it rained|
|Finally in Leadville!|
|Tina and Joe's Sprinter along with me and Team FCA|
One of my goals in Leadville this year was to start testing some bike packing gear. Mainly my new REI 19 degree sleeping bag and Sea to Summit sleeping pad. With temperatures in the lower 30's I'm happy to report the bag was a great success. I stayed nice and toasty warm. But best of all I got a full nights rest every night!
Roughing it was great! I saved on expenses, which is always awesome but the time testing my equipment in the cool temps was a great confidence booster for my future plans.
|New bag test night one.|
|My home away from home|
|Humming birds need to be part of any great campsite!|
Base camp now all ready to go, Joe and I decided to go recon the most technical portions of the racecourse. Everything was very loose due to all the snow runoff. But Joe and I managed to miss a small rain cloud then went out for a very easy 5 miles at 12,000 feet. Great time hanging out with Joe kicking some rocks around!
|Joe Stiller 12,000 feet above sea|
|Greg 12,000 feet above sea|
|Yes I'm smiling...inside my tummy!|
|Ronpaul, Ryan, Tina, Joe and myself (look at those awesome tan lines)|
|Bikes all ready to race!|
|This one is for my son who loves port-a-potty pix. Not sure why? ;-)|
|The mass run start up the sledding hill. This one hurts.|
|Silver Rush Profile|
|Me at Stump town the half way turn around. Feeling good.|
|Finish line descent. Done!|
|My results - not a PR but close. |
Very happy with 12th in my age group. The only flat-lander in the top 15!
Each year I come to Leadville to challenge myself, hang with all my loved ones and earn myself a coin to by-pass the LT100 lottery. Another successful year!
|Joe and I enjoying our traditional post-race steak dinner!|
Time to pay it all back - Volunteering Stump Town for the 50 mile run on Sunday.
|Volunteering for the 50 mile run on Sunday at the turn around Stump Town!|
|Joe king of the mountain!|
Thank you Josh and the Leadville crew for continuing to host a top-notch venue. Thanks to all the volunteers. Thanks to Joe and Tina Stiller for always being there for me, you two are the best! Thanks to my Central Plains Cycling brothers for always pushing and encouraging me. Thanks to our awesome team sponsors for all you do for us cyclist, Two Wheeler Dealer, Avera, CORE Orthopedics, Stages Power, and Specialized Bikes!
But most of all THANK you to my awesome family TJ, Sawyer, and my amazing wife Kit for supporting me in all this craziness I call a passion - I Love you!
LT100 2016 Here I come!