Thursday, August 23, 2012

2012 Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run

I successfully completed the Leadville Trail 100 in 29:05. It was the hardest thing I've done yet. With a 45% finish rate for 2012, I was just happy to reach the finish line!

It's a beautiful monster of a course that led me from excitable joy, to dreadful suffering, to tearful triumph. Words and pictures merely scratch at the surface of the experience, but this at least gives you a taste.

http://vimeo.com/48110694


2012 Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run from Steve Emmert on Vimeo.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Journey Continues, This Time "Across the Sky"

(Image borrowed from iRunFar.com)
In what has become a regular pattern for me over the years, I again have targeted one major endurance event for 2012.  And, this year the path leads to the sky.  On August 18, 2012, I'll be joining a few hundred others as we take on the "Race Across the Sky", the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run.

I can't say Leadville was my first choice. Ever since the race was prominently featured in Christopher McDougall's best-seller, Born to Run, the field size has increased substantially, and the event has taken on a level of hype that doesn't exactly appeal to me. I've heard reports of parts of the course getting very congested with runners, pacers and crew, all kicking up choking clouds of dust. A couple years ago Lifetime Fitness bought the race and brought with it a much larger marketing machine than is typical on the ultra scene. I really enjoyed the decidedly low-key atmosphere of a race like Cascade Crest 100 this past year, and had been searching for a new race more like that.

But, regardless of all of that, Leadville still holds great appeal to me as well. Rugged trails, mountains, beauty, and it's an out-and-back course, not a multi-loop. And, in this case, they're not just any mountains. Beyond the challenge of thousands of feet of climbing and descending, this course brings the added challenge of altitude with elevations ranging from 9,200 to 12,600 feet. That's pretty daunting to this guy who lives at a mere 900 feet above sea level.

I like daunting.

So, when my friends Dominic Guinta and Vishal Sahni posted on Facebook that they'd signed up for Leadville, I was pretty much in, Leadville hype and all.  Vishal tipped it in with these words: "...you know you plan to run it at some time in your life, might as well do it with us!" I clicked "submit" on my entry within an hour of reading those words.

Life is short. Do cool stuff.

Onward...and UPWARD!