Saturday was a beautiful day in Leadville, Colorado. Well, to us it looked beautiful. At the start of the race, the air was positively brisk, somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 degrees F. The sun rose and the racers definitely heated up as they hit the mountains. We watched what looked like a line of ants trudging up Columbine mountain, the summit marked the 50 mile point, and the turnaround for the race. I was glued to my computer with all 5 live feeds cued up, the #LT100 twitter feed, and Jim’s chip time, which didn’t update as often as I would have liked.
We got periodic updates from Jim’s dad, via Sandi, as he joined team CKFoundation and the Donor Dudes at the aid stations. Derek and I were so happy he was a part of such a fantastic team and had the bonus of a support crew for the race. The team was a force to be reckoned with on the trail. Out of the 21 CKF riders that started, 19 finished. One woman didn’t finish but only because she had broken her arm the week before and the cast she was sporting was preventing her from reaching her food. She made it to mile 40 though, which is remarkable to me. Chris Klug finished 99th, well before the 9 hour mark. And one of their teammates, John Gaston, finished 8th. Let me reiterate, this team was formidable.
Jim started in the back of the field, and found it difficult to make his way through the sheer numbers of riders. By the time he reached the summit of Columbine and began his descent, he was on fire. We were able to see him pass another rider on the Powerline trail, watched him make his way up 6th street, and just barely caught him on the finish line cam as he finished the race with an incredibly strong finish. 10:26:04. Yes, he was on his bike for over 10 hours, a fact I find rather hard to fathom. What Jim did on Saturday was a testament to his strength and his determination. I admire him so much for doing this race, and I am so proud that he teamed up with the Chris Klug Foundation to raise awareness for organ donation and support the great work they do every day to spread the word. Derek and I also kept up with Jim via the Donor Dudes Twitter account and they kindly tweeted out photos of him for us. I’ll share those photos below, plus a few other photos from the day to give you all a sense of the majesty that is Leadville.
After Derek thought he might have seen Jim’s backside coming through the aid station, the Donor Dudes sent out this pic of Jim with his dad, after he descended Columbine.
Derek grabbed a screenshot of Jim hoofing it up Powerline on the second half of the race, while he was passing someone! I had a good time cheering at the computer!
A photo from the top of Columbine taken by another rider on the course.
Coca-Cola is actually a pretty amazing boost of energy for a bonked cyclist.
Ted King, pro cyclist from New Hampshire, stopped by the scene at the end of the race and took this panorama of the finish line.