2015 Leadville Trail 100 Preview

Leadville 100The Leadville Trail 100 Mile is set for this weekend on its out-and-back course starting and ending in downtown Leadville, Colorado, at roughly 10,200 feet altitude. The race, which was started in 1983, has a high point of 12,620 feet at Hope Pass, which runners cross twice. Matt Carpenter holds the men’s course record at 15:42, which he set in 2005, and Ann Trason has the women’s course record of 18:06 from way back in 1994. This year, we have a deeper women’s field than men’s, but the men’s race for the top spot should be a tight one.

2015 Leadville Trail 100 Mile New Balance adiRunFar will cover the race live, which starts at 4 a.m. Mountain Daylight Time on Saturday, August 22nd. Follow the race on our live-coverage page.

Thank you to New Balance for sponsoring our race coverage!

For those of you who will be on site in Leadville for the weekend’s festivities, join New Balance for a BBQ party on Thursday, August 20th, and their two shoe-demo events on Friday, August 21st, and Saturday, August 22nd.

2015 Leadville Trail 100 Mile Women’s Preview

Liza Howard Leadville

Liza Howard

Liza Howard is a three-time Leadville 100 finisher. In 2010, she won in 21:19. In 2012, she was second in 20:44. And last year she was was second again in 20:01. Methinks Liza would like to run sub-20 hours at Leadville, would you agree? She had a rough go at but finished the Marathon des Sables and she ran the Comrades Marathon non-competitively with her husband earlier this year, so I’m also guessing Lisa’s hungry for a top finish.

A strong East Coast runner who races her own race from the get go, I expect Amy Rusiecki to fill into the women’s top five later in the race. So far this year, she was second at the Massanutten 100 Mile and she finished off her potential at the IAU Trail World Championships. She’s landed on the podium of almost every 100 miler she’s finished.

Gina Lucrezi sq

Gina Lucrezi

In theory, Gina Lucrezi could do quite well this weekend. She was the 2014 Silver Rush 50 Mile winner. This year, she’s gone third at the Black Canyon 100k, too. She finished well off her potential in 27-and-a-half hours at this year’s Western States. Gina has loads of talent but she’s not yet nailed a 100 miler. She’s been training up high for the last month or so, which puts her in a good position for this race.

Hannah Green was the winner of the 2015 San Juan Solstice 50 Mile, second at the Jemez 50 Mile, and she was also fifth at the 2014 Run Rabbit Run 100 Mile. Hannah has been running ultras since she was a teenager but the now-24-year-old’s performances seem to be coming on stronger over the last year. Update, August 19, 1 p.m.: Hannah Green is out with a knee injury. Heal up, Hannah!

Kara Henry is a two-time Leadville 100 finisher, including a sixth place here in 2013 in 23:50. Early this year she was second at the competitive Moab Red Hot 55k, and she was recently the winner of 2015 Silver Rush 50 Mile in a startling 7:37. Talent-wise, she can clearly run several hours faster than her previous Leadville 100 results show.

Carrie Stafford has three previous Leadville finishes, including a 23:56 third place last year. She was fifth at the 2015 Silver Rush 50 Mile in 8:57 behind winner Kara Henry. She was also fifth at the 2015 San Juan Solstice 50 Mile, 45 minutes back of winner Hannah Green.

Bree Lambert has been running ultras for around a decade, is mainstay of the NorCal ultra scene, and is looking for her first Leadville 100 finish. This year she’s won the Sean O’Brien 50k, was fifth at the Gorge Waterfalls 100k, and second at the Miwok 100k.

Other Women to Watch

  • Becki Lynn Lassley — 4th last year in 24:16, two Leadville 100 finishes.
  • Amy O’Connell — 6th 2015 Leadville Trail Marathon in 5:00, 4th 2015 Silver Rush 50 Mile in 8:39, two-time Leadville 100 finisher. Amy is also registered for UTMB next weekend, and I’m thinking she’s going to Europe instead. Can anyone confirm Amy’s plans? Update, August 18, 3 p.m.: Amy O’Connell is racing UTMB next weekend instead.
  • Sabina Paragian — 2nd 2015 Silver Rush 50 Mile in 8:04.
  • Katrin Silva — 4th 2013 Leadville 100 in 23:16, two Leadville 100 finishes, 16th 2015 Western States 100.

On the Women’s Entrants List but Not Running

  • Ellie Greenwood — injury recovery

2015 Leadville Trail 100 Mile Men’s Preview

Mike Aish Pre-2014 Western States 100

Mike Aish

The 2015 Leadville 100 has to be Mike Aish’s focus race, and he’s looking for his third finish here. In 2013, Mike finished third in 17:27, behind winner Ian Sharman. In 2014, he was second in 16:38 to winner Rob Krar. From all we hear of Mike, this guy really, really wants to win Leadville. He’s been racing up in the thin air of Leadville this summer, and was the winner of this year’s Leadville Trail Marathon in 3:31 and Silver Rush 50 Mile in 6:48, which are blazing-fast times given the altitude and courses.

I don’t know about you, but I’m really excited to watch Ian Sharman and Mike Aish race. Like Mike, Ian has two Leadville finishes, a win in 2013 in 16:30–ahead of Mike by an hour–and a third place last year in 16:41–behind Mike by three minutes. Ian brings to Leadville a plethora a successful 100-mile racing experiences, including six sequential top-10 finishes at the Western States 100 (including earlier this summer). Ian has been hanging out at altitude over the last several weeks, which is an additional bonus.

Brian Rusiecki is the husband of top women’s entrant Amy Rusiecki. He was just second at the Vermont 100 Mile a month ago, a race he’s won twice, I believe, including setting the course record there. Brian races and trains on the rocky, rooty East Coast steeps, but his Vermont 100 Mile course record shows he has the legs for a runnable 100-mile course. Also the winner of the 2015 Massanutten 100 Mile in May, he’s looking for his first Leadville 100 finish. Count him as a strong, fast, hard worker who adds an interesting skill set into the top-men’s mix.

Other Men to Watch

  • Jon Kuehler — 3rd 2015 Silver Rush 50 Mile in 7:34.
  • Jeason Murphy — 5th 2014 The Bear 100 Mile.
  • Kyle Pietari — 4th 2014 Leadville 100 in 18:37, two-time finisher, winner 2014 Ghost Train 100 Mile.
  • Chuck Radford — 3rd 2015 Leadville Trail Marathon in 3:53.
  • Gustavo Reyes — The Argentinian has struggled with ultras of late, arriving to them half injured or unprepared physically due to previous injury. Gustavo has lots of talent and a long history with the sport. We’d see him inside the top five if he’s healthy and fit.

Call for Comments

  • Who do you think will take the win in the women’s and men’s races? And how do you see the podium laying out in each of the races?
  • Who do you think should be added to these lists? Let us know why you think they are ready to challenge for the top-five women’s or men’s positions!
Meghan Hicks

is iRunFar.com's Senior Editor, the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running,' and a Contributing Editor at Trail Runner magazine. The converted road runner finished her first ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places. For more information on Meghan and her adventures, please visit her personal website.

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  1. @WorldTrailRun

    Hi, an "under dog" from Guatemala is Juan Carlos Sagastume. Check him out! 2nd to Jorge Maravilla last year and 2nd at Yukon Arctic Ultra 2004, Won TNF End. Challenge 2014 Chile (100M) & 1st L. American to ROW across the Atlantic.

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