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Leadville Heavy Half - Run15 Mile

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Leadville, Colorado
United States
Leadville Trail 100
Total Time = 3h 07m 42s
Overall Rank = /
Age Group = 20-29
Age Group Rank = 3/14
Pre-race routine:

My friend Megan and I drove up to Leadville Friday night. We were both joking about we were going to die and they'd have to drag our frozen lifeless bodies down the mountainside. The last time Megan ran at all was the Slacker Half, two weeks ago, so I was a little concerned for her.
We stayed at the nicest hotel in Leadville, which is to say a very mediocre hotel on 24, the Columbine Inn. It'll do. I almost wanted to be in a skeezy motel (Hitchin Post, anyone??) just to complete the experience. Oh well. They have those big dinner mints at the front desk and I must have eaten 20 of them the night we arrived. We had dinner at Doc Holliday's in town then retired to our seperate rooms.
Event warmup:

Woke up at 6am and had a dry bowl of cereal at the hotel's breakfast. The room was full of runners and everyone was a greyhound-esque crazy looking runner type. Haha, very different from the two of us! I am always so intimidated by the bones and sinew runners, I feel like I stick out like a sore thumb. (or fat kid)

We got to downtown and had awhile to walk around and get ready for the race. Had a coffee, took care of business for the third time that morning (phew!), joked around some more about dying on the course. Everyone at the starting line was super friendly and you could tell everyone was PUMPED to run. The sun was shining full strength, there wasn't much wind... it would be a good day to run.
  • 3h 07m 42s
  • 15.56 miles
  • 12m 04s  min/mile

Off we went! The first mile was through town, then we hit minig roads and stayed off road for the rest of the race. About 2 miles into it the full marathon runners branched off and ran a different way than us.

We were climbing from the very start. The wide mining road we were on for the first 3.5 miles just went UP the whole time. Then we got to the first aid station, which was PACKED with just about anything you could want. Pretzels, potato chips, coke, gatorade, water, pb&js, powerbars, gels. The volunteers were great! I took two cups of coke and a cup of water and stood and drank them at the station before continuing. I had a camelbak on but wanted to save that water for the long climb.

Past the aid station we went down a ways before it leveled out, it was nice to have a downhill but I was thinking about what a bitch it would be to climb on the way back.

This was where it got gorgeous. We had incredible views after the first aid station... you could see down in Leadville and across the lake. It was a blue bird day out there. We were running past falling down old mining structures, with the mountains all around us, and the sun shining... it was just plain fabulous.

A bit after aid station 2 (4.5ish miles in) it started to get really steep. This was the long climb up to Mosquito Pass. It was very rocky and you had to pay attention otherwise you'd twist an ankle. Parts of the climb were so steep that I had to walk. I chatted with people around me, asking about whether they'd done this before. Almost everyone was a first timer like me!

There was a young kid that looked about 9, who I later found out was 13, running with his dad. That family was at the hotel at breakfast and I wondered who in the family was running... turns out ALL of them were! The two sons and mom and dad! How cool is that? The whole way up this skinny bulink of a boy was ahead of me by 50 yards. He was a great climber.

Past mile 5.5, almost every single person was walking. We were way high up and the air was thin and the trail was STEEP. I was just focused on hikin as fast as I could. Every once in awhile someone would start jogging but they usually only went a few yards before hiking again. This was nice b/c it meant I could look around more and take in the views. I wished I had brought a camera like other people had.

I felt great. My legs were feeling strong, my breathing wasn't too out fo control, and I was powering up the mountain.

This was an out and back, so it was easy to see who was ahead of me. At mile 6.4 the men's leader came barreling down the mountain. He was moving out! Everyone was shouting encouragement to him. This was a very friendly race, everyone was cheering everyone on.

I counted the women that passed me, and they came trickling down. I hadn't counted more than 7 or 8 when all of a sudden, I rounded a bend and there was the top of the pass! It had flattened out a bit so I jogged up. Yahoo! And I was in the top ten women! I was so stoked, because I was feeling really good. I got my aid station standard 2 cokes and a water and drank them down, it tasted SO delicious. Coke during a race is like nectar from the heavens.

All of a sudden there were like, 6 other women up on the summit with me. Crap! I tossed my cups away and decided to hurry my ass down the mountain to try to stay in the top ten.

It felt great to be running DOWN the mountain. So many people said nice things as I was running down, like "you go girl!" and "great job!" you know standard stuff like that. I was Megan about a quarter mile away from the summit and she looked great! Hooray for us, we were both having good days.

I know this sounds stupid, but I'm a really good downhill runner. I am not reckless, but I can run downhill really quickly. My stride stays in good form and I don't jar myself too much. I caught a lot of people on the downhill. There was a woman in a red tank top that I was behind for a long time and finally passed on the downhills. I wanted to keep her behind me the rest of the race. I also passed the kid and his dad on the steep downhill and didn't see them again.

At the 4th aid station I tried to eat a pb&j square and it almost made me throw up. I couldn't eat anything solid, gu was making me pukey, so I jsut had coke and water. It helped me burp away some of the pukey feeling but it never went completely away until I was done with the race. At that station as I was stopped and drinking I saw the red shirt girl and then a blue skirt lady coming up from behind, so I high tailed it out of there.

I felt strong on the climb back to the final (first on the way out) aid station. My legs felt GOOD! I was astounded. I had been expecting to be limping or something. I passed a few dudes on that climb up. At the aid station I stopped and got another coke and water, and I couldn't see anyone making the climb behind me, so I knew I had a good lead on the two women.

Now it was just bombing the mining roads back down to town. I really tried to push those miles. My legs were finally starting to show signs of the race they had behind them but I was so stoked on the beautiful day and my performance thus far that I was able to dig in and keep my pace up.

Oh and I just want to mention that I had two songs in my head the whoooole race. Fleet Foxes Ragged Wood and Kate Nash Foundations. Random.

Before I knew it I was back on town and I had the loooong straight away to the finish line to run. It seemed to take forever! But I was so stoked to be finishing! I couldn't believe I was under 3:10! I was thinking I'd be somewhere in the 4:00 range.

They had a guy about 200 yards out reading people's numbers so the announcer could broadcast who was coming in. I heard "Here comes Bridget Dyer from Denver!" and I threw my hands up in the air and did the victory overhead hand shaking I do when I feel like being particularly cheesalicious. That got some cheers from the crowd, as intended.
What would you do differently?:

Push it more on the way up. I wasn't sure what to expect b/c I haven't done this race before and I didn't study the course info very well, so I was conservative on the way up. I could have gone harder and taken more out of myself.
Post race
Warm down:

I immediately grabbed tons of water because I was parched. They had watermelon at the finish and it was perfect. Just what I wanted! I was still sort of pukey so nothing else appealed to me.

Megan came in about a half hour after me and she was SUPER stoked at her performance (so was I! she killed it! after not running for two weeks, ha! unbelieveable). We hung around the finish line for awhile, watching the other runners come in.

The guy that won the marathon came in at 3:32, can you believe that? I've seen him around, he runs with the Snug occasionally. He blew away the course record and was a total dark horse. Well, Anton what's-his-name, that famous ultra runner that looks like a tan jesus, was PISSED that his win was upset by this local guy and Megan and I heard him piss and moan about it to his friends. What a sore loser! We decided to call him Douche Jesus.

Anyway. Megan and I walked around and shopped at the thrift and antique stores from awhile before hitting up the 2 for $1 PBR bar in town. We sat at the bar and drank and talked with other runners until the dinner/awards ceremony, which started at 5pm.

The dinner was a mexican buffet, and they had a choice of turkey meat or SEASONED SOY!!! Can you believe it? They were totally catering to vegetarians. I was so impressed. Even the beans and chili were vegetarian!

So at the ceremony, they called up EVERY single person who raced, and everyone got a really cool mug. We ended up sitting next to the marathon winner and his brother. Turns out it was the winner's first marathon! Incredible, right? Wow. Anyway, turns out I placed third in my AG so when they called me up there I also got a little gold pan award, ha! Awesome. Oh and it turns out the kid, his old brother placed 3rd in the half. He's only 17 and in high school! Crazy.

After dinner we had to go home b/c I had tickets to Bon Iver which I wasn't going to miss. But next year, we're both doing the marathon and are going to stay the whole weekend in Leadville. It's really a race that you should make a weekend out of. Everyone there was so friendly and had awesome race schedules that I wanted to keep hearing about... it would have been really cool to stay that night and drink some more with the crazy runners.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Meh. Being fat, not training enough, yada yada I'm a broken record.

Event comments:

This was a FANTASTIC race. Everything about it was great- the volunteers, my fellow racers, the aid stations, the course, the weird little shitty mountain town it's held in, the post race activities, the VEGETARIAN offerings at the awards dinner!! Not only did we get a tech tshirt, finisher's medal, dinner, and coffee mug, but it was all for only $75 (and that was as a late entry... I think it's $60 if you register early). This race organization (Leadville 100) is top notch. I will come back whenever I can to do their races. I have fallen in love with Leadvegas!!

Last updated: 2009-06-30 12:00 AM
03:07:42 | 15.56 miles | 12m 04s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/14
Overall: 0/
Performance: Good
Keeping cool Drinking
Post race
Weight change: %
Mental exertion [1-5]
Physical exertion [1-5]
Good race?
Course challenge
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2009-07-14 12:44 AM

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Extreme Veteran
Denver CO
Subject: Leadville Heavy Half

2009-07-14 1:45 AM
in reply to: #2283225

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Denver Colorado
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Great JOB!!! You're my favorite fat kid! LOL! JK buddy... You shouldn't cut yourself down like that, you're much too pretty for all that and a bad a** runner!

Anyway, awesome job and well done B!

Edited by Triathlon Sean 2009-07-14 1:46 AM
2009-07-14 10:16 AM
in reply to: #2283225

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Atlanta, Georgia
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Sounds like a really fun race - makes me want to doooo it!
Great job!
2009-07-14 10:38 AM
in reply to: #2283225

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Breckenridge, CO
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Great race Bridget! It's not stupid at all. Running downhill is HARD and I'm terrible at it.
2009-07-14 6:46 PM
in reply to: #2283225

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Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Great race!
I am glad you had fun!
Maybe I will do this one next year!
2009-07-14 9:53 PM
in reply to: #2283225

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Brooklyn, NY
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Nice job and another fun RR!

2009-07-14 10:16 PM
in reply to: #2283225

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Parker, CO
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half

Great job Freckles!  enjoyed your RR.  you're well on your way to the Peak Marathon...just 1-month away!

2009-07-15 6:58 AM
in reply to: #2283225

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Centennial, CO
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Good job up there. My buddy did the marathon. Of course now he can't run for several weeks as he tweaked his knee on those downhills. Good job on the 3rd place finish too.
2009-07-15 1:28 PM
in reply to: #2283225

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Conifer, Colorado
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
Hey Buddy! I'm so proud of you. Every once in a while I feel that in a race and it is perfect. Unfortunately that "feeling of well-being, peace, whatever" cannot be recalled on command. I suppose that is why I/we race... I guess to put it perfectly, nothing compares to your first acid trip...

2009-07-16 6:21 PM
in reply to: #2283225

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Evergreen, CO
Subject: RE: Leadville Heavy Half
What a fun race!  Great job!!!
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