Enjoy as Texan, Scott Rabb, shares some moments from his two weeks in the Colorado mountains…and Leadville 100 too!
Let me tell you a little about my time away from the Shire. My pacer/crew and I left on our journey two weeks before the race and we entered Colorado on Sunday, August 4th. Mountain views out both windows, life is good. We made our usual stop at the Safeway in Trinidad and bought all the items we forgot to get in San Antonio.
Next stop, Salida. After stocking up on gels, we decided to play the clock and weather and see if we could summit a 14’er, Mount Shavano. After a long drive to the trail head, a quick change of clothes and a wrong turn on the Colorado trail, we found our selves at 13,500 feet on the saddle starring at the peak 700 feet above.
Next thing we know, it was 6:45 pm and the clouds were appearing out of nowhere and light was fading. She said let’s go down. I said let’s go up. Down we went.
The next day we arrived in Leadville and immediately started checking out the 100 mile course. Over the next five days, we and some of the other San Antonio contingent of runners surveyed probably 80% of the course. This included the hike up to Hope Pass from Twin Lakes.
There were eleven San Antonio runners and approximately eleven more to crew and pace. This was one of if not my favorite part of the trip, to spend this special time and experience with so many close friends.
We were also hosted by another San Antonio couple that we had just briefly met in the Spring. They were nice enough to open their house to a bunch of us which added to the special ambiance to the trip. We got to see him finish his first 100 mile mountain bike ride while volunteering at the Columbine Mine aid station. This was the 50 mile turnaround and high point of the race and was a real neat place to be.
After eight days, we traveled to Idaho Springs to stay with and old friend to some and new friend to others. This was another highlight, staying with a true legend of ultra and endurance sport who treated us like family.
Thursday we traveled back to Leadville and it was upon us, packet pickup, trail briefing, friday night, 2:00 am alarm clocks blaring, riding to the start line, saying hellos and good lucks, waiting at the starting line.
The race started, was in full force and going pretty much as planned. I was seven minutes off my 50 mile pace and the only thing I hadn’t planned for was a couple quick potty brakes in the woods a shoe change at the 40 mile aid station.
I picked up my pacer at mile 50 and off we went for the return trip back up Hope Pass. After the second river crossing my feet began to bother me, but I think most of the damage was done from the first crossing. I lost my crew as I picked up my pacer and this surprisingly began to cost me excessive amounts of time in aid stations.
At some point after mile 60, my stomach went south and began to slow me down more than I wanted. I was entering into the dark side. My pacer was trying to keep me engaged, but I was losing it. I found myself hiking more and making excuses to do so and then came the darkness. I spent a lot of this time with another Texas runner and friend and this I believed helped us both push trough.
At mile 80, my quads and feet were wasted and I hiked most of the next 13 miles. At mile 93, I began to smell the finish line and made one last push to the red carpet on 6th street. Just like it began, the race had ended almost without warning and wondering how it all went so fast. No more miles to run, no more hills to climb, nothing left to push through, it was over.
With the end of the race, our time in Leadville was almost over. A little bit of celebrating and some last minute visiting with old and new friends.
We packed up, said our goodbyes and drove away. Those were two weeks I will never forget. That was the greatest race I have ever been to. But, it was really much more than a race. It was over two weeks in the Rocky Mountains with new and old friends full of life long memories.
That was Leadville, more beautiful and epic than I expected. The adventure and journey I was wanting.
– Scott Rabb
Posted on 04 Sep 2013