I never feel more alive than when I am in great pain, struggling against insurmountable odds and untold adversity. Hardship? Suffering? Bring it!
-Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man, Badwater Winner & 2-time Leadville 100 DNFer
We’re about 10 hours from the start of the Leadville 100 Trail Run. A couple weeks ago I was giving some of you a hard time for asking how long the LT100 was . . . it turns out that was a very legit question! With a last-minute trail change, the official tally will now be 101.8 miles. And are they giving us some extra time to complete the course? Nooooooo! Suck it up, Buttercup.
After a crew and pacer meeting last evening in which no one really knew anything about anything (we did have a good time), a plan was drafted and we all drove out to Leadville this morning to get officially registered. My race number is 936 but I have yet to find a link that will allow you to track my slow progress across the Sawatch Range. If I find it shortly I will update this blog entry. My crew and pacers are simply awesome . . . almost all are experienced runners with intimate knowledge of how the mind and body reacts under extreme circumstances. If I finish this race I already know it will be because of this incredible group: Tami, Susan, Todd, Kerri, Dan, Linda and Collin.
UPDATE: I think we found the link for individual race results, CLICK HERE, and enter ERIC STRAND. My race bib number is 936.
For live race coverage that will most certainly never mention me but that might give you some insight into the how the day unfolds, click here. Also, I’ll be turning over my Facebook and Twitter account to my crew and pacers who will be updating status throughout the day. My Twitter handle is @myleadfeet.
My mood has lifted significantly over the past 24 hours. This is fairly typical for me. The dark period of self-doubt is gone and all has been replaced with good stuff. There is something about being around distance runners that is very exhilarating — they all know how to work hard at their craft and they are just fun to be around. There is a positive energy at an event like this that is impossible to describe but equally impossible not to notice.
I weighed in at 183 lbs with shoes/clothes and light gear. Why do they weigh you? If I lose 7% of my body weight during any point in the race (that’s a limit of 170 lbs), they will make me stop. If you succumb to an IV, then the race is over. Temps will be cool enough that I don’t think this is even a remote possibility. But, just to be sure I had some wiggle room, I didn’t start hydrating or have anything to eat until after the weigh-in.
We drove the course with our crew and have a solid plan in place for tomorrow. Of course, no battle plan survives contact with the enemy . . . but we are prepared for almost anything. The medical officer reminded us that temps can get pretty low (below freezing) but what surprises most runners is that temps can run as high as 8000 to 10,000 degrees . . . but that only occurs when you are struck by lightning. Other than lightning, I think we have a good plan.
The alarm will go off at 2:oo AM so I’m going to wrap this up. The race starts at 4 AM tomorrow, Saturday, August 18 and we’ll have until 10 AM on Sunday, August 19 to finish. I truly have no idea of what tomorrow will bring, but that’s part of the excitement. To paraphrase Sir Edmund Hillary, it wouldn’t be an adventure if there was a 100% chance of success. And, besides, who wants to grow old with no good stories to tell? It will be a good story.
Life & Hope Update: Wow, $13,566 of awesome to help cancer patients via the Life & Hope Fund! So proud of you! Special thanks to Michael Lowenbaum, Kiki Chosid, John Kitson, Harlee & Annelle Sorkin, Rick Anderson and Ric and Sue Leutwyler! You are incredible. Want to help out? CLICK HERE! Do it, it feels good! 🙂
p.s. One big shoutout to the Incredible Tami Strand, I have no idea why she puts up with me . . . and I’m not sure she does either. 🙂