The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race: What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

I just signed up for the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. I haven't decided yet whether this was a bold and confident move or a temporary loss of sanity.

Click here to share your tips, questions, photos, or comments about Leadville 100

I remember watching the Leadville race in 2009 and feeling relieved that I was at an aid station sheltered from the rain under a tree and not out there riding that morning. On the other hand, I remember watching the end of the race and wishing I was one of those riders crossing the finish line. What an accomplishment when you think about the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into a race of this caliber!

It was inspiring to see the whole community come together to support all of the riders and the friends and family of the riders shouting out words of encouragement. Being there myself to support someone who was in the event, I got to experience that energy, which was amazing! I still get a little choked up when I remember what it was like to be there. I guess that is another reason I want to be a part of it.


It was pretty cool to see Lance Armstrong, Dave Wiens, and some of the other professional riders up close and personal as they flew through the aid stations.

And of course, watching the Race Across the Sky movie helped bring back memories of how awesome it was.

To register for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, I had to enter my name in a lottery system because of the high demand for a spot in the race. The 2011 registration closed on 1/31. I find out on 2/28 whether my name is one of the 750 names that is drawn and I am in the race.

This year, signing up as a team was an option, so I signed up with some friends who are also supporting (opens new window) an organization that helps children and adults who have cancer. When you sign up as a team, you either all get in or you all don't.


The Leadville 100 race course is 50 miles out and back. It starts and finishes in the cool historical town of Leadville, Colorado. The low point of the race is 9200 feet and the high point is Columbine Mine, which is 12,424 feet. It's no wonder this race is also called the Race Across the Sky!

Major climbs include the Columbine Mine, a climb of over 3000 feet from miles 40-50, Powerline at mile 80, and St. Kevin's at mile 86.

So, I did it. I registered and now I wait until the lottery gods determine my fate. I will keep you posted...

Update - March 2011:

The lottery gods have spoken. My team got in to the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race! Totally stoked! If any of you have any training tips, it would be greatly appreciated. Please enter them below...

Update - August 2011: leadville-100-finish-line

I did it. I completed the Leadville 100. It was very difficult. I got a major leg cramp on around the 90th mile and I didn't think I would finish, but I made it! What a rush!

Help! Need Training Tips
for Leadville 100

Have you done the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race? If so, congratulations on this major accomplishment! Want to share some tips or photos with others, like me, who are entering for the first time? For those of us who need tips, we can ask questions here also. Or we can just chat about the Leadville 100 :)

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Click below to see contributions from other visitors about the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race...

How to gain SWAG Support while riding the Leadville 100 MTB Not rated yet
Looking for anyone who may have already competed in the Leadville 100 MTB. I have a wife and family friends who will pull support, but am asking at …

Tires for Leadville 100? Not rated yet
I am trying to narrow down what tires to run on the Leadville 100 mountain bike race course. is the course sandy, or primarily hardpacked?

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