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.
If you follow sports whatsoever, by now you know that Lance Armstrong won the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike race in a time of 6:28. He beat the course record and dethroned six-time champion Dave Wiens (6:57). You can do a search for the event and find all the details and videos you please of these two great athletes and the top five or so men in the event.
What is tough to find in print or video media, is coverage of the real tough-gals and tough-guys of the event. I want to tell you about these superhumans.
The overall female winner, Rebecca Rusch from Ketchum Idaho, placed 30 OVERALL. Yes, overall and with a time of 8:14. (She is in the photo below, left to right, Ken Chlouber, Rebecca, spectator in the background, Dave Wiens and Lance Armstrong). Second female, Amanda Carey from Victor Idaho was second female and 66th overall with a time of 8:40. KC Holley from Spanish Fork, Utah was third female, 126 overall with a time of 8:59.
Two women rode the event on single-speed bikes. That is da/mn tough. Kara Durland from Colorado Springs, Colorado was the first singly with a time of 11:19. Second was Amy Owens from Denver, Colorado with a time of 11:28.
The mens single-speed division was tough as well. The top single-speed male was Charlie Hayes from Boulder, Colorado with a time of 8:11. David Bott from Buena Vista, Colorado was second with a time of 8:43. Third place was Kenny Jones of Provo, Utah with a time of 8:49.
As if going for the Leadman distinction isnt hard enough, Corey Hanson and John Odle did the mountain bike race on single speeds. (Leadman is completing five Leadville events the marathon, 50-mile Silver Rush mountain bike race, the 100-mile mountain bike race, the 10k running race done the morning after the 100-mile mountain bike race and capped off with a 100-mile run done a week after the 100-mile mountain bike race.)
You think descending on a mountain bike is scary? How about grinding it up a steep, loose section? Try it on a tandem. Serena and Mark Warner did it in 10:48, followed by Mark and Jon Hirsch in 11:14. Charles Schuster and Karla Wagner round out the top three with a time of 11:19.
Id tell you about the oldest female and male finishers, but I cant tell from the results page who those people might be.
It was a tough race day with rain and cold temperatures. (Ill give you my personal race debrief later in the week. Ill also finish the France trip series.) Here are a few stats I compiled from the results page:
1307 people started the race
896 official finishers (I gave the last racer the two-minute timing chip leeway that the race directors gave at the awards ceremony)
40% of the entry field did not finish the race
33% of the starting field did not finish
The stats tell you that it was obviously a tough race, made more difficult by the conditions that day. Hats off to everyone that trained, took the challenge and did the best they could on that day.