2013 Leadville 100 Mile Run Results and Roundup

Ian Sharman (post-race interview) won the men’s race at the 2013 Leadville 100, his third 100 miler since June 29th, as he’s participating in the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning. After a dynamic first 60 miles, the men’s race later evolved to one dictated by Sharman with fellow Brit Nick Clark (post-race interview) the only one able to mount a charge. On the women’s side, Coloradan Ashley Arnold (post-race interview), who placed third in the 2010 edition of the race, dominated the 2013 edition from the start. She led from the line and built an ever-more-insurmountable lead as the race proceeded. Two very different races, but the outcomes were identical: big wins on the high-altitude stage of the Leadville 100.

In addition to this article, you can find our full play-by-play of the race as well as a collection of our pre-race interviews and preview on our Leadville 100 Live Coverage page.

As usual, we’ll be updating this article with additional results as well as links to Leadville 100-related articles, photo galleries, and race reports.

Thanks to New Balance for sponsoring iRunFar’s coverage of the race.

Ps. To get all the latest ultra news from iRunFar.com, subscribe via RSS or email.

2013 Leadville 100 Men’s Race

The 2013 Leadville 100 men’s race is hard to summarize in a couple paragraphs. After the race’s first 13.5 miles into the the May Queen aid station, Brit-by-way-of-California Ian Sharman led the race with a gigantic chase pack of dudes about a minute back. But by the Outward Bound aid station 11 miles later, New Zealand’s Mike Aish had opened a decent gap on Ian and the rest of the field, which he would maintain for 45 more miles.

Mile Aish leading at Twin Lakes 2 (mile 60). Photo: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

And then somewhere in there, Mike had a physical breakdown that involved doing a lot of walking in and out of the Half Pipe 2 aid station at mile 71. When Mike faltered, the tough crowd of Ian Sharman and Nick Clark pounced. At Half Pipe 2, Ian and Nick came through in first and second place, with Ian gapping Nick by more than 16 minutes. But things still took a turn for the interesting because, at the mile 86.5 aid station at May Queen 2, Nick had closed the lead to just 10 minutes, leaving us fans wondering what would transpire on the meandering trail around Turquoise Lake. But after May Queen 2, Ian sped up and Nick slowed down, allowing Ian to extend his lead to more than 35 minutes at the finish line. Ian’s 16:30:03 was the fourth fastest in the race’s history.

Ian Sharman wins the 2013 Leadville 100. Photo: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

Nick Clark on the road to (another) second-place finish. Photo: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

And amongst the rest of the men’s top 10, the group seemed to be almost equally composed of fast starters who managed to hang on through dwindling speed in the race’s second half and more conservative starters who pressed the gas pedal after the 50-mile mark. Notably, one of those fast starters included Scott Jurek, who after an approximately two-year hiatus from racing ultrarmarathons, declared his intention to race the 2013 Leadville 100. However, the elements got the best of him such that he complained of a foul stomach–albeit a happy heart–at the May Queen 2 aid station. He hung on for an eighth-place finish.

Early on, Scott Jurek runs the 2013 Leadville 100. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar

And among the conservative starters/fast finishers group, we’d be remiss if we didn’t note the blazing finish of Bob Africa who completed the Leadman competition. He was far off the leader radar all day, but he used racing smarts to find his way to ninth place by the finish line.

Finally, South African trail phenom and 2011 Leadville 100 winner Ryan Sandes started the race as one of the plausible favorites, but DNFed at the Winfield aid station, mile 50, because of hip and back pain.

2013 Leadville 100 Men’s Results

  1. Ian Sharman (SCOTT Sports) – 16:30:03 (pre-race and post-race interviews with Nick Clark)
  2. Nick Clark (Pearl Izumi) – 17:06:29 (pre-race and post-race interviews with Ian Sharman)
  3. Mike Aish – 17:27:59 (pre-race interview)
  4. Kyle Pietari – 18:37:21
  5. Andrew Catalano – 18:43:26
  6. Timo Meyer – 19:04:19
  7. Eric Sullivan – 19:17:33
  8. Scott Jurek (Brooks) – 19:21:54 (pre-race interview)
  9. Bob Africa – 19:38:41
  10. Javier Montero – 19:45:46

Full results.

2013 Leadville 100 Women’s Race

Line to line, Ashley Arnold ran with grace, cool, and definitely a good sense of humor. Early on, the Coloradan’s pace was a fast one. For instance, at May Queen, mile 13.5, she was only five minutes off the lead men. Though her pace slowed some as the day went on, she stayed stronger–and faster–than all of her female peers. Of note on the course, she often reported that she was having a great time, that she couldn’t understand how she was doing so much better than the other women in the race, and that she was trying to run a smart race by intermixing hiking with running on the course’s steep bits. All of this clearly payed off because she emerged the women’s victor by hours.

Ashley Arnold on her way to a dominating Leadville win. Photo: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

Shaheen Sattar, of Texas, might have run the ladies most consistent race. As early as the May Queen aid station at mile 13.5, Shaheen sat about half way through the women’s top 10, and as late as Winfield at mile 50, she was still in sixth place. But as the race wore on, Shaheen worked her way up through the top five, ultimately finishing in the second position at 22:42:41. Shaheen and Keila Merino were clearly in a late-race duel, however, as Keila’s 22:47:36 finish to round out the women’s podium was less than five minutes back.

Shaheen Sattar at Winfield, mile 50, on her way to a second-place finish. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar

Defending champion Tina Lewis, of Colorado, returned this year just a few weeks after being cleared for running by her doctor after a foot injury. Tina pressed the pace, breathing down Ashley’s neck for the race’s first 40 miles. However, on the first climb toward Hope Pass after the Twin Lakes aid station at mile 40, she found herself unable to complete the climb due to returning foot pain, so she returned to Twin Lakes to drop out.

Tina Lewis at about mile 24 of the 2013 Leadville 100, before she DNFed. Photo: Meghan Hicks/iRunFar

While Oregon’s Denise Bourassa rounded out the women’s top three during the race’s first half, she lapsed to the back half of the women’s top 10 later on, finally finishing in 12th place.

2013 Leadville 100 Women’s Results

  1. Ashley Arnold (Salomon) – 20:25:43 (pre-race and post-race interviews)
  2. Shaheen Sattar – 22:42:41
  3. Keila Merino – 22:47:36
  4. Katrin Silva – 23:16:25
  5. Rebecca Hall – 23:43:13
  6. Kara Henry – 23:50:20
  7. Abby Mcqueeney Penamonte – 24:06:20
  8. Maddy Hribar – 24:24:20
  9. Nicole Studer – 24:25:43
  10. Maggie Nelsen – 24:37:45

Full women’s race results.

2013 Leadville 100 Articles, Race Reports, and More

Articles and Photo Galleries

Race Reports

2013 Race Issues [Added 8/22]

The 2013 edition of the Leadville saw some growing pains with discontent voiced by numerous runners, pacers, crew, volunteers, and other stakeholders. There’s significant discussion of the issues and possible solutions in the comments on this article. Please keep the discussion respectful, civil, and constructive, so as to foster continued discussion and, hopefully, help improve the race going forward.

One excellent recount of the issues was written by pacer Rod Bien in his Leadville Loses Its Soul, while runner-up Nick Clark writes of how the Leadville 100 seemed tired, how he thinks the race can be turned around, why Leadville 2014 needs to be a success, and how he’d be willing to step in to direct the race.

[Editor’s Note 11/12/2013: The Leadville 100 race director, Josh Colley, and other race-management staff have responded to ongoing constructive criticism about the 2013 Leadville 100. In short, it appears that they will address the major issues that came up with the race this past year by reducing the number of entrants, improving parking, managing the Winfield Aid Station better, and addressing trash problems on the course for the 2014 race.]

Thank You

iRunFar’s Leadville coverage was brought to you by a slew of dedicated volunteers! Thanks to our CoverItLive moderators Travis Trampe, Andy Noise, David Boudreau, Andrew Swistak, and Mauri Pagliacci. Thanks also to the folks who assisted us in the field, Travis Liles, Israel Archuletta, and Jason Hatfield.

Meghan Hicks: is iRunFar.com's Managing Editor and the author of 'Where the Road Ends: A Guide to Trail Running.' The converted road runner finished her first trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

View Comments (166)

  • Congrats to all the finishers!

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  • Great race! Lots of excitement!!!

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  • Great racing and great reporting, as always.

    So where does this leave Sharman and Clark relative to their chasing Gorman's GS record? (And has anyone who held the GS record actually won Leadville that year?)

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    • I'll let someone else chime in with specifics but Nick was about 30 minutes behind going into the LT100. He finished about 36 minutes behind for a deficit of 66 minutes going into Wasatch

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    • Ian is about 4:40 under Gorman's split after Leadville, while Nick is about 3:30 under the record split. Barring catastrophe, both should be well under the record after Wasatch, however, it's definitely still very much a race, as 1:10 at Wasatch is hardly anything.

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      • I doubt Clark is happy about spotting Sharman 70 minutes, given how relentless and unflappable he has been this season.

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        • If Nick beats Ian and the of GS record will it count as the new Grand Slam record given his "unofficial" status?

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          • Why is Nick's GS unofficial? Keep seeing that and don't get it...

            -Mike, ATX

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          • One can sign up to be eligible for the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning award for $80. http://www.run100s.com/gs.htm

            Per the official page,

            The "Slam" consists of officially finishing the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run, the Leadville Trail 100 Mile Run and the Wasatch Front 100 Mile Endurance Run all in the same year. The Grand Slam of Ultrarunning Award was established in 1986, when Tom Green was the first finisher.

            I'd read this to mean that Nick Clark is, indeed, on track to complete the slam and, therefore, set the record. He's just not in the pool to get an award or "official recognition." So, he won't be listed as a grand slam finisher on the above noted website. This would result in confusing verbiage if he sets the record. Otherwise, he'll have slammed... just not officially.

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  • Congrats to all those runners who started and completed the run with NO pacers!! There was a lot of chatter during the coverage abut Matt Carpenter's record, but what's hardly ever mentioned is that Matt did it with NO pacers. Next time there is chat about someone on the verge of maybe touching his record, hopefully its about someone who's also running the whole thing solo....if not, its not the same

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    • Well, I mean, if the weather is 1 degree off, it's not the same, blah blah. The cluster-F of having to run roads from Outward Bound this year dodging cars was also 'not the same'. The date, is not the same. I'm not sure why people have to hyper-analyze silly semantics.

      IMO this year you'd have been FASTER without pacers due to the clusterF of disorganization at aid stations when it came to crewing.

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    • I hear you Luke, but it's difficult to compare. The course isn't exactly the same as when Carpenter (for better or worse) destroyed it either. I personally think pacers actually make you slower - too much for me to worry about. I know Carpenter believed that as well. Also, I don't think the muling makes a difference here either. How much does someone carrying water, a few gels, and a rain coat really make a difference? Not much in my tiny little brain. I love Carpenter and still think his record is one of the most difficult to break, but a comparison is apples-to-oranges.

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      • If a pacer mules stuff or lights the way for you so you don't have to burden yourself with unnecessary things on your body, my humble opinion that's an obvious advantage. I think definitely no one was thinking CR here, but if someone explicitly went in planning for a CR if it didn't matter then just don't do it so there would be no controversy.

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        • Carpenter would just say you should run the race fast enough that you don't need a headlamp.

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  • Great race all around... Amazing win for Ian... Maybe he just run one 100 every 4 or 5 weeks all season.... :)

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  • Bryon and Meghan, thanks for the amazing coverage!! It was great to meet you at Twin Lakes and I'm so glad you started IRF.

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  • One thing sticks out from the AA interview: that she adjusted her sleep schedule in the weeks prior to the race.

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  • Congratulations Ian Sherman and Ashley Arnold! Way to go!

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  • What a great race! It kept me tethered to my phone or laptop for a good chunk of yesterday. Congrats to all! And I *love* that photo of Nick, above. That's fantastic.

    Re. The Leadville course record, whatever entrant runs a faster time than Carpenter will get the CR. The rules explicitly allow pacers and muling, and not using them was his choice. To beat the record, an entrant needs to follow the race's rules, not have to stick with Matt C's choice forever afterward.

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  • While I would like to congratulate the winners and all those who finished, I wonder how the race organization was perceived by the regular runners. For me, it was a huge disappointment. Being a mid packer (who eventually DNF'ed following a solid finish in 2012) it seems really strange that aid station after aid station runs out of food, coke, GU, cups for soup or soup itself hours before cut off and the distressed runners even at such special place as at Hopeless 2 are treated with nothing but cup of water and words of encouragement.

    The runners being almost ran over by cars at Winfield is an evergreen, but the chaos at Fish Hatchery (now Outward Bound AS) makes it a good tie.

    I also do not understand why aid station tents were so much smaller than last year, while the race grew by about 200+ runners resulting in virtual stampede. There was also very little space to take a break, sit down and browse through your drop bag if you ever get one. Yes, it took even 5-10 minutes to get one, because people who promised to bring it were called to do something else and simply forgot about it. At some aid stations (Half Pipe) drop bags were hidden out of runners views so there was little chance to find it yourself. And drop bags for the finish were not brought to finish area until AFTER the race, i.e. around 11 am.

    I myself am involved in organization of one of major 50 miler in south west thus I believe I understand how easy it is to make mistakes or how easily some things can go wrong. I also would never guess to publicly question competence of other race organizers, yet the systematic pattern experienced by me and several other close friends is simply beyond believe, especially considering the rich and long history, prominence and "professional" management of such huge race as Leadville 100.

    I'd welcome a constructive debate whether my perspective was somehow misleading, or whether problems experienced by me and my friends were real and are consider as serious by others as well.

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    • Hmmmm, that may have just cemented my thoughts that I'll never run Leadville. I mean, I love a good classic race, but this sounds like it's gotten too big to handle properly. Anyone want to give input here (since I wasn't there and am simply taking Vlad's points as they stand)?

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      • Although I somewhat agree with Vlad's frustration of aid station cluster, I did have aid station "volunteers" who were very helpful and want to thank them for there supreme efforts. Signing up for an event with 1000+ others is not to be taken lightly and some disappointments are expected. Knowing your system and self-sufficiency is a part of ultras, having crew and aid is what makes races special. Unless you are an elite and want to win, you are pretty much on your own baby! which is why we run isn't it?

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        • Yeah, good points. I guess what I mainly ask for from a race is truth in advertising. Don't care if the course is well marked, but if it isn't, don't say it is (not the case here, but it has been discussed before). Don't care if there are drop bags at all, but don't tell me there are drop bag stations (thus setting up the expectation) and then make them frustratingly difficult to access. Don't tell me there are aid stations and then not have aid (food) available. Instead, just state drop bags may be hard to access, and food may be gone by the time one gets there. Truth in advertising. Properly adjusted expectations = reduced frustration.

          Don't mind being on my own (other than BW, I have never used a crew or a pacer), but if having a crew is a necessary requirement at Leadville to ensure you can get your drop bag and have something to eat because the aid stations may run out of food, it needs to be explicitly stated.

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        • Good points Brian and Vlad. While I've only done one 100 (which was extremely well run), along with a few shorter races, I think there should be certain minimum standards regarding aid stations. Sure, self-sufficiency is part of the ultrarunning ethos, but if you take the effort to train for a race, take the time and money to get to it, and pay the $ to register (which is not insignificant), I don't think the aid stations should be running out of food. Maybe Leadville has gotten too big. Just my two cents...great to hear from those of you that were actually there. One more thing...I have no doubt that the volunteers did their absolute best...always the best part of a race.

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          • I agree with Justin and Vlad. You don't pay entry fees to be self-sufficient. Being truly self-sufficient while travelling 100 miles through the mountains by foot generally requires one to carry so much gear and food (and water, if moving through a dry ecosystem without plumbing) that true sustained running becomes impossible. I love the idea of self-supported fell-running/Barkley-events, but they must be advertised as such. If I'm running a 50 miler with nothing but a 20 oz water bottle and a little waist pack, I really need there to be food and water at the planned aid stations, and if I'm running into the night I need to get my headlamp and jacket out of my drop bag.

            Furthermore, there's the environmental impact to consider, if one cares about such things. It's possible that running 1,000 people around a trail system is not a good idea from any standpoint save that of the RD's wallet.

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    • Vlad- I finished and had the exact same feelings as you. I would have been livid if I had not finished as there was it was a nightmare aid station after aid station. At one point I grabbed a used cup ( they ran out ) out of the trash. No gels from 20 on- no coke. A total failure in so many ways. Top that off with a sign at may queen out that said 10 miles to finish. WOW

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    • I crewed and paced this year. I've never been up to the race before, so I can't compare to previous years, but I thought it was a vehicular Charlie Foxtrot at Outward Bound, Twin Lakes, and particularly at Winfield.

      At Outward Bound, the traffic routing was planned either by a sadist or a moron. They had a one lane entrance road with two way traffic, runners crossing, and crews going both ways on and across it with their gear. At Twin Lakes, where there was supposed to be a shuttle service, there were so few shuttles that most crews ended up walking a couple of miles each way. And lastly, here's a cut and paste from a forum about my experience at Winfield.

      ----------------------------------

      I did the first leg, from Winfield to Twin Lakes. With a really miserable warm up. There was the mother of all traffic jams going up the Winfield Road. We thought that we left plenty of margin, but sat on the road just watching it erode. We expected Sean to hit the turnaround at 3:45. At 3:15 we hadn't even gotten to the Hope Pass trail head, which is still 2.5 miles from the aid station. I couldn't stand it any more, jumped out of the car, grabbed some food for Sean, and took off running up the road. After maybe a half mile I passed the point where they were doing traffic control, only letting more cars in as cars left. That was at the trail head. I'm looking at my watch and thinking about how screwed we were. Another half mile uphill in the hot sun breathing clouds of dust raised by exiting cars, and I hear cars behind me. They'd let another group of ten or so through! I had my thumb out before they even got around the corner. The first two cars were packed full, but the third car picked me up. We picked up two more pacers on the way, and had three big(I was the smallest by far) sweaty guys jammed into the back of a small compact car. It turns out that the two women that picked us up had completely missed their runner and that their pacer had done what I did and they were just going up to see whether or not their pacer had made it or needed a ride back down. Anyway, when we hit the traffic slowdown in Winfield, where the runners were running a bit of the road down to the new trail, we all jumped out and ran for the aid station, which was maybe a quarter mile farther. I'm watching for Sean all the way. At the entrance to the AS, I asked the woman who was checking runners in if 228 had arrived. She said that she didn't think so. WTF? (He had and was actually about to leave again.) I sprinted to the tent, sighed a waiver and grabbed my pacer tag. I'm sweating like a pig and thirsty already. Great. Ran to the food tent, looking for Sean, grabbed a cup of water and ran for the check in point again. This time I found a woman with a clipboard that had a list of numbers written on it. I look over her shoulder and see 228 near the bottom. So I say, "228 just got here?" and she says "No. 228 left three runners ago." Crap. Sprint back down the road through Winfield, dodging cars and runners. I caught Sean just before he cut into the woods onto the new trail that runs over to the base of Hope Pass. We got into Twin Lakes about 7:45.

      ---------------------------

      Thankfully, they still had soup when we hit Hopeless. I also paced out of OB and they still had plenty of Coke and coffee at MayQueen when we got there around 4.

      I thought all of the volunteers that I ran into did a great job dealing with the organizational disaster, but there's only so much you can do when you're handed a mess like that. My take on it, given all the promotion of Leadman/woman and the other races in the series, is that the race owners are just trying to milk as much cash as possible out of this sucker. That part of it was a real letdown after hearing so much about the race. Until I hear that the organizers have gotten their stuff together, they're not getting any of my money. But I suspect that I'm in the minority. Lots of folks will still be eager to fork over because of the big name.

      Gordo

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      • When I was at the CF that was 'outward bound' there was still NO MEDICAL there....and this was well after the mid-pack went through!! Then, when medical DID show up, they couldn't get them in, and I overheard concerns from them that they would never be able to get out if they needed an ambulance.

        At Twin Lakes Volunteers were asking people in my crew for band-aids because they had run out.

        At Winfield, volunteers were asking people for WATER because they had run out!!! Really?? There was almost a fist fight due to some traffic miscommunication at Winfield too.

        In addition, what really blew my mind was how quickly Winfield packed up after the cutoff. Less than an hour. Now....you KNOW (or did they?) how many people made the Hopeless cutoff and were on their way down....you KNOW that if they didn't make the cutoff that something happened or they would be in need of aid/nutrition/medical/or hell, just INFO. But when those folks came down to winfield...there was no aid station. The tents were down and the volunteers were gone. Would staying for 2 hours after the cutoff have been a big deal? There were tons of hurting/in need of medical/aid/food/water who were extremely confused to see...nothing...when they finally made it to winfield. How does that happen? Where was sweep? where was the communication? Crew couldn't make it to Winfield because of the cluster-F...but you did, only 50 minutes after the cutoff...there is no cell reception..what do you do? "Oh well Mr/Ms. 50 mile runner, you're on your own, better start walking back, oh, and heres no water because we ran out!"

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      • Unfortunately I can't say that all the volunteers I ran to were great. Some truly were a blessing, some just had no idea what they are doing and some others were outright incompetent. When I was bent over a trash can at Winfield feeling really bad, I was told by one to let her know if I puke so she does not have to see it.

        My friend was treated for bad blisters at Fish Hatchery 2. While the med guy worked on his feet he offered my friend that his assistant can dry his socks over the heater. Well, the young lady took the socks and simply threw them over the gas heater (you know, the one with warnings not to cover by anything). In a few minutes she was back with socks toasted black with huge holes burned through. She said she did not expect this to happen. At least the med guy apologized and offered that they'll try to find some new socks. The lady got it wrong and in few minutes was she back with a pair of hand gloves. Few minutes later they found some dirty socks that other runner left behind. Better than nothing thought my friend ... quite a few hours later finishing in really bad pain but with a priceless souvenir.

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  • Any results for Leadman/woman?

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    • Sarah,

      Full Leadwoman and Leadman results are |published here. Congrats to Travis Macy and Molly Johnson!

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  • I agree with the commenters who are saying that this race has jumped the shark. I've been a long-time fan of this race. I've run it, crewed it, and paced it. But the organizers have made some horrific decisions the last few years that impact the quality of the experience in a way that's difficult to ignore of forget.

    Most notably:

    1) Allowing more than a thousand runners to line up is irresponsible. I heard countless stories of runners crashing into each other on Hope and fumbling into each other around the lake. Plus, the environmental impact of allowing that many runners on sensitive trails at the same time is profound. The powerline trail is eroded to the point where it is becoming almost unusable. The Winfield Road is not designed to handle that kind of traffic. Limit the field or the reputation of this race will continue to go down the toilet.

    2) Fix the Outward Bound Aid Station. Again, more than a thousand runners. Nearly a thousand crews, all coming in and out of the aid station around the same time. Only one entrance in and out. Such a simple error; it's hard to know how anyone thought that this would be workable.

    I say this with lots of love for Leadville and this race. Hopefully the organizers will take some constructive criticism and realize that if they care to preserve the long-term reputation of their brand, limiting the size of the field is the only rational choice.

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  • Wow. I thought it was bad, just reading Bryon's tweet reminding drivers to not dust out runners, but yeah, this sounds like it was a real clusterf. And medical personnel not sure that they can perform their jobs is ... not good. It sounds as though a strict shuttle system needs to be employed if they are going to both maintain high numbers of entrants and provide crew access to these aid stations. (Not considering for the moment your point about deteriorating trail conditions.)

    Re. aid station breakdown, I'm confused. I've only worked at a couple of 100-milers, but we've always stayed functional (we may have started packing up after the cutoffs, but we were still a functional aid station) until the sweeps come through - even apart from needing to be there for any straggling runners, we needed to be there for the sweeps themselves! Were the aid stations really packed up and gone before the sweeps came through?

    Actually - re deteriorating trail conditions - does the Leadville series do anything to work on trail maintenance in the area?

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  • If the volunteers weren't great, blame the race directors for a lack of training. They are volunteers, not aid station professionals. It's Lifetime's job to train them. If your friend was in Fish2 when this happened, chances are it was late at night and the volunteer was tired and overworked. I'm not going to let the only volunteer anecdote be a bad one, so here is something I noticed:

    At 4:30 in the morning, my runner crossed the finish line and headed into the 'recovery tent' for some more aid station food (this could be worked on...). A very nice young lady got me some soup and a small sandwich. I got a ride out to my car at MayQueen, where I slept until 8:30 am. I later stopped back into the recovery tent at 9ish to see another friend, and who is in there but the same volunteer, serving every runner and pacer with a smile. There wasn't even a chair behind the table she was cooking soup at. She was there, through a cold night, standing, for at least 6 hours. No pay, no tips, just a blue t-shirt that said "Leadville Volunteer." If you (not you, specifically, Vlad) want to rip on the race organization, that's fine, but remember that volunteers are completely separate from that.

    OH - how about another story, while we're at it. We were hosted by a nurse at the Leadville hospital. She worked the night shift (7pm to 7am), then came back to the medical tent to volunteer. I don't even think she got a shirt.

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    • If there is a need for training to be able to see the difference between socks and hand gloves, such a person should never volunteer at anything.

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      • OK, easy everyone. Toeing the middle line here, I think we can all agree that volunteers are volunteers, they ALL should get praise for donating their time to help others. Some are better at it, some not so much. Some of that is up to the RD and _especially_ aid station captains, and some is, well, that's how the dice roll. But let's just all agree that all volunteers are awesome people; the love they dole out is affected by personality, training, tiredness, stuff they have at hand, and the attitude of the prior 10 runners with whom they just dealt (and by whom they are unwittingly judging you). So, praise to all volunteers, good and bad. But note to RDs and aid station captains: choose as best you can (if you get a choice), and give all your volunteers the tools and skills necessary to aid others to the best of their ability.

        Agreed?

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    • I am sure there is a lot of good stories about volunteers as well, and I appreciate you providing for the balance. I also have a really nice story about a med lady (or nurse ?) at Hopeless 2 who really tried to take care of me despite having nothing but a single banana she tried to share among several distressed runners. In general, I think you are right that management bares the ultimate responsibility for the level of training and material support of the volunteers. In the race I help with (as well as other races I have intimate knowledge of) the aid station crews (or their cores) are more or less stable over the years. You can meet same people at the same AS year after year and that is the main reason why so many races run that smoothly so we often take it for granted. To me it seems that traditional (and experienced) volunteers abandoned Leadville and are substituted by people who in too many instances do not know what to do or do not care. That's not an accident, and people who follow Leadville for at least past few years are not really that surprised. I think it is no accident either that there was no "real" Fish Hatchery AS this year.

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    • There's a tendency in the ultra community to valorize the fact that volunteers are just that, those who work without pay, without reflecting on what that means. While volunteering to help others is always commendable, and I have had nothing but wonderful experiences with volunteers at all the races I've run, if the RDs are turning a profit (which in the case of Leadville and Life Time, they surely are...for 1,000 runners, their revenue must have been at least $100,000) then the volunteers are not just volunteering to help fellow runners, but also to provide free labor for a capitalist enterprise. If you went to Target and your cashier was an unpaid volunteer who simply loved having the opportunity to help you check out, would you not wonder whether a large retailing firm cynically co-opted an altruistic impulse in a particular sub-section of the population in order to enhance its own profit margin? Obviously, this argument applies only to RDs who are turning a significant profit, I understand that many are barely breaking even. But it seems like the best response to what sounds like a very destructive race, both from an environmental and a health standpoint, is for both runners AND volunteers to boycott Leadville next time around.

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      • Aid stations are deterorating at this race. They need to cap the amount of runners. No coke at any aid stations on the way back except MQ for 28.5 hr finishers. The race seems to be run by middle mangers and tri fit folks. Seasoned volunteers are not returning. Winfield is a disaster. Great course great tradition needs to be run by runners or it will be run into the ground. Also they ran out of sweatshirts for finishers. Everyone keeps using the term RD. there are no RDs at lifetime. They have race mgmt specialists and several other types of managers. Kind of like the post office.

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      • Ooh...I guess this is what happens when a race turns corporate.

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  • All I know is that you used the term "jumped the shark," and for that both Fonzie and I are devoted fans.

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    • Her name is Abby Long, Athlete Services and Registration Manager, Lifetime Race Series, if you really want action. Perhaps she's listening.

      My crew has a suggestion for Winfield: shuttle bus for pacers only from the highway. Btw, I sent this to Abby.

      One last tidbit, Oprah was considering ultras until she found out how many aid stations there are in a marathon.

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  • My observation as a volunteer is that LT100 aid station instructions, training, and supply delivery (food, drink, and medical) have not scaled with the growth of this event. Hopeless should not have run out of IV tubes, good planning would have supplied that AS with a worst-case number of them. I never saw any guidance on when an AS should shut down so it's not surprising the Winfield AS captain started to pack up shortly after the 6 PM cutoff. Given that this race would immediately cease to exist if it were not for the experienced volunteers and their tribal knowledge, it's regretable that there is not more investment in preparing comprehensive procedures for all volunteers and aid stations. It's baffling why this isn't beiung done, given that Time Life Fitness has a full year to do their homework. Simply re-using the same materials from previous years is not the answer.

    Except for race management, most everyone, including the volunteers, agree that there are just too many LT100 entrants.

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    • Investment in additional aid station instruction, training, supplies, food, etc. to scale up with the number of entrants would cost extra money. Extra money that needs to go into the pockets of Lifetime executives. Just kidding.

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      • You may be kidding, but that doesn't mean you're wrong. ;)

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  • Coke is expensive at 69 cents for a two liter.....really? they ran out of coke? Lifetime fitness obviously works out in the gym.

    Tough read hearing all of these complaints, it's a bummer for a race to grow too fast and not end up being first class.

    It's always gonna be a classic, always gonna be big, and it's always gonna be Leadville. "you can do more than you think you can". That's classic too.

    A well oiled machine with no oil...

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  • amen Luke, Carpenter did it alone....This is one record, like his Pikes Peak record, that may stand the test of time, cuz' noone has come close....

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    • No one came close to his San Juan record either. Until this year.....

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  • I think the observations and suggestions here are solid. Please take the time to post directly to those who have the power to create the changes at the race organization level.

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    • Not trying to be snide, but who would that be? You have an org chart for Lifetime handy? You know which lower level manager/peon is going to be in charge next year? If you do, you could just send them a link to this discussion. Maybe the CEO would be best. He might actually care that the name Lifetime is being tarnished. But he'll probably be moving on in a couple of years anyway. Maybe the Board of Directors? They're golfing buddies of the CEO. So who you gonna call? It really is a great sentiment, but when responsibility is diffuse, you've got a real problem doing it.

      Gordo

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    • I did let them know that whoever decided to have Michelon ultra at mtn races should be fired. I wish it was as easy as contacting them directly. I've ran many races where I could call an RD and get results or at least talk to a human. From lifetime you get "thanks for your suggestions well defintely look into it before next year" form letter stuff. A friend who had five family members run the marathon at 100 per entrant left his license at check in. They were willing to return it for a S&H charge of 5$. Really a stamp and envelope is $5? For a guy that prob spent $1000 on the race series.
      Just to clarify I am not down on the volunteers or medical/ search and rescue folks from Leadville. They are great. It's the paid staff of lifetime that is dropping the ball.

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  • I wasn't there this year but did have an overall good experience last year despite a DNF at Fish Hatchery inbound. While the race was going on I was feeling somewhat sad not to be there running again but after reading some of these reports I'm not so sure.

    And I would be careful not to generalize about correlations between event size and service. For example I ran the Chicago marathon in 2011 with something like 35,000 runners. They didn't run out of gels or sports drink or water at the aid stations. I literally had three volunteers getting in each others' way to assist me as I crossed the line in a cramping hypoglycemic daze. And there was plenty of beer at the post-race expo. Yes an out-and-back trail run with 1000 participants will have congestion issues due to runners going both ways, that I would expect. But there is absolutely no reason why the level of service provided by race management should be any less. There are many, many companies that successfully organize much larger events than Leadville.

    p.s. sorry to hear about your DNF Vlad

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