Thursday, August 2, 2007
At 10,152 feet above sea level, the town of Leadville, Co. is the highest incorporated town in the U.S. Ken Chlouber, creator of the Leadville 100, decided to host running and mountain bike races there to bring exposure to a place that was once a great mining town. Though mining operations have been in decline for some time, the town of Leadville is very much alive.
Ibrahim and I got our first taste of the Leadville course on July 24. See course profile above! Lead by trusty trail guide Jason (in white) we completed 42 miles of the course and biked up two of the major climbs. It doesn't take much to get winded at 10,000+ feet. We climbed nice and easy and took plenty of breaks.
While we were training, we met local biker Casey (in green) who told us he had heard about Ibrahim and offered us room at his house during the weekend of the race. Casey finished the Leadville 100 in under 9 hours on his first attempt! I don't think we'll be trying to keep up with him during the race! After the forty mile effort, we were pretty exhausted as it was our first intense effort at altitude. Ibrahim's goal is to finish under 10 hours. I'll be happy if I can make it under 12!
"Woah! This Leadville course is not easy." - Ibrahim Wafula
Humbled but not discouraged! We'll be ready by August 11.
It takes about 3 weeks for the average athlete to acclimate to high altitude. We dehydrate faster at altitude so we've been drinking more electrolyte enhanced fluids. Recovery is slower. We've added more easy rides with light spinning. We've also been eating more spinach for more iron intake. More iron means more red blood cell mass which results in more oxygen being delivered to hard working muscles!