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Leadville Trail 100 Run

17-Aug-2019 Leadville, Colorado, USA


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Trail Race Race Terrain
161KM / 100Miles
2 Days - 500 Runners

DIFFICULTY Race Difficulty Brutal  

First run in 1983, this Colorado Rockies event is run along forest trails and some mountain roads, the highest point is Hope Pass at 12,600 feet.

Packet pickup and mandatory medical check-in will take place on the previous Thursday and Friday. Friday will also include the pre-race Expo and the mandatory final briefing which will provide weather updates and last minute instructions.

The race starts at 4am on Saturday and ends on Sunday at 5am. There is a 25 hour cut off time for large silver and gold trophy buckles and an absolute cut off at 10am for all runners.

Pacers are allowed after the 50mile point and must be picked up at aid stations and crew points. Crews are allowed at approved points. There will be 11 aid stations fully stocked with drinks and snacks. Aid stations have partial cut off times.

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Elevation: Very little change < 500 metres. Benign running terrain, not technical.

Suitable for: First ultra runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running in the last six months.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed at least one ultra distance race (or similar event) or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for: Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat) and or technical terrain

Suitable for: Experienced runners who have completed at least regular ultra distances in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.


Elevation: Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude) and or technical terrain.

Suitable for: Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to evidence of recent qualifying race participation and recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Type: An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for: Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Global - Virtual

Type: A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for: For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Review Leadville Trail 100 Run

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07:06 11-10-16

I ran Leadville as my first 100 in 2013 the year it got a lot of bad press(some of which it did deserve) for various reasons but to be honest I have a great time. The other runners , crews , volunteers and locals are all just outstanding and really embrace the event. Have been back in both 2014 and 2015 to help crew and pace and its been great every time. The main thing you need to do for this race is acclimitise , these days 5000m of climbing over 100 miles doesn't seem very much if I am being honest but for sure both climbs up and over Hope Pass are bloody tough! and powerline on the return is a little bit nasty but other than that it's a good flat runners race in my opinion and given the winning times compared to other more mountainous races kinda proves that. Beautiful race and don't listen to all those who bad mouth it because of the amount of runners involved etc... It's a great atmosphere every year I have been and I will continue to return when I can.

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05:43 26-08-16

I paced for Leadville this year (2016) and it was an amazing experience! The race is exceptionally well run, with tons of volunteers at each aid station. There are plenty of snack/hydration choices for everyone - they really cater to runners at each station and make sure they have something that is suitable for you. Crew and pacers were welcome to as much as they wanted, which was wonderful. I loved that as a beginner runner, there was still a leg for me to pace - the stretch from Half Pipe to Outward Bound is flat and just shy of a 5k, which was really nice. It was a great experience overall, really my only complaint is that if you don't know where you're going, it's really difficult to find the aid stations, particularly when it's pitch black out! Fortunately, our third pacer/crew member had done Leadville several times an was able to caravan with it. Otherwise, it could get tricky!

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03:35 26-08-16

This is one of the legendary 100M races in the States and up in the top 5 hard category. It is very well organized but aid stations are quite far apart (hours later in race) and course markings are also far apart in the forest at night when you can be alone. In 2016 there were 654 toed the line at 4AM in Leadville already at 10,200'. There is a reason only 52% finished and in 2014 they began a lottery for entry and you must have run a qualifying race to get in. So no beginners and the finisher rate is still low. Why is that? First is the altitude, as it is run between 9,600' and 12,600' up and down multiple time. I live at sea level and had no issues but many people do. Next it has 18,200' of climb of which 6,000' comes between 40M and 60M up over Hope Pass and back. That destroys many runners. Then depending on how fast you are you could have 40M left and another 2 brutal climbs with rocky terrain to get back to the finish line under 30 hours for your belt buckle. In 2016 it was spectacular weather with 70s of a high and low 40s at night with no rain. Almost always it rains every day or hail (like the day I arrived) for short periods of time and usually gets below freezing at night. I was lucky. You will see all sorts of people in distress, puking from the altitude, exhausted, crying, and general carnage. Most people have a pacer who can mule for you and the aid stations have everything you need. I ran with no crew or pacer so can be done. The views are outstanding as it the camaraderie. You need study the maps carefully so you know the terrain to expect and when. It does live up to the hype though and is a fantastic race. Only 2hrs drive from Denver.

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04:20 01-09-15

A great race that should be on people's bucket list. It's important to get out early to acclimatize if you want to have a good shot at making the time cutoffs.

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07:44 29-08-15

Great event, it's a bloody tough run. Prep for altitude and look up fat adaption, woo hoo! Cheers, PT-Nik

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04:12 28-08-15

I ran the Leadville Trail 100 Run this year, 2015. This race is a TOP NOTCH event. From packet pick up to the awards ceremony afterward I can't think of a single thing I would change. The volunteers do everything in their power to make your race enjoyable and successful. The residents of Leadville are almost as excited for your race as you. From the moment you get into town you are immediately aware of the magnitude of your event choice. Surrounded by mountains reaching up and over 14,000 ft you are immediately humbled. Race morning kicks off early with a 4 am start and you plunge headlong into the darkness ready to tackle the day. Your first big test is climbing to the top of the power line at 11,000 feet. This is just below tree line and it is glorious up there! Then a big decent and right back up to 10,500, who needs oxygen right? From here it's another big drop down into the town of Twin Lakes to fuel up for your climb over Hope Pass. Hope Pass for me was like being on the moon! I'm from very low elevation so getting up there was an absolute thrill for me. I can't begin got put that view into words. Once you crest the top you drop into the town of Winfiled, turn around and do it all over again in reverse. The climb up to Hope Pass is remarkably more difficult this time since you're exhausted and it's a little steeper. Once back at Twin Lakes it's time to plan for the cold of night, it get's down into the low 30'sF and can get windy at the top of your two remaining climbs. The crowds don't diminish much and the atmosphere gets better as the night goes on so you'll have plenty of motivation along the way. As the sun comes up and you realize you're going to finish you are recharged for the final push into Leadville. There's nothing like crossing the line after running for a day and change! Ken and Merilee are there to meet you and congratulate you on your journey which is really cool in my book. In my opinion this race is a must do for anyone that wants to run a 100 mile race. Ken say " You are better than you think you are, You can do more than you think you can. Dig Deep!". He couldn't be more right and those are perfect words to describe this race because you will dig deep, and you'll surprise yourself with what you can do.

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