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Leadville 100

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Old 08-02-2007, 12:36 AM
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Default Leadville 100

Unlike most of you fine people, I do not have a boat and do not go boating on a regular basis. My boating experiences are limited to the times when our humble Board God comes home to Maryland or when I can break away to Florida to see Steve when he is not at the Blue Martini. My main interest is biking (road and mountain), and here's a little diddy on what I'll call my "Poker Run."

On August 11, 2007, at 6:30 a.m. I and about 800 fellow lunatics (including Floyd Landis) will hear a shotgun blast that signals the start of the Leadville 100, known affectionately as "The Race Across the Sky." http://www.leadvilletrail100.com/mer...id=1425&step=2 Leadville is called the Race Across the Sky because it starts in Leadville, Colorado at 10,200 ft. of altitude. The course covers 104 miles, ranges in altitude from 9,200 ft up to 12,600 ft. Over the 104 miles, I will have to climb over 12,000 ft. of mountain passes. Now the fun part: All of this is done off road, on a mountain bike and you have 12 hours to finish. Who wants to join me???

And to answer the obvious question, "Why?" Because. Because a dear friend's dear friend was striken with cancer for a second time in his life last year (the first time came at the age of 12 and he was given only a 3% chance of living) and he told our mutual friend that when he beat cancer for a second time, he wanted to "celebrate" by doing this race. And so, Team First Descents was born out of request for solidarity and friendship, which in turn lead to me joining the team due to a brutal mix of foolish pride and a dare from the mutual friend. We are Team First Descents since http://www.firstdescents.org that is the charity for which the six of us (we suckered three other friends in too!!) have raised over $80,000.00 in the past four months. First Descents provides kayaking, white water rafting and other "extreme sports" experiences to young adults with cancer. The participants come away from their experience with First Descents energized and confident that if they can shoot rapids and survive "extreme experiences", they can beat cancer. My dear friend's friend, the one who started this whole process, happens to be the director of First Descents and knows first hand the benefits of confidence building life experiences as relates to battling cancer.

And "Because" reason number two is simply because I can. We all have fond memories of our youth, be it athletic endeavors, academic achievements or social endeavors. My best memories are of playing football and lacrosse in high school, two sports at which I will immodestly tell you I excelled. When I suddenly began to feel debilitating pain in my legs and hips during my senior year of high school, my athletic career came to a screaming halt. I could barely walk, let alone run. And for the next three years, I visited countless doctors, physical terrorists, and other people that tried to figure out what was ailing me. Finally, frustrated and at wits end following a physical therapy session which involved an ultra sound treatment on my gluteus medius (my ass, for the anatomically challenged readers out there) , I went to the medical school library at UW-Madison and spent the next two hours leafing through medical books, reading about diagnostic techniques and then applying those to my physical issues. In those two hours, I learned what had stumped five doctors over three years. I have rheumatoid arthritis. Believe it or not, that was good news! It was good news because I then knew what I was up against and could seek the appropriate treatment. A few months and a few hundred pills later, my pain and inflammation was managed and I was able to run again. Now comes the corny part.

Do you remember that scene in Forest Gump where is is being chased by the young bullies on their bikes and poor Forest is trying to run away but is hampered by his leg braces?? He eventually catches his stride, the braces literally disintegrate, and, from that point forward, Forest runs EVERY WHERE because HE CAN. That for me is Leadville. I'm doing it because I can and I intend to take advantage of my present state of health.

So as you sleep comfortably in your warm beds at 6:30 next Saturday, think of me and my teammates trying to stick it to the beast that is the Leadville 100. Selfishly speaking, I 'm sharing this with you because it will serve to motivate me knowing that 30,000 people know what I'll be doing next Saturday and I will never hear the end of it if I fail. So when/if I am a frigid, bonked, dehydrated, cramping mess on mile 80, looking sheepishly up the second to last ascent known as Powerline (2.5 miles, vertical 1800 ft of climbing under crackling powerlines) and think about calling it quits, the thought of you folks tearing into me later will get me over the mountain. I'll check back in on the 12th, assuming I'm still alive. In the interim, here are some recon photos of the Columbine Mine climb. Seriously, who's with me on this one? Cuda? Stecz?
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Leadville 100-columbine-top-2-.jpg   Leadville 100-columbine-above-treeline.jpg   Leadville 100-columbine-early.jpg  

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Old 08-02-2007, 12:44 AM
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This is from a training race that three of us did in June. The 12 Hours of Cranky Monkey: as many 10 mile laps around the Quantico mountain biking course as you could do in 12 hours. I did 5 laps over about five hours and drank beer the rest of the time. It was hot that day.
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Old 08-02-2007, 12:55 AM
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Here's my "1:47" answer to the OSO Gladiator's air shot.

Below that is Ms. Jenn Shelton. She won the female solo racer class at Cranky Monkey. She did 8 laps wearing her little black bikini outfit and a green tail attached to the back. She bet me $5 that I couldn't beat her up one of the hills on the course. Being the gentleman that I am, I let he go ahead of me. The view was worth far more than $5!!
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:30 AM
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Nice. I Ran Cross country for Western State back in my college years and I have much respect for you crazy fools!

I certainly miss the mountains but the boating was less than steller in them parts. I remember the first time I got to Lake Powell and the first words of my mouth were "Huh, this is nothing like LOTO!"
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:49 AM
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Phuckn! It's GREAT to see I'm not the only nutball out there in OSOland! I was a Div. I cross country and track runner at Ball State University...used to be fast, now I just go long! I have raced road and mountain for about the last 10 years, and I completed my first ultramarathon this spring. I wear a LiveStrong bracelet in honor of one of my friends who has beaten non-Hodgkins lymphoma for the second time recently...he wants me to climb Mt. Ranier with him!

Good luck with Leadville...that's on my list of things to do someday. See how long you can stay with Floyd!

And if you are ever in the Chicago area, shoot me a PM and I'll take you out to the local trails.

Mike
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Old 08-02-2007, 06:54 AM
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Here's me at the Chequamegon Fat Tire Festival in 2003. Finished 46th out of 2000 participants, 42 mile point-to-point cross country. I'm the one in front!
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Old 08-02-2007, 07:19 AM
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good luck its going tobe a great challenge, you and your friends have done well already with the amount that you have raised. I have biked, hiked, snowshoed, fished, and skied alot in those mountains around leadville. i will think of next week.
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Old 08-02-2007, 08:20 AM
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Good luck man. That's cool, go get 'em.
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:43 AM
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We spend our winters across Independance Pass from Leadville in Aspen. I hope your ready for the altitude change. Good Luck and let us know the results.
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Old 08-02-2007, 10:47 AM
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If they will let me strap a motor on my mountain bike, I'll come too. Phk that peddling crap.

Good luck Kvn. I'll be thinking of you as I burn 100 gallons of fossil fuel. I dropped a few scheckels in the pot at http://www.active.com/donate/firstdescents as well.
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