2013 Leadville 100 Mile Run Results and Roundup

Leadville 100Ian 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.

New BalanceAs 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-ish. Photo: Bryon Powell/iRunFar

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 - 2013 Leadville 100 champion

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

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.

2013 Leadville 100 - Scott Jurek

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.

2013 Leadville 100 - Ashley Arnold

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

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.

2013 Leadville 100 - Tina Lewis

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, 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 trail ultramarathon in 2006 and loves using running to visit the world's wildest places.

There are 166 comments

  1. Pierre

    Seems like KM is right. Big machine that ran out of oil.

    Here's a crazy idea. Don't allowed pacers.

    Too many people running around and between AS.

    And the second part to that idea:

    How proud can you be of finishing 100M if you had muling and verbal assistance ?

    Isn't this suppose to be a self physical and mental test that we want to experience ourself ?

    1. Gordo

      Disallow pacing and they might lose a few runners to hypothermia. But they might actually like that idea. Whoever routed the traffic at OB may have been intentionally trying to get someone killed. In which case they did a great job. Since they've never lost a runner, maybe they figure that doing so will boost the street cred of the race. Interesting.


      1. sllygrl

        I ran LT100 this past weekend and while I personally didn't experience most of the crew/aid station issues (I did hear the 'you can pull a cup out of the trash for soup at Hopeless) – I was hearing about them from my crew/pacers. Its more a testament to my husband who worked tirelessly to get to aid stations way before I was there to ensure things went smoothly more than anything else – and yes I do realize that in doing so he may have affected anyone faster than me from getting who or what they need but he can't be faulted for being organized. (I would say he worked harder than I did and for that I'm grateful.)

        I was also mid to back of the pack – just a 'normal' human being working to accomplish something, and this being my first 100 miler I don't have much else to go on so I'll withhold most of my opinions for those that do.

        I am thankful for all of the volunteers and aid station workers and everyone who took time out of their day to be there to assist, I also believe there is a level of commercialism that this race has taken on that has affected the experience for many as a whole and that's just too bad. I made a point to pick up anything dropped that I saw from Mayqueen to Fish Hatchery and anywhere else when I could still bend down as a small attempt to 'give back' what I could – it wasn't much but I'm from Colorado and I try and respect the trails and the amount of people on them was probably a detriment to their conditions.

        All of that being said – I agree the issues should be addressed from all points of view – Lifetime/Chlouber/average runners…and if you want someone to do it – let me know…

    2. Gordo

      Thinking about this. It's a great idea. We should also disallow crewing. And eliminate the aid stations. And only a tool would actually wear that buckle in public anyway, so we can get rid of those, along with all of the other stuff. And water? Eliminate carrying of water, there's enough natural sources along the way. Shoes? Clothing? They give you an advantage, so they're for pussies. Run it naked and unsupported. Make it pure.


      1. Trey

        Funny how up-in-arms people get about the mere mention of not having pacers. The world is going to implode!! I'd die if I didn't have a pacer!!

        Its the same people who are so adamant on the notion of having pacers, and at the same time wouldn't want their results to look at all diminished by noting that it was actually a team effort that got him/her to the finish line. I need a pacer so I won't get hypothermia, but just show my name on the results list!!

        I'm not anti-american, but it is such an American thing…why? I find it interesting that american runners can go to europe and run those races (and LIVE!!) without pacers, yet when they race on American soil, they wouldn't think of doing such a thing…

  2. Tom

    Look at the results page on LT site. 497 finished, a couple hundred show a DNF, couple hundred show DNS, and then a couple hundred show no result just the last aid station logged into. Are they still out there somewhere? Did they check in to the nearest aid station when they dropped? Are they still stuck in traffic?

    LTF does not care about the runners just the dollars. Surely they calculated the average 40+% finish rate into their plan for support. Plus the DNS crowd is free money.

  3. Trey

    I'm not, but if I was organizing a 100 miler I would do this regarding pacers.

    Have all pacers pre register, pay a fee and include them in the results some how (as a team). This would bring in more $, to properly establish aid stations, emergency help, parking, volunteers, asses environment impact, etc. It would also acknowledge their efforts/help for their runners. By not including pacers in the registration process, especially in bigger races, leads to issues like we're reading about at Leadville. It also wouldn't hurt to pre register your crew as well. It would not address all issues, but it would at least give organizers a more clear picture of how to plan for the event based on TOTAL number of race day participants. This is especially true here in the US, where using pacers seems to be what 90% of the people do….

  4. Rob T

    It's just different styles of racing. We also just started using poles here. We also stick to the established trail. We also don't carry liters of required gear. There are tradeoffs. Things evolve. A lot is rooted in tradition. A lot of it is silly, a lot of it is practical.

  5. Jeff Friedman

    The race has become a complete disaster since the buy out. The race staff is obviously only evaluated on the profitibility of the series, not the quality. Above all else, they literally don't care. Each year more and more complaints fall on deaf ears and issues are ignored by these meat heads. Next year will be even worse.

  6. anon

    There is no need to register pacers to learn how many "runners" in total will you have on the course. There's really no need to limit them on the food either (or make them pay for it). Good race organizer knows the average stats very well. Rates of DNS and DNF versus finishers are pretty stable so is the number of pacers per runner (not to mention that Leadville has 30 years of data). If you shorten the course by about 2.6 miles (2013 vs. 2012) no wonder that your finisher rate jumps by 7%. Food on the aid stations is EXTREMELY cheap. How much coke or GU can you drink ? In a recent 24hr race I drank about 4 gallons of liquids : equally split water, OJ, coke. How much does it cost ? 10 bucks ? … all organizers are buying in bulk with HUGE discounts (like 30-40% … that's how Meltzer can get 69c Coke) … how about food ? … maybe 10 bananas and ten cups of noodle soup or something equivalent. Is Ramen soup that much more expensive at Leadville ? … not to mention that a lot of food and drinks are donated by sponsors. Then it costs nothing !!! I'd be really surprised if the food a single runner eats at aid stations during LTR 100 costs more than 20$ a person. There is simply no excuse that you run out of food. Moreover, most of the race directors are part of more or less informal networks of other races. In our race, we have a lot of leftovers, so we pass it free to organizers of another trail marathon. They usually pass what they have left to another 50K race and what they end up with goes to another 50M … so if you have more than needed it does not get wasted (obviously not applicable to perishable items like fruits).

    Our races cost between 40-90$ depending on the distance. We have about 500-600 runners. We normally make a decent profit of 15K+, but we keep nothing from it. Everything goes to local scholarships and nonprofits. I felt pretty disgusted when only a single 2k$ check was presented at the mandatory meeting it Leadville as a donation to "lifetime legacy" foundation.

      1. anon

        sorry for a quick and inaccurate assumption. We (and others I know) buy coke at the store … with 30-40% off. We get fruits, veggies and beer for free from local sponsors. We also get all the electrolytes gratis from one of the national brands.

  7. Pam

    My understanding is that LifeTime was permitted to run 850 people at this race – so how is it that over 1200 were allowed to register and over 950 started? In any case – I agree with the sentiments about parking and traffic. After doing this race 2x, I knew what to expect regarding AS's running out of stuff and packed in all of my own food and gear. What I did not expect – and makes me more frustrated as I see all of this is how crew and pacers were treated. Agreed this is NOT a volunteer issue – but a race organization problem. My crew actually ended up calling local police in the middle of the morning on Sunday at MayQueen as there were groups fighting and yelling so much they were worried how far things were going to get out of hand. On top of that, they were forced to haul in gear over 2 miles to Winfield and it took over an hour to get in as someone told them they could not park there. After having one crew person run back to get the vehicle to haul all of my stuff out, they ended up bringing in over 15 people in the back of our truck just so they could get to their runners in time. Some of them had to abandon their vehicles nearly 4 miles out of the AS due to poor organization and direction. Outward Bound was a similar with cars all along the highway and people doing 8-point turns in front of runners to get in and out. All said, I'm extremely proud to have finished this legendary race 2x – especially as a Leadwoman, but moreso – I'm happy to say that I will never, ever have to put my crew and pacers through that again.

  8. Gordo

    Actually, I was serious. And folks do get a mental lift from competition, so each competitor should also run a solo effort for it to count as unassisted. The point is that people are getting tied in knots over shades of gray. Things that help, help. Deciding which are allowed and which aren't is why races have rules. You don't like the rules, don't run the race. There are plenty of other opportunities.


      1. Rob T

        While that sounds all nice, warm, and comfy, no, there can't be the level of competitive spirit that the top 20 guys need. Otherwise, these top guys like *cough* Speedgoat, would be running races like http://www.manitousrevengeultra.com/ that are small, organized with great *challenging* courses.

        Everyone wants to wax poetic about how smaller races are awesome with great courses…yet no one at the top of the game is even thinking about running them unless to cherry pick a win.

  9. Chris

    I think people are more likely to get their panties in a bunch when someone questions how much pride another person can take in any 100M finish that involved "verbal assistance." Something tells me that the majority of Leadville finishers aren't hanging their heads in shame, nor do I think they should be. I get antsy anytime I hear another runner defining "the test" the rest of us are taking: we're here to see how tough we are; we're here to admire the beauty; we're here to pass our limits; we're here to… no, I'm here for my reasons, and you're here for your reasons. As long as we're obeying the posted rules, those reasons are not subject to someone else's approval.

    The only person who runs 100 on his/her own is the one who goes out on an unmarked course with only the aid they can carry. Everyone else is depending on others to one degree or another. And that's what it is: a matter of degree. Any dividing line between legitimate and illegitimate is a matter of custom and, ultimately, arbitrary.

    If the problems at this year's Leadville were limited to the last 50 miles, then reconsidering allowing pacers would be a more obvious point, but the problems started well before the first pacer set foot on the course.

    1. jenn

      I agree. And I think Trey and Pierre have officially pushed me past my tolerance for people whining about pacers and crews. (It's been building for awhile.) Do I have anything against the European tradition of no pacers? No, it's great. Would I actually like to see more races here in the US that don't allow pacing? Yes. But pacing and crewing are a great tradition here. How many folks have gotten their start at trail running or ultras by pacing a friend? Having friends and family crew brings them into the great adventure, which is fun in itself, but also must make family attitudes towards all that training time a little different. This is part of what makes the trail ultra community so close and so much fun.

      And back to the Leadville topic – it's actually pretty easy to calculate how much food runners + pacers are going to eat. Somehow races manage this all the time. This is not an excuse.

      1. jenn

        Weird, for some reason, Pierre's response doesn't have a reply button. So to Pierre, yeah, sorry – as I said, it's been building for awhile. Your comment wasn't whiny, no, but it did seem dismissive/derogatory towards those who run with pacers … and ended up being one of the final straws to my metaphorical camel! Happy trails back at you!

  10. Chris

    Pacers join Leadville runners at mile 50, by which point a large percentage of the drops have already occurred. You're not doubling the starting field, you're nearly doubling whatever's left of it by Winfield. Whatever the number, it sounds like most people agree it was too high.

    Middle ground on the pacer clot: don't allow pacers until Twin Lakes, where there are even fewer runners, and fewer cases where runners have to step off the trail to let faster runners by, losing valuable time on the cutoffs.

    It seems obvious to me that there were too many people. Too many runners, too many pacers, too many crews. It's a bit predictable that people will target their favorite bugaboo as the thing to eliminate.

  11. anon

    to Chris: respectfully, I disagree. People are falling like flies when climbing Hope for the second time. Not everybody needs a pacer, but there is many people who are risking big to be without them. This year I saw a lady walking like a zombie and suddenly falling flat face into rocks and pretty badly bumping her face. No pacer. Pacers of other runners had to lift her up, nobody of the runners had enough strength. I saw on many other occasions runners just loosing balance with pacers catching them a split of a second before tumbling of the trail.

    You can argue that such "weak" runners should not be in the race in the first place. The problem is you do not know where are your limits until you reach them … and honestly, isn't this exactly what 100M hard ultra is supposed to be about ?

    my 2c.

  12. Anonymous

    The government always wants a piece of the action when money is involved,dont be surprised if the USFS has a toll boothe set-up next year at the Winfield road,30 years in the federal workforce,easy to see this happening.

    1. Anonymous

      and no,i'm not knocking the hard-working Forest people in the field,it's the suits in the air-conditioned offices that never get outside that make those kind of decisions.

  13. Chris

    Fair enough, anon. No argument here. I can believe that this is one of those cases where a "safety runner" is exactly that.

    Getting rid of pacers is a fantasy for the anti-pacer crowd (of which I am not a member), and trying to convert an established 100 — especially one of the classics — to no-pacers is not realistic. It just isn't. I can see their argument in this case, but I think it's a bit opportunistic, and there are more realistic ways to avoid what happened this year. Compared to other 100s that don't have the problems LV just had, the difference isn't pacers, it's field size. I LOVE that LV doesn't have a lottery. And in theory, I LOVE the idea that it doesn't have a cap. But the sport is too popular to keep that up anymore. (IMO.)

  14. anon

    one more to Chris: actually one of the underlying themes of LTR100 is how people help each other, how they care for their friends and buddies … just like miners cared for one another … when they were digging deep. That is the philosophical reason why also mulling is allowed in this race, while forbidden pretty much anywhere else. I consider this to be a traditional "core value" of LTR100. Without it it'd be an entirely different race. I actually like it and respect it and think it's cool that different races embrace different styles of ultra. The incompetent and/or careless management is the only real issue (IMHO).

  15. Speedgoatkarl

    Hard to control beer consumption, and legally, I'm not allowed to serve it…However the pizza I can serve but remember it is AFTER the race, not aid stations. Aid stations can't run out of food water or support of any kind. Next year at Speedgoat if there is no pizza, I'll buy you a whole one for yourself. I'll work on that. :-)

  16. Meghan Hicks


    Like many people who ran, paced, crewed, or worked at Leadville last weekend, we have observations/constructive feedback for the organization based upon problems/issues we saw firsthand. We will be sharing our feedback directly with the organization, and we are doing our best to make certain the organization also knows that the comments section of this article has some specific and useful observations from a couple dozen folks who were out there last weekend. We hope that all this will lead to positive changes in the future race structure so that runners, crews, and pacers can be safe and have fun.

    (Today we contacted the organization to alert them to the discussion happening here. We haven't yet shared with the organization our own feedback, but we will in the next day or so. Perhaps you can understand the minor delay as we're just back in the office today after working in Leadville on Leadville 100 projects until Monday afternoon, spending 24 hours with Scott Jaime's Colorado Trail FKT attempt, and driving home overnight last night. I know this is an instant-gratification world, but there is only so much two people can do in the three days since the Leadville 100 festivities ended.)

    I respectfully disagree with you that iRunFar lacks an editorial perspective. Bryon has chosen to speak out negatively but constructively against several clear issues in the community, such as a race director denying prize money to runners who rightfully earned it, a call for the Western States 100 board to be transparent about its decision-making, and a request that race directors be “greener” by giving out less schwag. And, when one of our contributors (who we and others perceive as a community leader because of their running success/longstanding community participation) chooses to write critically, we welcome it so long as they do so constructively. For example, Geoff Roes recently questioned the ethics of the community’s growing interest in FKTs. Perhaps you are right that our sport needs more of this and we will take yours' and others' thoughts to heart for the future, but it's my opinion that iRunFar does provide editorial perspective at present.

    Finally, we think that the civil and constructive conversations that happen in the comments section of iRunFar articles, like this one, are among the best way to collect our community's observations/opinions. This article's comments section has become a fantastic editorial voice for the Leadville community, for example. In circumstances like last weekend, the voice of many is the most powerful tool there is for shaping the future. In an age where comments to articles elsewhere on the Internet are filled with spam, trolls, and misinformed/judgmental/hatred-filled discussions, it takes a lot of time (and a huge emotional investment, sometimes) to make sure the comments sections of iRunFar articles stay this way. We hope others also see value in the community editorial voice that manifests here.

    Thanks for reading and for your feedback.

  17. Meghan Hicks

    Loner and Tom W,

    I'm not certain if your comments pertain to iRunFar's gear reviews or to reviews in general, but I thought I would share a little background on how iRunFar goes about reviewing gear.

    iRunFar's product-review “system” is very different from many gear websites. If one of our reviewers can’t write a review about a product that has more positive elements than negatives, the reviewer doesn’t review it. Instead, the reviewer provides offline feedback to the company, often the actual product’s designer/design team. For example, while I do only a small amount of product testing for the website as compared to other reviewers, there are far more products that I have tested and not reviewed than those I have. While we know it’s impossible to publish completely objective reviews, there are several other steps we have integrated into iRunFar’s operations that get us closer to this, such as placing advertising and gear reviewing on two, separate operational tiers.

    I think we’ve done a good job with creating a system for sharing high-quality information about the “best” running products (read: products that do what they are supposed to better than others) from informed and independent reviewers so that iRunFar readers can make responsible purchases. I am also proud that the designers for many companies welcome/ask for feedback from iRunFar’s reviewers.

  18. Phil Lowry

    The Grand Slam itself grew organically from the very roots of ultrarunning, and those that now implement it were among the very first who laced up and attempted the 100-mile distance in the modern era. The organizers even free up slots in the Wasatch lottery to accommodate those attempting the slam. The fact that they organize the GS as an accredited event is not an attempt to corral it into complacency, but rather to preserve it as something worth pursuing. In that respect it is a notch above an FKT or PR. Those that preach that there is no need to register to have an "official" GS are simply advocating banditry, which at every ultra I have run is a lifetime DQ offense. No one is making money over this–the $80 offsets the award. Most important, Mr. Clark seems very comfortable with the fact that his record, if set, will be "unofficial", and seems unconcerned with the fact that he would receive no official recognition. He seems to respect the intent and spirit of the organizers of the GS better than some here who would presume to advocate on his behalf.

  19. jenn

    Yeah, I was thinking about this when folks were talking about having to fish disposable cups out of the trash to use – having folks carry their own cups is a great thing – I think Speedgoat did that this year, too, right? Those little silicone backpacking cups weigh basically nothing, squish to basically nothing, and you can use them for both hot and cold liquids. I'd love to see more races move to this – working at aid stations, I've often gotten a little dispirited looking at all the trash generated.

  20. Anonymous

    First time running this race but not my first ultra. I was shocked when the aid stations began to run out of supplies, and only had limited amounts of food such as ramen and potatoes that also ran out at several stations I went to. For those of you talking about running a race unsupported I kind of felt like that's what I did since my pacer missed me twice, the aid stations ran out of supplies, and I easily could have stashed water along the course and run it myself. Hey at least I get to pay $25 to have Lifetime ship me a belt buckle that I supposedly "earned".

  21. Bill Ahlers

    Having volunteered at twin lakes and this being my second stint at volunteering this year. Was at hardrock too. I got to see the two opposites of the spectrum as far as aid station management. Of course the BIG difference is 140 runners to 1000. I also saw the lack of any kind of training. I was never asked "had I volunteered before?" Being an ultra runner myself and having volunteered before I knew what to do but there were a number of people there that didn't. It wasn't their fault. They were all there out of whatever desire to be of help even if they didn't know what to do or screwed something up. Every volunteer I met, were there to be of help and every interaction with a volunteer and runner I witnessed was done with that same caring and desire to help even if experience limited them in how to help. Even the most well run race will have runners complaining about something. Many runners were clearly unprepared out of the gate. This event had both poorly prepared runners and very poorly organized aid stations and traffic control. You all should have been worried when you got to the expo. The only way this will change since Ken SOLD it to lifetime fitness for an undisclosed amount and Lifetime has to make their money back is people to stop paying their over priced entry fee. Then Lifetime will have to bail out and runners can once again become the RD. Not a corporation. LT100 will not be the same until then. The ultra RD community needs to watch and learn from this.

  22. Bard

    I ran Leadville this year as my fourth ultra and first 100 and I thought it was overall a great experience. Yeah, the aid stations didn't have everything towards the end but they had enough fluids and calories available to get every runner who truly wanted it to the finish. I think the majority of people blaming the aid stations for DNFs were not prepared in the first place and no amount of support would've helped them push through. Pacers and super-stocked aid stations should be considered a luxury that improves your time. If you HAVE to have a pacer and unlimited GUs to meet the cutoff times then maybe you should consider training harder so you aren't so dependent on external factors to accomplish a personal goal.

    1. Rich

      I think you'll find that a lot of the people with complaints were all over the field. From top 10 to big buckle to finishers… Not DNF's. I don't see anyone blaming a DNF on the race…

    2. Dan P

      Cool story Bard. Did you use shoes? I feel like shoes give people an unfair advantage. You should train harder so you can finish without external help like shoes and clothes. Better yet run it on Aug 30th next time.

      1. Bard

        As a back-of-the-packer running his first 100 I'm just saying I thought the race was pretty well managed and the Lifetime staff I interacted with were all very responsive. Maybe I'm wrong seeing the correlation between anger and DNFs, and maybe since I haven't seen/ran it in the past I'm not aware of how it's been done before, but I think the comments are making it seem worse than it was. Sorry to offend, Dan.

  23. Denver Runner

    Nothing new to share beyond what has been said, but put me down as one who won't be back until things improve. Kudos to the volunteers and crews.

    P.S. How someone hasn't been seriously injured by a car is beyond me. I honestly think that is what it will take before Lifetime wakes up.

  24. Dan P

    The offense I took is the correlation between DNF and aid stations and the flippant assumption that those that DNF did not truly want it. I promise there are a lot of DNF's from people that really wanted it. 100 miles is not a distance where you finish just because you truly want it. Most of the anger is from finishers and/or folks that made it well passed 60. This is when the aid stations ran out of food and coke. Lifetime bought a race that had a very successful template. This is not an experimental new mom and pop run. People spend time and $$$ to do this. Without being able to rely on aid stations we are forced to rely on crews which leads to overcrowding etc. When I pay 300 for a race and it advertises that it will have "well stocked" aid stations supplying certain items that is something I plan for when making decisions on how much support I will need and putting together drop bags. I only use the aid stations for fluids btw. I'm all for being self sufficient but most of this discussion pertains to Lifetime standing behind what they say they will provide to their paying customers and how they are going to create an atmosphere that encourages the good seasoned volunteers to return year after year for a thankless job. It has nothing to do with training harder or wanting it the most.

  25. Buzzman

    No Vlad, you were pretty much dead on. In fact from a crewing aspect I have a lot of comments about this train wreck of what was once a former great race. I've been coming here for almost 7 years now. Its really special to us. But probably not anymore? I in fact wanted to help out and at least get my runner's drop bag at the Fish Hatch aid station. They wouldn't even let me near it. I understand because of all the people and chaos, but still that is ridiculous they can't even get the bags at a reasonable time. I too heard about all the lack of food, and drinks, etc, from my runner. There are simply just too many runners allowed in now. Everytime you add a runner in, you might as well say an average of 4 people are coming in with that runner, if not more and pets too. People camp out all day at the aid stations (specifically twin lakes), double park, setup tailgaiting tents, etc. They tell you not to park on the shoulder of the road but everyone did (I didn't. I parked in the dirt and followed directions, and I got a flat tire for my troubles!). What once took 15-20 mins to get to the Fish Hatch took an hour. It took forever to get to Twin Lakes, and once I finally did, you could not move around or setup aid spots for your runner. I couldn't get within 3 miles of Winfield and our pacer had to hike in three miles and I simply turned around. I heard about all the chaos and garbage all over the roads and the trails. What a nightmare this race has become! In addition a lot of us were greatly disappointed in the race pickup bags (with a small bar of soap and a poster basically and you had to hunt down your shirt at the expo that moved a mile away) and that the briefing moved from the town gym which was always a special place to hear Ken. But I guess when you double the racers and charge more and more to get in, you'll have that? I think the town people are finally starting to get fed up. You can't get into restaurants reasonably. I went into Safeway and you couldn't move there. In fact a couple of employees were bad mouthing these race weekends especially the bike racers saying that they are very rude and they end up going on vacation for that week when they come. What a joke!

  26. kfons

    I ran the full Marathon – it was complete BS with the Mugs, top it off with the cheapest piece of junk poor quality shirt I have ever seen and you can see the Leadville Brand is going into the toilet fast thanks to Lifetime Fitness. If you advertise medals give medals…

  27. JD

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned that message posted by the Golden Burro Restaurant which was closed on Sunday. Basically they said they were sick of all those huge races and would rather stay closed rather than serve a bunch of whiny racers who couldn't wait more than 5 minutes for their food. It would have been funny if it wasn't so sad.

    This was my second time at Leadville and I'm not going back until some major changes are made.

  28. JD

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned that posting on the Golden Burro on Sunday. The sign (two pages long) basically explained that they preferred not to open rather than serving a bunch of whiny racers who couldn't wait for seating or their food more than a few minutes. They mentioned that their staff was calling in sick on race weekends rather than face the onslaught. This gives you an idea of how hard Lifetime Fitness is squeezing the town.

    This was my second time at Leadville. This year's experience was even worse than last year. I'm not going back unless major changes are made. That town (and those trails) cannot support this volume of racing indefinitely.

    1. Bryon Powell

      All in all, the race series needs to work on fixing its relationship with Leadville and Lake County residents, businesses, and organizations first. This is their home, so their wishes and needs must be respected. If those wishes and needs aren't respected, the race(s) could face a strong and immediate push toward elimination. It could be that the carrying capacity of the town is smaller than that of the trail, aid stations, or transportation system. If the town's carrying capacity in terms of races and participants has been overstepped, that may result in the strongest push toward smaller fields and/or fewer races. More simply put, in a place like Leadville (or any small, remote town), local opposition can quickly mean no event.

      Ps. I say this also wanting logistics and, possibly, other changes for the runners… hopefully, in the same time frame – by next year.

      1. Coach Weber

        In the August 15, 2013 edition of Leadville's newspaper – the Herald Democrat – there was an article entitled: "Resident seeks to limit races." The article indicates the dissatisfaction of at least one Leadville resident. Her dssatisfaction has resulted in her going to the Lake County Commissioners seeking to ask county voters to limit the amount of bike and foot races allowed in the county each year.

        She stated: "They (the races) are out of control … We stay here all winter, and we don't get to enjoy our summer." She additionally stated that finding parking and getting around downtown was of concern during the LT100 MB Race (and presumably the LT100 run).

        The Commissioners responded that a ballot issue that might limit the number of participants in a race instead of limiting the number of races would address the problem better.

        Me, I've been going to the Leadville 100 Run since 1986 either as a runner or as a coach, and definitely felt that 2013 was the most troublesome in terms of logistics for crews and pacers. I no longer go to Winfield, nor advise my runners' crews to do so. I regret this as Winfield – the 50 mile point – was a great place to see and assist the runners. It now simply takes too long to get back there. Twin Lakes was also a terrible mess. At Twin Lakes, both Outbound and Inbound, I drove back and forth trying to locate the shuttle – I never found it. I ended up parking far from the town and walking in – it was also strange to have multiple K-9 units sniffing the parked cars and the duffle bags of the crews. Outward Bound (and I wonder why the wonderful facility at Fish Hatchery was no longer available) was a terrible mess. I need not continue … it's all been said in previous comments.

        Leadville is a great venue for a 100 mile run. I hope that it continues to be available. I feel very lucky to have experienced Leadville in the mid to late 1980's when the vibe was much more what I like about ultras.

          1. Anonymous

            Hmmm,i could say something about killing myself to get in front of Ashley,but i won't since Bryon keeps a family-oriented website^^

  29. Charles

    Yes, corporate greed! I directed dozens of races over 20 years and more often than not I had to dip into my personal account to make ends meet, but I always had enough aid and refreshments for the number of registered runners, which was even more difficult to anticipate than in Leadville because all of the races I directed had “day of race” registration. But the big difference here is we have race owners/directors who's involvement may not be as much for the love of the sport as it is for increasing the bottom line and providing a greater return for their shareholders, a member of the NYSE, with over 21,700 paid employees and over $1.1 billion in revenue last year. Considering 1,219 entrants at a minimum fee of $275, that comes to $335,225 in entry fees. And that is just the beginning. Look at just some of the named sponsors who also contributed money and/or services and products: Anthem Blue Cross, Transamerica, Michelob Ultra, Herbalife, GU, New Balance, Camelbak, Runners Roost, etc. There is just no excuse … EXCEPT for corporate greed! If there ever was a director/owner with the wherewithal (resources) to continue the rich heritage of the FIRST CLASS event that was nurtured along for 25+ years by Ken, Merilee and the people of Leadville, this corporation and group of sponsors should be able!!! As participants and interested members of the ultra-running community let's hold Lifetime accountable!!! As several others have noted, management must make changes for the Leadville 100 to continue to be the event that we have come to know and love!!!

  30. Adam

    Nick Clark weighs in:

    "The 100 mile run is the one that got it all started at 10,200 feet, some 31 years ago. It gave birth to the marathon, the 50 miler, the bike races, all that stuff. As such it sits as the finale in the Leadman series, the last hurdle to be overcome in a long summer of high-altitude races. Unfortunately, it wasn't just the Leadman participants that seemed tired on Saturday; the race itself did. I'm just not sure the race series understands ultrarunning anymore. And herein lies a major conundrum for our sport.

    Leadville is the country's biggest and best-known 100-miler. It got me into the sport and it continues to inspire countless others to do the same, whether as a one-time bucket-list thing or as a longer-term passion. I fear that a lot of people new to the sport this weekend saw chaos where they should have seen community. To those that saw that, I say sorry. That is not what our sport is about. If you're still intrigued, go run a smaller event managed by runners for runners; there are 100s of them around the country."


  31. ARH

    One year I finished Leadville 100 with a friend pacing me the last 50 miles. I let him mule by carrying some extra water as well. First he did not think I would finish, then with about 20 miles to go he started hinting I could go on ahead if I need to. I wondered what THAT was about. Anyway I finished with about 30 minutes to spare and my friend finished 30 minutes behind me and needed medical attention for dehydration after dumping my spare and his own water to lighten his load.

  32. ARH

    I would suggest having a solo division at Leadville. They have one at Massanutten. Maybe at Leadville you offer a cheaper entry if running solo, i.e. NO pacers and NO crew. With the lower fee you would encourage people to run solo, which for a given number of runners might reduce the foot prints on sensitive portions of the trails as well as reduce vehicle traffic congestion and reduce vehicle induced dust.

    Then to further reduce congestion, crew and runners could be shuttled (suggest school buses) as well as runners could be shuttled if (when) they time out. Cost for the shuttle service could be set less than if they chose to not use the shuttle system. Runners with crew and pacers would pay one price for shuttle service and another if not using the service.

    Regardless, I think aid stations NEED to be supplied as promised!!! I usually run 100s taking only water from aid stations while consuming about 200-250 calories per hour of my home made blend of maltodextrin, soy protein, electrolytes, cinnamon and water, which I resupply from my drop bags. I never use crew and only at about 5 of the 70+ 100s I have attempted (45 completions) have I had a pacer.

    I do especially appreciate the concerns and needs of the back of the pack runners at 100s, having started running at age 43 and now at age 63 do not find many my age at the start lines of 100s anymore. But those still there are amazing! Cutoff times are critical to me now.

    I would think the aid stations would stay "open" until the sweeps or runners reported from the previous aid station had arrived. That should be standard protocol for ANY race, especially a trail 100.

    I finished Leadville 3 times (2007-2009) and my 4th time there (2010) I timed out at MQ2 by ~5 minutes. Each of my finishes I was a few minutes slower. I have not been back since 2010, but if I had a chance of trying the Grand Slam or the Rocky Mountain Slam (again) I would return.

    I have not been there, but somehow the Mount Blanc handles close to 20,000 runners (I think). So a huge number can be accommodated in a 100-mile ultra. I do not know how well participants view its logistics.

    I agree with other voices on this blog, that the problem with the Leadville 100 is UPPER MANAGEMENT.

  33. ARH

    On a positive note at the 2013 Leadville 100 mile run, please note that 73 year YOUNG Hans Dieter Weishaar finished this year in about 29.5 hours. He has been injured much of the last 3+ years and at his age put in an amazing performance. I was back and forth with him earlier this year at Big Horn 100, where he (officially) timed out at the 95 mile point with only 5 miles of roads left. I finished Big Horn with less than an hour to spare. Then He finished Hardrock in time and now Leadville. That man is truly an amazing runner. He started his first 100 at age 60 and finished his 100th 100 at age 68!!!

  34. olga

    I agree, people count on promised items. Same as some folks argue the need to carrying GPS so runners don't get lost instead of relying on course markers. Pardon me, but Plain advertises no marking – and those who can't read maps, use compass or own GPS (if it's even allowed), like myself, don't sign up. I don't hold a single thing against Plain, I'd love to be on that course, but I suck with no marking – and I appreciate the warning. That said, I, too, use AS's only for fluids, but majority of folks rely on lots of other things – and so they should if it's a "race package", not a "possible perk that may or may not happen".

    And yes, I am also concerned about "step off the trail for the upcoming runner" with 900 pairs of feet during a short period of time in high alpine country where the natural growth system is so fragile and takes decades if not centuries to grow back. Saying "It's only one trail" is sad, because what if the "next trail" people say the same, and then the next? When would it stop and who's to decide?

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