Thursday evening we drove as far as Monte Vista, CO and stayed over night in a super kitschy hotel. The GeekGrl took several pics so I'll let her post those. Friday morning we drove the rest of the way to Leadville and the ran the section of trail from the Twin Lakes aid station up and over Hope pass and then back. We didn't run the additional 2.5 miles out to Winfield because in the grand scheme of our weekend it would have just been added junk mileage. The double crossing of hope pass just never gets any easier.
Saturday morning we ran from Treeline, just a few miles past Fish Hatchery, to Twin Lakes and back to Treeline. That was a hard run. During the training camp I covered that same ground in the outbound direction so I had never run it inbound from Twin Lakes back to Treeline. The inbound direction is going to be really hard on race day after already having 60 miles in my legs as well as the double crossing of Hope.
Saturday night beginning around 10:00 we ran from the base of Sugar Loaf over to May Queen. The climb over Sugar Loaf comes at about mile 80 and despite being far less than Hope it is still pretty brutal. The night run was really nice and the weather was perfect.
The final run was Sunday morning and it was a short one from May Queen to the Tabor boat ramp. That is one section that I had never run before and I am really glad to have run it. I can see how you could completely ruin your entire race by running from the start to May Queen too fast. This year there has been a lot of concern among runners that too many people have been let into Leadville this year. No numbers have been published as yet but people are saying that over 800 people are registered. The big worry for most is that they will get stuck way back in a string of 800 people, probably 400 of whom have no business being there, and they their race will be doomed because it has taken them too much time to get from the start to May Queen.
Personally, my concern is that I could get swept up too far forward and then be pressed too hard for the first 13.5 miles and then I'll suffer for the early speed late in the race. I think that if I try to start somewhere between 50-75% back in the pack and then just run easy for the first few miles then I'll be in just the right place when things narrow down to single track. I'm not concerned about taking too much time in getting to May Queen because I know that I can make it up late in the race.
I really need to get to bed. Holly crap...it's taper time for Leadville!