If there is one piece of advice that I could give to someone who is training for the Leadville Trail 100 Run for the first time and if you have never set foot on the course, it is this… the Leadville Trail 100 Run Camp – Do It!
The Leadville Trail 100 Run Camp – Do It!!!
Last year I had the privilege to be invited over to be a guide for the Leadville Trail 100 Run Camp towards the end of June. For me, it was the most awesome experience of my summer because I was able to spend the weekend running, helping people, and helping people running! I was in nirvana!
But the camp is set up brilliantly and they took very good care of the 130+ athletes who attended. Plenty of well-stocked aid stations located exactly where they would be during race day, shuttling back and forth from start and finishing points back to race HQ, an awesome panel of experts answering questions from runners on Saturday night, and plenty of time to run on the course.
The genius part of the “setup” which I never fully got an answer on, if it was by design or accident, is what they had the runners run each day.
The run on “day one” was from Mayqueen to Twin Lakes. Approximately 26 miles across what I truly consider to be “the gut” of the course, both outbound and inbound.
On the second day, on not so fresh legs, a double crossing of Hope Pass to Winfield and back from Twin Lakes. Absolutely genius in my opinion because you get to do Hope Pass sort of feeling like you might during race day… a little fatigued. Bonus, they have a nice BBQ set up at the end once you return with all kinds of great food. (Like I said, they take care of you!)
The third day or night really, is the run from MQ to Town and done in the dark… and by then you really should be feeling tired… But don’t worry, they will all sorts of food waiting for you once you get back to town… this past year is was all the tacos that you could eat, and who doesn’t like tacos?
In three days you see every section of the course, one way or the other, and knowing that course will go a long way towards helping you to not only just understand the course and the race, but also have a good chance of finishing it.
But one of the greatest benefits of attending the Leadville Trail 100 Run Camp is this… you meet a lot of amazing people and you make friends… friends who will be toeing the starting line with you in the dark at 6th and Harrison. By attending the training camp you begin to network and expand your circle of “support” for the race and for those who do not have friends running it… well; it’s a great way to have friends running it with you.
As for me, I cannot wait to be a guide again next summer at the Leadville Trail 100 Run Camp which will be interesting as it will be right on the heels of finishing Hardrock. But I will be there as well as one of my runners who is a LT100 finisher already and is running it again next year going for his big buckle.
So if you are contemplating the Leadville Trail 100 Run Camp if you get into the run via the lottery… I highly suggest it and if you do go… please be sure to say “hi” when you see me!
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Photo By Andy Wooten 28 August 2014 (My second Leadman Trophy and Big Buckle)