Sunday, July 12, 2009

Leadville Trail Marathon

This weekend was my 5th trip up for the Leadville Trail Marathon; I raced it two times, then ran unofficially with Judy one year, then with my Dad in 2007. Today I'd be again accompanying my dad, trying to help him get under 5:00. His time in 2007 was 5:25 but he had a lot of cramping that day. In addition to my dad, it was to be a DeWitt family affair with my Mom and sister (Laura) running the Heavy Half, and my sister's fiance Matt running the marathon. They are all from North Carolina, but my parents had been camping in Leadville for the last 3 weeks and were more acclimated than Laura and Matt.

And then there was CRUD; we had 8 other CRUD runners up there doing either the marathon or Half and I did my best to get photos of most of them (I missed Keith, Dave, and John because I was running down when they were going up and couldn't get the camera out quick enough).

The Leadville Trail marathon is often compared to the Pikes Peak marathon, but they are actually quite different, with the main commonality being the altitude. Pikes Peak is basically all up, then all down. The LT marathon has less total elevation gain (approx 6000 feet), but quite a bit of that is later in the race on the way "down." Pikes Peak is certainly harder, if harder means it takes longer, but LT will get you if you don't stay fueled and hydrated since you can't just let gravity do the work in the 2nd half.

My dad ended up running 4:57, and Matt was right ahead of us at 4:56 so they were both very pleased. My mom was 2nd in her age group in the Heavy Half, and Laura also finished it. My CR finally fell (about time!) but to a runner I'm not familiar with; will be interesting to see how Dennis does at the 50 and 100, which I heard he was also running this year. Nice to see a number of runners under 4hrs this year; the weather was quite good and no snow on the course for the first time I can remember. All in all a great day in the mountains.

These photos are in no particular order, but hopefully do a good job of showing the terrain and amazing views of the course.

Dad at top of Pass

Dad on Ball Mountain Singletrack



Laura K

Laura (sister)

Matt (fiance)




Rich's Ass

Rich in Mining District


Dad and Rich

Dad in Mining District

Dad climbing

Dad going around Ball Mountain

Dad around 9 miles


GZ said...

Hey awesome that you got to run with your Dad to his goal. Nice work.

Steve Bremner said...

Great pics! Had fun seeing your dad and mom again.

brownie said...

Your parents are pretty tough runners, what the hell happened to you!

Rick H wrote a big "CRUD" in the snow near Engineer Pass. Very inspirational.

rebekka said...

Your parents are awesome runners.Also great pictures

Crazy Runner Girl said...

Cool Pics!!! Everyone looks as if they are having a great time. What an awesome place to run!

HappyTrails said...

Awesome being able to do that with your family!

Shane A. Jones said...

Love that picture of your Dad on the Ball mountain singletrack. I ran it in 06 and can attest that the climbs on the way "down" can get you! So how much harder would you say Pike's is?

Paul DeWitt said...

Shane - it is just a guess, since I have never actually raced the PP Marathon (my best Ascent race was 2:25 and I'm guessing I could run down in about 1:30). I'd say for somebody like me PP might be about 15 minutes slower all other things being equal.