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Anton Krupicka: Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run: Going Big Or Going Home

Anton Krupicka is a trail running stud. This guy loves to run huge mileage and loves the mountains and dirt.

Krupicka started the 2009 Leadville 100 trail run last weekend with the intent to win but even more importantly to him, break the course record.

How did it turn out?

I roughly stuck to my pre-race plan of tritely Going Big Or Going Home and I came down on the rather more tarnished, grimy side of that coin-flip gamble.

Check out the complete 2009 Leadville 100 mile race report and be transported back onto the legendary trail as Krupicka reveals his physical, mental, and emotional journey to the Fish Hatchery aid station at mile 76.5. Each photo inserted in the report seems to tell a complete story in itself, adding to the depth of the report.

Thanks Anton for sharing your fairly personal journey and turning it into a public experience in many ways. I look forward to your future trail running adventures and know you will be back stronger than ever.

Going big or going home.

Have you ever attempted to push yourself to your maximum ability and maybe even a bit beyond?

Most of us never go there but for those that have, this is not an easy proposition to execute (at least in my experience). I have probably only seriously tried it twice with a 1-1 record of success/fail.

I crumbled terribly at Ironman Arizona in an attempt to qualify for the Hawaii Ironman. The fitness was there but when stomach issues occurred during the bike – game over. I finished but was damaged goods.

In my first standalone marathon and Boston qualifying attempt, my fitness was right at the pace required to qualify. I really suffered the final 5km but I was able to hold it together enough to qualify. If the course was any longer, I probably wouldn’t have finished. I was at my limit.

The longer the event such as a 100 mile trial run, the trickier going big becomes. I was able to fake the final 5km of a marathon but it becomes seemingly impossible to fake 25 miles in the mountains after already traveling 75 miles.

The risk/reward pendulum significantly swings towards the risk side with a going big approach. When does going big slide into going too big? The crazy thing is you often don’t know what too big is until you go there and when you finally determine you went there it is often too late.

The going big approach is going to accelerate the progress of trail running. There will be plenty of carnage and DNFs along the way but there will also be success stories. Both sides of this coin will create a progressive momentum in the sport. Those willing to go big or go home will shape the future of the sport and the lessons learned along the way will help all athletes within this sport from the pointy-end to the final finisher.

Here’s to an exciting future.

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

5 Responses to “Anton Krupicka: Leadville 100 Mile Trail Run: Going Big Or Going Home”

  1. on 25 Aug 2009 at 2:16 pm Blaine Moore

    I can’t say I’ve actually done the “Gone Big or Gone Home” although I had one where I “Went Big And It Didn’t Turn Out Well At All” in a marathon. (All of my ultras have been much more low-key and fun-oriented.)

    I (at the least) wanted break my course record in Rhode Island this past May, and I wanted win as well. I figured that I needed to run a 2:35 in order to win, especially after meeting the folks on the line and seeing how things shook out off of the start.

    Well, I felt great through 15 miles and was right at 2:35 pace at the halfway mark. Then the wheels fell off and I went from 3rd/4th at the time back to 7th by the end. Had I run 2:35, I’d have won. Instead, I ran 2:47 or somewhere in that range, so by going for the big goal I missed both.

    So it goes, I did pretty well at a 50k 3 weeks later and then broke my foot a few months after that, which puts a new attempt at a marathon in the 2:30s off until next year (my current schedule won’t give me the training I need.)

  2. on 26 Aug 2009 at 6:59 pm David Hanenburg

    Hey Blaine – You went for it, good for you.

    A couple curiosity questions:
    1. Did you think you were in 2:35 shape prior to the start?
    2. If yes to #1, any thoughts on why the “wheels came off”? (hydration, nutrition, phase of the moon, etc)

    Good luck in your next 2:30s attempt!

  3. on 06 Sep 2009 at 9:06 pm Jack

    For some inspiration and motivation for you 100-mile athletes, check out this video — — about one man’s “aha moment” experienced during a 104 mile race and how it changed his perspective on life. I think you’ll enjoy it.

    All the best,

  4. on 07 Sep 2009 at 9:03 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Jack – Thanks for sharing the video. It is interesting what a little encouragement can do to keep someone going.

    You can look at other aspects of life and how providing a little encourangement to someone that is struggling could get them over the hump and potentially change their life for the better.

    Little things can have a big impact.

  5. on 17 Sep 2009 at 10:51 pm Jack

    Glad you enjoyed it, David. All the best…