This was a race! We went up to Leadville early in the AM on Sat. and saw the epic battle between Gunnison Local Dave Weins (5 time champion) and Lance Armstrong; yes, that Lance Armstrong. The Race? The Leadville 100 mile Mountain Bike Race. This was incredible. It was my first time watching, and I was impressed. The brief synopsis of the race is this: Dave and Lance were riding in a large group of about 10 people until mile 43. At this point, during a very large climb to high altitude (12,600′), Lance pushed the pace, and Dave followed. By the time they got to mile 50, They had approx. a 5 min. lead on the rest of the racers. On the downhill they gapped them even more, and then paced eachother for another 25 miles to the base of the SugarLoaf climb, where again, Lance pushed the pace, hard. Dave followed right behind; relaxed and composed. Dave then dropped Armstrong around mile 90 when Lance said: “I’m done, go.” We then saw them at mile 97, and Dave had over a 1 minute lead that just grew to 2 min. by the finish. This was a battle. Dave broke his own course record by over 13 min, and Lance was right there with the second fastest time ever. The third place rider was about 35 min. back.!!!!
Pic by Jesse Crandall. Thanks Man.
One of the highlights of the day was being able to run alongside both, cheer for both, and watch the intense battle. It was incredible; no doubt about it. In the women’s race, Keri Nelson, also a Gunnison Native, led the entire way until mile 98, where she was passed, and lost the race by less than 1 min. I spoke with her immediately after the race, and she said that she just had absolutely nothing left in the tank. Keri is an incredible athlete as just a month ago she won the Leadville trail marathon running race outright (yes, she beat all the men too). Tim Deboom, Hawaii Ironman World Champion, was there too. Keri will also be competing in the Pikes Peak Marathon next weekend. She is one tough chick.
As for me, I went on one last medium run right after watching the Bike Race. I ran with friend Jesse Crandall from the “Boulevard” to the Tabor Boat Ramp and back, and then I tempoed the last four miles uphill back to the finish in town. I felt very very good on this run. Last year at this time I was merely hanging on for dear life in my training and just trying to make it to the race healthy and with some energy. I truly feel confident in my fitness and my taper, and I am certainly looking forward to the race next weekend.