Sunday, June 26, 2011

Leadville Weekend

View from Camp at Winfield

This weekend Rebekka Hannula, Steve Bremner, and I headed to the Leadville area to do a little Leadville Trail 100 running and scouting. Rebekka is going to run the Leadville Trail 100 this year. Steve is going to be the crew chief, and I will help with crewing as well as pace/mule for her 25 or so of the last 50 miles.

Our original plan was to do a double crossing of Hope Pass; Twin Lakes – Winfield – Twin Lakes, about 20 miles, then a night run on the Colorado Trail. However, the north side of Hope Pass is still snowed in and not passable, at least not in running shoes. So we had to change our plans slightly.

We camped Friday night near the ghost town of Winfield, which is at the 50 mile turnaround point in the LT 100. At 6 AM we left camp and ran to the top of Hope pass and back for total 10 miles. Absolutely stunning scenery and stunning weather. The run went really well, we all felt good and got to the top relatively quickly, even though we had some icy snow fields to deal with.

Top of Hope Pass
Once finished we packed up camp headed to Leadville for some food and relaxation, then set up camp near the pipeline. At about 7:30 PM we left Twin Lakes for the 11+ mile run to our camp at pipeline. The course has changed somewhat over the last couple years and is a little bit more complicated to navigate, especially at night. Luckily, the LT100 organization was conducting an LT100 training camp this weekend and had put course markers up. We never made a single wrong turn! We arrived at camp feeling great and Rebekka has a little better idea what she is getting in to. Great day!

Steve and Rebekka end of Night Run
Sunday we said our goodbyes as Steve and Rebekka headed back to Colorado Springs. I decided to stay and ride my road bike to the top of Independence Pass and back; a 40 mile round trip from Twin Lakes. 20 miles up and 20 miles down! When I arrived at the top, there was a group of Vietnam Veteran Bikers. They were impressed that I could ride a bicycle up there. I was impressed with them for being who they are. All in all a great weekend!

Two Veterans, Two Bikers