Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Suck it up

This Saturday is the 31st running of the Leadville 100 miler, one of a number of iconic US ultra trail races. The races starts at 10,200ft and rises to 12,600ft, before returning to Leadville. The combination of vertical and altitude make it a toughie.

Leadville profile for the 'out' section

SA trail runner Ryan Sandes returns to try and make it two wins out of two at Leadville, after his win in 2011. Ryan has the fifth fastest time ever of 16 hours 46 mins. Those ahead include some amazing performances. Anton Krupicka's two wins in '06 and 07' were by a combined 5 hours 5 mins over the runners up (Anton' also had 2 DNF's and a fourth). The record run was in '05 by Matt Carpenter with an 'unbeatable' 15,42 when he finished almost 4 hours ahead of the second placer, and ran close to even splits, something near on impossible in a 100 miler.

Ryan's been in Leadville for three weeks getting used to the altitude which conservatively can take 10 days. He's fresh, well rested and super amped to be lining up again. Should be get anywhere near Carpenters record, his place within the trail running greats will be a step nearer.

He has a great team of pacers. And me. Cassie Scallion, Adam Chance and Ryan Scott will all run with Ryan from the 50 mile mark. I get the last 'flat' section from May Queen at mile 86 to the finish, a real honor. The downside is that to run record pace, Ryan will need to run that section in sub 2 hours, and therefore so will I. The POSITIVE is that if he is clipping along at not far off 5 minutes a km/8 minute miling, he probably won't need me to 'pace' him. My runs at altitude have been overwhelmingly rubbish, and the 2 days 'acclimitization' from tonight won't help much. Still, I can't wait to be part of the race and watch it pan out during the day. You can follow on Twitter at @irunfar and i'll also tweet @ilittle17 until my pacing duties.

The two Ryans have been out and about in Leadville and you can see some of their exploits at You Tube, here's the a short one on running at Altitude, More HERE

You can read a preview of the front of the field HERE

More from base camp Sandes over the next 2 days.....