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Leadville 100 2012 TALON Results – Liza Howard Earns Second Place Finish – All Slammers Movin on to Wasatch

74 TALON (TX, AR, LA, OK, NM) trail runners were bundled up for the crisp 4:00 am start in downtown Leadville, Colorado for a 100 mile out-and-back adventure that included a few dirt and paved road miles, and miles and miles of single and double-wide trail within the surrounding mountains. And nearly every step is above 9800 feet.

Welcome to the Leadville 100.

795 total runners started the adventure. 364 were able to make it all the way back to where they started by 10:00am Sunday morning. This isn’t your local weekly 5km scamper. 46% that started…finished.

How did our tribe do? Over 40% of our athletes ran across the finish banner in downtown Leadville. The rest ran 20-50+ miles in the mountains of Colorado with the sun shining and daytime highs in the low 70s. A pretty damn good place to play for the day regardless of the miles covered.

Texans were both the first and last TALON athletes to finish. Liza Howard struggled with tummy issues yet was able to finish 14th overall and second female with a time of 20:44:06. Edgardo Gonzalez dug in his heels to finish less than seven minutes from the official time cut-off to earn our tough as nails award in 29:53:10.

All three of our slammers got it done as well – Paul Terranova, Brian Pilgrim, and PoDog Vogler! Simply awesome!

Check out the results for our entire tribe which include a few insightful reflections as well.


[EB – After the Western States 100 finish a couple months back, was it a challenge to get the mind and body ready for another competitive 100 mile scamper? What was you transition and Leadville prep?]

I had a hard run at Western States(I foolishly let myself get very cold early on), so it was easy to want to train hard to run better at Leadville.  I really wanted to have a run that felt good — and not like a suffer-fest.  So I dove right into training again as soon as I got back from Western.  I also love Leadville — I worked for Outward Bound there, met my husband there, spent two great weeks at the hostel in town there in 2010 — and I was excited to train to race there.

I logged 80-90 mile weeks until I drove up to Leadville to acclimatize two weeks before the race.  I had my son with me, which mandated a pretty severe taper.  I was definitely rested by race day.

[EB – As a low-lander that won the event back in 2010, what draws you back to this high altitude dirt adventure?]

I had a “mid-course correction” in life and started over in Leadville working for Outward Bound.  The race and the town bring me back to that period of “You’re better than you think you are.  You can do more than you think you can.”  I love the place and I love running in the shadow of Mounts Elbert and Massive.  Drive through liquor store?

[EB – Do you have a strong memory from the 20+ hour adventure you would like to share?]

I ran into the Fish Hatchery aid station and saw my old boss from Outward Bound.  I ran up and gave her a huge hug. She had no idea who I was and looked a bit uncomfortable being embraced tightly by such a sweaty person.  I was able to make her remember me on my second pass through the aid station.  (I don’t think she was faking recognition to avoid another hug.)

Most of my other strong memories involve vomit.  😉

More goodies – Liza’s race report.

[EB – Three out of five events of the konaslam complete, how did it feel to reach that Leadville finish?]

Absolutely fantastic! That certainly seemed like a LONG seven miles from Tabor Boat Ramp, and the dirt boulevard felt like it went on forever. I made sure to tell Marilee that after receiving my finisher’s medal and a post-race hug. That’s one section of the course (from Turquoise Lake back to town) that I did not run or drive during the week before the race, and in hindsight I wish I had done that. I sometimes had to virtually pinch myself during the course of the day that I was out on the historic Leadville trail for its 30th anniversary, and especially when coming through some of the aid stations that people frequently talk about. Our week of time up in Leadville was pretty special and I feel really blessed and lucky to have come through it happy and healthy.

[EB – Did you have a low-point during the 100 miles? If so, how did you work through that?]

My return trip from Winfield (mile 50) was going along absolutely fantastic. My first pacer Derick Williamson and I had an absolute blast hiking back up Hope Pass. When we hit the switchbacks, we quickly caught sight of Liza Howard (then in 2nd place) and her pacer Brian in hot pursuit of Aliza Lapierre (then in 1st place) and her pacer Meredith Terranova (my wife with the Chrissie Wellington arms!). We continued to push the climb and early in the descent caught up with Aliza and Meredith after Liza and Brian passed them. Derick and I bombed the downhills and made quick work of it. After the river crossing I sucked down a gel that almost came right back up, ick. Luckily, the Twin Lakes aid station was not far ahead and that got my mind off of that nasty feeling. Coming up the climb out of Twin Lakes with my second pacer Bryan Morton, I was still feeling good, eating and drinking well, maybe TOO well, because shortly after we hit the runnable sections my stomach violently revolted. EVERYTHING came out very quickly, not pretty at all. During this all, my friend Lee McKinley ran by while pacing Troy Howard to a 13th place finish, if only we had a camera! So that certainly changed the focus from trying to reel in Liza to taking care of my stomach, staying hydrated, fueled, etc., and ultimately finishing. I recalled here that during the Western States 100 training camp veteran’s panel, Andy Jones-Wilkins said that he always pukes during 100-milers, and his advice was to just laugh it off, not let it deter you, re-establish equilibrium, etc. We started with just plain water, grabbed some Sprite at Half Pipe (mile 71), and then my crew had bottles of ginger-ale and mountain dew waiting for me at Treeline (mile 73). From there, things progressively got better as everything stayed down. Whew!

[EB – A relatively similar finish time (within an hour) as compared with Western States…Did it feel like similar effort was required between the two races?]

Each of the three 100s this year have required a similar amount of effort, regardless of the time on course. Being my inaugural 100, Western will always hold a special place of “suffering” in my heart as the first time to run over nine hours consecutively. I greatly enjoyed the out and back format of Leadville and the opportunity to cheer for other runners on Hope Pass, that’s a really nice charge to give and receive support like that. I also feel like my power hiking and downhill legs have continued to improve this summer following Western, so that allows me to push just a little bit harder each race when the course and the opportunity allows.

[EB – Do you have a strong memory from the scamper you would like to share?]

One strong memory was hearing the Firefall song “You are the Woman” being blasted out the window of one the homes in between Fish Hatchery and the Powerline climb. My third pacer Drew Wolff and I busted out laughing and singing so hard! Next strong memory was hitting the May Queen aid station (mile 86.5) at about 10:15pm, fueling up on hot chocolate and coffee (aka “coco-loco”), Drew simultaneously rubbing my left upper hamstring/lower glute (i.e my ass muscle) with pain-relief cream, and then taking a warm to-go bottle of same “coco-loco” concoction to sip on for the next 13.5 miles, YUM!!! The May Queen aid station volunteers did an awesome job sending us out too! It was definitely a team effort out there and I’d be remiss to mention the great work that my crew chief Mike Wilen did keeping everything running smoothly and keeping the twitter and Facebook worlds appeased with race updates.

More goodies – Paul’s konaslam blog.

Also, here is a video Meredith Terranova put together from the adventure.

Leadville 2012 0001 from meredith on Vimeo.
  • Jason Lippman – 24:41:45
  • Shaheen Sattar – 26:15:52
  • Carrie Delbecq – 27:47:05
  • Jesse Vork – 28:56:03
  • Edgar Martinez – 29:08:06

[EB – As a low-lander, what drew you to the Leadville 100 high-altitude adventure?]

The altitude and the challenge.

[EB – What was the biggest challenge you had to work? How did you deal with it?]

The biggest challenge was miles from 40 to 50, I wasn’t eating enough, then I got to mile 50 and started eating and drinking better, my second half was my best.

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 29+ hours you would like to share?]

My special memory was crossing the finish line with my wife. She supported me at all the time, she is my hero!!!

  • Larry Pearson – 29:08:14
  • Matthew Betz – 29:29:30
  • John Martinek – 29:36:13
  • John Peck – 29:41:08
  • Maurice Forshee – 29:46:02
  • Edgardo Gonzalez – 29:53:10
  • Brett Bassham dnf
  • Joshua Charles – dnf
  • Don Crouse – dnf
  • Ashley Dack – dnf
  • Les Ellsworth – dnf
  • Daniel Ford – dnf
  • Josh Geisinger – dnf
  • Robert Ham – dnf
  • Gary Horn – dnf
  • Paul Huggins – dnf
  • Robert King – dnf
  • Bob Klapthor – dnf
  • Steve Macdonald – dnf
  • Scott Marshall – dnf
  • David Martinez – dnf
  • Chris Mcdermand – dnf
  • Miles Mcgriff – dnf
  • Kimberly Pilcher – dnf
  • Sydney Pitt – dnf
  • Scott Shoaf – dnf
  • John Slate – dnf
  • Joy Smith – dnf
  • David Springer – dnf
  • Jennifer Sticksel – dnf
  • Jeffrey Stukuls – dnf
  • Gary Van Kuiken – dnf
  • Trent Wester – dnf
  • Greg Wilkerson – dnf
  • Justin Wilkinson – dnf


  •  Ted Herget – 23:38:13
  • PoDog Vogler – 27:44:46 (slammer!)

[EB – How did you feel post-Vermont? What did your training look like in the leadup to Leadville?]

I recovered pretty quickly after Vermont, but I could not seem to shake a general feeling of fatigue for pretty much the whole time leading up to Leadville. Additionally, my muscles were tight until the week before Leadville when I got two massages that helped losen me up.I had a tough race at Vermont so I decided I needed to do more running and less cross training between Vermont and Leadville. I still only did one long run between the two races, but I did several 2 to 3 hour runs. I continued to do some swimming and biking, but not as much as I did after Western.

[EB – What are some of your Leadville memories?]

My plan for Leadville was simple. I went up to Leadville with my friend and running partner, Paul Turner. That’s “P T” for those who know him on the trail. We decided to just stay together and have fun for the first 55 to 60 miles at least, and that is what we did. We really had a blast out there running in the Colorado mountains. It would be hard to find two people who had more fun running Leadville this year. As we came up on the 60 mile mark we looked at our watches for the first time in the race. I decided that if I could finish out the race really strongly from that point, that I could finish in under 25 hours and earn a “big buckle”. We were about to pick up a pacer, so I ran ahead and told the pacer to finish the race with PT and I started hammering. I made it 10 more miles to the next aid station and determined that even if I maintained the pace I was running for the remaining 30 miles, I might not get in under 25 hours. I decided then that a quick recovery for Wasatch was more important than trying for the buckle and I decided to walk in from there. Not the most glamorous call and maybe not the best decision, but my legs feel great now just a few days later and I hope it will give me plenty of strength to finish out Wasatch in a couple of weeks.The best memory I have from the race is all the fun I had running with PT. We’ve had a lot of fun over the years training, but we haven’t gotten to run any 100s together. We had a great day of running.

  • Paul Turner – 27:57:20

[EB – As a low-lander, what drew you to play above 10,000 feet in Leadville?]

There are a couple of things that drew me to Leadville. One, it’s Leadville. It’s one of those races you want to be able to say you’ve done. “Hey, I did Leadville, baby,” that sounds kinda cool!! I think the biggest reason though is the challenge, as you mention, of a “low-lander” running in the mountains of Colorado.

[EB – I assume you knew you were approaching 28 hours in the final miles. Were you inspired to cross the finish before 28 hours?]

PoDog Vogler and I ran the first 60 miles together. Our plan was to stay on a 28 hour pace to Twin Lakes inbound, see how we were feeling, and decide if we could push harder or stay on pace from there. PoDog is a much better 100 runner than me, and as we were coming to Twin Lakes inbound, we assessed how we were both feeling, and what we had left. We also had a pacer, Jen Foster, waiting for us at Twin Lakes. PoDog decided he’d give a push for sub-25, and I decided it was best for me to stay on the 28 hour pace.

Jen and I left Twin Lakes shortly after PoDog, and she informed me that if the need arose, she’d give me a good swift kick in the hinny to keep me moving at a steady pace. She never had to deliver that kick, so I knew I was staying steady. I think we were a few miles from Fish Hatchery when I asked about the time, and she mentioned that we were looking at somewhere between 27:30 and 28:30 for a finish time. We pretty much stayed on that until the end; however, I was slowing down pretty quickly the last few miles. With about 2.5 miles to go and me moving really slowly, she said, “pt, the cold hard fact is this: If you want to break 28 hours, we’re going to have to run a little bit.”
My first reaction was the finish was in the bag, and I didn’t give a rip about breaking 28 hours. She knew better and a couple minutes later I was running, albeit very slowly. The run didn’t last long, but it did get me back to a more purposeful walk. So thanks Jen for that little kick in the hinny!!

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 27+ hours you would like to share?]

You know, I’d have to say running with PoDog the first 60 miles. We’d do a little singing, hoot’n & holler’n, whatever it took to stay positive and happy. Which, was part of our plan… don’t linger at aid stations, move with a purpose, stay positive, and most of all HAVE FUN!!

I’d have to add that afterward, we bumped into several runners, crew, and volunteers that said they enjoyed watching us having so much fun!

  • George Peterka – 29:16:03
  • Mike Rush – dnf


  • Richard Brown – 28:45:41


  • Tom Brennan – 23:51:47
  • Katrin Silva – 26:50:26
  • Lori Enlow (coach Eric Orton) – 28:45:34

[EB – As a low-lander, what drew you to play above 10,000 feet in Leadville?]

After Pumpkin Holler, I was wondering, “what’s next?” I looked at lots of 100s. Leadville just stuck out. It was a gut feeling. I really didn’t know much about Leadville when I decided that was the one. I just knew it was one of the “biggies” and it seemed like a good fit for me. I knew it would take me to my limit, but I had a feeling it was still something I could accomplish. It was months later when I started wondering what in the heck I was thinking when I signed up!

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 28+ hours you would like to share?]

There are so many! Seeing my first pacer, my 4:00am running buddy Missy Warner. I broke down when I saw her.

On top of Hope Pass, the second time..I had some trouble breathing, started getting cold and started to black out a little. I will always remember the aid station worker’s face..she had a determined look on her face. Determined to see me continue. She sat me down and stuffed ramen/potato soup down me. At that same time a shepherd dog zipped right up to me, worked his head up under my arm and nuzzled his head and chest in my lap. I drew strength and comfort from that dog.

Coming into mile 60, I had been nursing my aching left knee the previous two miles, determining in my brain that my knee would not let me continue. I explained this to my crew and pacers and remember distinctly how they COMPLETELY ignored me. They all looked the other way..added layers of clothes and filled my pack and sent me out of the aid station. Not one sympathetic eye.

And most of all I remember you. One because you had the nerve to tell me that my knee pain would likely get better with the cooler night air. But mostly because you brought me back to life. I was nauseated, struggling to breathe, knee hurting and wanting to quit. You got behind me and coached me. You taught me how to breathe again “deep breath blow out hard…push that air out…now get in a rhythm with it.” You taught me how to run again, “short, quick steps”, “light, happy feet, relaxed shoulders, arms at 45 degrees.” You gave me ginger chews for my tummy. Within 30 minutes my knee was no longer hurting, my tummy was happy and I was actually running and making good progress again. I felt alive and for the first time I believed again that I could finish. [David – Lori, the check is in the mail.]

I remember getting pretty hypothermic coming into mile 76-ish aid station. I remember adding layer after layer of clothing, being stuffed in a sleeping bag in front of the fire, shivering to death and appalled that my husband had the nerve to tell me if I just got up and started running again I would warm up. He then ran 24 miles to the finish with me to prove it.

I remember the man two blocks from the finish yelling, I mean yelling at me. I had my head down looking at my feet…I had gotten used to this as I had done this all night to keep from tripping over rocks and roots on the trail. It never occurred to me that I could look up now that it was daylight and I was on the road. He yelled, “Pick your head up girl! Smile girl! Look what you’ve done! You’re strong! You are going to finish!” Oh the tears flowed!

[EB – Were there any insights learned from your first Leadville 100, you would implement if you attempted another Leadville adventure?]

I learned when you think you’re done…you’re not, when you think you have nothing left…there is more. You dig deep, and deeper, and dig again and there is a well of strength that I now truly believe has no bottom. It’s just a matter of tapping it..some times over and over again all in the same day.

  • Dan Keefe – 29:12:47
  • James Baker – dnf
  • Brian Franklin – dnf
  • Justin Mccune – dnf
  • Danny Ponder – dnf
  • Robin Saenz – dnf

New Mexico

  • Eric Pope – 23:15:16

[EB – What this your first Leadville attempt? What drew you to play above 10,000 feet in Leadville?]

This was my first 100 mile race. Previous longest was the Jemez 50 miler. I run with several people that have ran Leadville before and I paced one of them last year from Winfield to Fish Hatchery. The pacing did me in!

[EB – Any funny moments or observations during your adventure?]

There were some funny moments (many of which I provided). I stopped at the Hope Pass Aid Station and took pictures of the llamas. The guys seeing us out of the aid station thought it was funny. I also asked for orange Gu Roctane drink. The guy filling my bottle asked if I was sure I wanted orange. I said yes, it matched my shirt (and it did). He liked that. I also saw a pacer running in pink with wings. A few people made comments as I was texting my crew throughout the race. I stopped occasionally because I didn’t want to fall and make an idiot out of myself. Maybe it was too late.

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 23+ hours you would like to share?]

My special memories of this race are seeing my crew (daughter and girlfriend at the aid stations and so excited to see me). The crowds were fantastic. A lady was on a blanket when I ran by leaving Twin Lakes (out). The same lady was there when I came back by many hours later. I made a comment to her. She liked that, as did some kids by her. I was a rock star in their mind. Also memorable was hearing the powerlines in the middle of the night. And I still don’t know what Turquoise Lake looks like. I had sooo much fun during this race. And finally, crossing the finish line was pretty ok too.

  • Margaret Ochs – 26:46:21

[EB – What draws you to play above 10,000 feet in Leadville?]

This was my second Leadville – the first I did on a bet. I had the best day ever, so much fun. I was really looking forward to coming back and experiencing the course again. Beyond the challenge and beauty, I also wanted a HR qualifier!

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 26+ hours you would like to share?]

My pacer Mark (who I paced in to the finish last year) turned to me at mile 96 and said, “you know, I think if we ran some of the last 7 miles, you could beat your time from 2010.” And so we ran the last 7 miles, all of them (except the paved hill 1K from the finish). I was amazed I could still run on my quads, and so happy to have the encouragement and support of my crew the whole way. I did beat my time, by 33 minutes.

  • Vlad Henzl – 27:44:31
  • Ken Gordon – 27:53:08

[EB – With a Hardrock finisher a little over a month earlier, what did those training weeks leading into Leadville look like?]

After Hardrock this year Leadville was like a work year for me as it is my ninth finish and I want to get a 1000 mile buckle next year. Got through it despite some very touch stomach issues the las 40. Took two weeks mostly off after Hardrock and started shorter, faster runs to get ready for Leadville.

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 27+ hours you would like to share?]

My favorite memory this year was getting my newbie pacer to the top of Hope and watching it through their eyes, nothing better than that.

  • Neil Blake – 28:26:08

[EB – As a multiple Leadville finisher, what draws you back to play above 10,000 feet?]

I’m not entirely sure why I keep going back. 8 starts, 6 finishes. I am much better at the marathon distance, but there is something intriguing about the notion of actually running a hundred well. I have yet to do it. I love the mountains so I suppose that is an added factor.

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 28+ hours you would like to share?]

My wife ran the last 40 miles with me. She knows me very well and won’t listen to my whining. I would not have finished without her support.

Lots of special memories, but I particularly remember hearing a wolf howl in the middle of the night as we were descending Sugarloaf. Pretty cool.

  • Nicholas Juskiewicz – 29:05:12
  • Brian Pilgrim – 29:13:59 (slammer!)

[EB – What did your transition weeks between Vermont 100 and Leadville look like?]

I’ve used the same strategy between Western States and Vermont and Vermont and Leadville. I take five days off for complete rest, maybe do some walking and some Yoga then that first weekend I run six miles Saturday and six miles Sunday. I then follow that by a 30 mile week then a 35 mile week and then a taper week of about 10 to 12 miles on race week. I never did a run longer than 13.5 miles and that was a run up the side of the Sandia Mountains so it involved a lot of hiking. I have found keeping my runs to 6 or 7 miles best and just increasing either difficulty or intensity as my body has felt able.

[EB – How were you mentally and physically feeling at the Leadville start line?]

I was feeling fantastic both mentally and physically at the start of Leadville. A week before the race I was going nuts wanting to just get the race started. I was definitely ready for a much faster finish but I really messed up with a bad nutrition decision at Twin Lakes inbound and it cost me a lot of time. However, I never felt like I was fatigued from the prior races, I felt great.

[EB – Do you have a special memory across the 29+ hours you would like to share?]

Yeah, I came in to Fish Hatchery inbound sometime around 2:00am and I was frozen like a popsicle and my wife, who crews me, was all business trying to get me warm and fueled for the next leg. She could see my legs weren’t broken and I wasn’t pouring blood from any wound so it was all about getting me back into some credible shape and pushing me back out onto the course and that’s what she did. She told my pacer, “No pressure here but you have to get him to May Queen by 6:00 a.m. and you have to get more calories in him” and then my pacer and I took off. I was still a shaking, shivering zombie and he kept pushing saltines at me while pointedly looking at his watch. My pacer never said a word to me about time but he kept getting in close to me and would hold his arm out and look at his watch like he really had somewhere to be but I was holding him up. I believe I got to May Queen by 5:23 a.m. and once I was over Sugar Loaf I had warmed up and ended up passing several people on the way down and through the wooded section on the Colorado trail.

  • Kelley Koehler – 29:40:03
  • Devin Farrell – dnf
  • Jason Hoy – dnf
  • Erin Mayer – dnf
  • Jason Patton – dnf
  • Pat Scott – dnf
  • Jacob Waltz – dnf
  • Kevin Zelechoski – dnf
  • Paul Zetocha – dnf

Complete race results.

Good stuff!

Congratulations to our entire tribe for lacing them up.

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.

2 Responses to “Leadville 100 2012 TALON Results – Liza Howard Earns Second Place Finish – All Slammers Movin on to Wasatch”

  1. on 28 Aug 2012 at 10:09 am Lori Enllow

    Do ginger chews count as currency?

  2. on 28 Aug 2012 at 1:47 pm David Hanenburg

    You do have enough to keep you out of some trouble for a while. Some may even consider them more like gold and will likely hold its value better than the dollar in the coming years. 😉