Last night was the premier of the Race Across the Sky Movie, documenting the 2010 Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. This is the second movie about the race, produced by Citizen Pictures.
Though I attended the Fort Collins, Colorado event, live feed from the Denver event was shown on the big screen. The live feed included a panel discussion before and after the movie. Panel members included Bahram Akradi (founder of Life Time Fitness and new owner of the race), Levi Leipheimer (2010 men’s winner), Dave Wiens (eight-time finisher, six-time winner), Rebecca Rusch (two-time winner, including 2010), JHK (Jeremy Horgan-Kobelski, second place 2010) and Erik Weihenmayer (first legally blind racer to finish the event as a tandem stoker, accomplished Mount Everest climber). The panel discussion was moderated by Boulder, Colorado’s Dave Towle.
The film began with race founder Ken Chlouber in the depths of what I assume was the Climax Molybdenum Mine. The history of Leadville is hand-in-hand with the mining industry. The mountain towns like Leadville were built on hard work, persistence and digging deep. That theme carries though the race.
There was a much better balance this year of film footage of the elite racers and ordinary people. Similar to the NBC broadcast of Ironman World Championships – if you need inspiration, you can find it in the people featured in the movie. The human interest stories included athletes able to race after surviving accidents, battling disease, fighting the age clock, racing in memory of others and racing in spite of other various obstacles.
The graphics showing the course were well done as was the pre-race course shakedown. There were loads of race-day struggles and triumphs. Those small clips woven together give viewers hints of the course difficulty.
I know it isn’t as easy to do as the men’s race; but it would be great if the top ten women were honored at the close of the film in the same manner that the top ten men were honored. At minimum, list the top ten women rather than just the top five.
Overall, I thought Citizen’s did a great job. If you love to ride and could use a bit of inspiration (who can't use inspiration?) take the time to see this film.
A couple of weeks ago I was up in Leadville for a course pre-ride. Marilee, the race director, mentioned that the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race would be available for viewing on the internet. On August 15th, they will have a live stream webcast that will feature four, 30-minute segments. The segments will include the race start, mid-way of the race for the top riders, the finish for the top riders and finally the last 30 minutes of the race including the “Last A$$ up the Pass” – i.e. the last official finisher.
Yesterday I spoke to race promoter Kathy Bedell and she told me that Lance and Dave are racing, but so is Jeremiah Bishop (2008 National Champion for short track and marathon mountain bike) and Tinker Juarez (2 x Olympian, 4 x 24-hour solo champion). Kathy told me that they are not counting out Levi Leipheimer yet – hoping the broken wrist he suffered during the Tour will heal enough to allow him to race.
You know that Lance was busy getting himself on the podium at the Tour de France, as Leadville preparation. Dave Wiens’s preparation can be found in the column I wrote for the July Active Cyclist. Jeremiah won the Breckenridge Epic. Tinker’s prep can be found here.
If you can’t be in Leadville, you can watch the action live via streaming video at a cost of only $5.95. The Leadville 100’s new website went live today and you can find all the info. you need on the site.