Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Leadville Marathon

Despite the injuries that I've been dealing with over the past 9-10 months, I decided to do the Leadville marathon again this year. Since I started running again 9 weeks ago, I figured I could get in reasonable shape to do it. Well, a few setbacks had reduced the mileage that I was able to do in preparation for Leadville. No matter. I planned on just doing it and didn't set any goals for time.; just to finish.

Several trail Nerds planned to do the marathon this year. Caleb, Sarah, Greg Burger, Shane and his brother Cody all planned on making the trek out to Leadville, CO from KC. Caleb and Sarah drove with Allison and I and everyone else went separately. Shane wasn't able to make it, but the rest of us met up in Leadville after various other excursions in the area to help us get acclimated to the altitude.

On July 4th, Allison and I were able to catch a Colorado Rockies baseball game and fireworks show. We did this last year with the Jones family and had so much fun we decided to do it again. the fireworks show after the game is probably the best one we've ever seen. One of my best friends Lee Barnes and his wife Monique and son Connor joined us for the festivities. Lee and Monique just moved to Evergreen from FL where we grew up together and it's going to be neat living close to each other again in Denver. Lee likes doing adventurous things so I'll have some company out on the trails.

The day before the marathon, Ed Payne, Greg Burger and I drove some of the route of the marathon and it made Greg a little nervous about the steepness of the grade we'd be running in that altitude as well as the rugged terrain. I was later told that Mosquito Pass had only been open for about 3 weeks since the snow had melted sufficiently.

During the run, I took it easy on the uphills and enjoyed letting gravity take over on the downhills. At about mile 10 or 11, I started having a really hard time staying motivated. Really hit a low spot and the funk was killing my desire to continue. I still had energy physically, but wasn't sure I wanted to continue. I pressed on up mosquito pass even though I didn't want to and about halfway DOWN the pass, I began to feel better. It took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to go the 3 miles UP the pass and 30 minutes to get DOWN it. Not a very consistent pace, but at least I was still moving forward. This run also reinforced that I DO NOT do well on coke and chocolate at aid stations. They always give me heart burn.

In retrospect, I think I probably could have done some longer runs at a slower pace, and I KNOW I should have done more weight training for the quads, but I'm just glad my knee held out for this one. Still, I wasn't really expecting to be a full 64 minutes slower than last year. On well... Now I have to get my mileage up in preparation for the Moab Alpine to Slickrock 50 miler in September.

GPS data from Caleb's Garmin forerunner 305


Travis said...

great showing no matter what your time was!! You finished it even after a nagging injury of the past months. Great pics too. Well done. Best of luck in training for the event in Sept.

Anonymous said...


Congratulations on your finish despite a bum knee. Odd, I got here from your video you posted at the Leadville marathon. It was nice meeting you the day before the race; I was hiking up when you were driving up in the back seat of the 4x4 and again saw you mid race, and again spoke to you at the award ceremony. Weird how our paths crossed.

I'm the one with the bum foot (bib #278). Funny, I was trying to look for "Me" in the video as I was hanging around you around Baldy Mtn on the way to the finish. I have a video on my blog of the day before the race and will be posting my race report soon. I also have pictures linkable from the blog and the white truck you were in is one of the pictures on the switchback up to Mosquito Pass.

The weird thing is that I'm familiar with your KC Trail Nerds and have read some postings that refer to a "good" and "bad" ben in the past. That always stuck with me and wondered what that was all about. I actually reference the KC blog when researching trail shoes. Small thing, but still odd.

In any case, wasn't sure if you wanted to exchange blog links on the running sitesl; I'll add yours to mine.

still waiting for the leadville photos to be published.

Brian Gaines
Chicagoland Area

Anonymous said...

I have posted my leadville race report and have referenced you in it. I've also linked to your video you shot on the northern side of Ball Mtn. Did you take any other video footage? I'd love to see it. Oh, and I also used your Ball Mtn photo, which I accredited you on. In any case, have a read, you may enjoy it.

take care,

Anonymous said...

Official photos are posted on the leadville website from the Marathon.


shliknik said...

Are you enjoying CO so far? I told Ben to say hey for me at your 'goodbye' party. If he forgot then..


Shane"Crash"Jones said...

What's up. Are you unpacked yet? It's time for some posts with mountains in the background to make us all jealous.

Wyatt said...

Dude that GPS thing was sweet! It was really interesting to watch the elevation vs your speed.

Anonymous said...

Will you be doing this race again, hopefully with a better knee? I plan to be back. I've got some unfinished business with this Marathon. I've got a nice set of ultra races I'm doing this year. It's kinda my ultra-focus year.

What is your race schedule like for 2008?


Ben aka "Good Ben" said...

Hey Brian. I absolutely plan on doing this race again this year. Hopefully on a better knee too. It's still not 100%, but then again, even if it was, I couldn't take advantage of it right now. with all of the changes going on lately, ( it's hard to find time to train properly, but things should even out soon and I'll be able to rack up the miles again. Maybe we can run it together? I'll definitely need the motivation!

Anonymous said...

Hey Ben, I still plan on coming out and doing the Leadville Marathon. From your most recent post it didn't sound like you were certain about doing the race, perhaps from a knee injury. I am flying out on July 1 and heading back on the Tuesday after the race. I'm staying at the Leadville hostel once again starting on the 3rd.