One of the fun things about racing Leadville this year was the number of people I knew doing the race.
I'll insert a few photos and tell a short story about each person.
The first photo is Scott Ellis. Scott is actually the guy that talked me into doing this race for the first time. "Geeze Gale, you do all the training with me, you just as well do the race." It sounded good at the time and I was naively convinced, by Scott, this would be "no problem". Yeah, well...
When riders complete 11 years of the event, they get a cool black flight jacket that has 11 gold stars embroidered on the sleeve, a logo on the back and the rider name on the front. After completing his first Ironman in June, recovering for three weeks and then doing a small mountain bike focus for about two weeks before tapering for Leadville, he rode his way to finishing 11 races. BTW, he does not recommend Ironman racing in the weeks prior to Leadville.
Scott can be seen with his wife Connie on race day. Thanks for providing some of the photos Connie.
Ernie Wintergerst made his goal of sub-10 hours this year, as you can see from his sweatshirt. Hey, three seconds is three seconds under. His heroic final effort caused spontaneous vomiting at the finish line. He was surprised at the liquid spray erupting from his mouth and nose - as was everyone around him. It was a crowd-clearing moment. Not once, but four times. The day after the race Ernie said, "Man that was weird. I had no warning, I just barfed."
Todd Singiser gets the dirtiest face award. The course was really dry this year. All year, Todd swore he would get the "under 12" monkey off of his back and, I quote, "I will NEVER do this race again."
"Riiiiiiiight, we'll see. Talk to me in a week or so." I said. We're not a week out from the race and he's already hedging. He is using Scott's line of, "I cannot be held responsible for anything I say in a post-race brain fog."
The last photo for this post is Eric Houck. Crazy Eric is doing all five events, the Leadman competition. He can be seen in the photo with his ace-support significant other, Lois. He will run 100 miles on Saturday. Go Eric, go.
I'll post more photos and stories in future blogs. I am so excited to have photos within the story now!! Thanks Rob and Luke.