- Posted August 23, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Photo essays: Your stories in pictures
The Leadville 100: The Legendary "Race Across the Sky"
Sponsored by Lifetime Fitness, the Leadville 100, nicknamed the “The Race Across the Sky” is a 100-mile trail run through the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Runners come from all over the world to test their endurance and spirit. The racecourse starts at 10, 100 feet and leads the runners through the high alpine Turquoise Lake, up above the tree line to the dizzying elevation of Hope Pass at 12, 620 feet.
The race starts on a cool crisp morning at 4am in downtown Leadville, Colorado with only headlamps to guide the runners through the first few hours of the course. They push through the early morning start, running all day and all night with the winners finishing 16+ hours and the majority finishing around the 24-30 hour mark.
Covering the Leadville 100 trail race over three days, I have come to realize through the faces I have photographed that these elite running athletes are some of the most incredible, determined and stubborn people I have ever seen. They never give up. These runners tap into a mental and physical strength that most of us will never experience. It was really inspiring to watch the runners cross the finish line after being up and running for 24+ hours with a smile
Image 1 – It’s a 4am headlamp start at the Leadville 100
Image 2 – The 800+ runners head out from the start towards Turquoise Lake
Image 3 – Still guided by headlamps, the runners circle Turquoise Lake at sunrise
Image 4 – At day break the runners make their way up the foothills toward Hope Pass at 12, 620 feet
Image 5 – Descending from Hope Pass, top women’s finisher, Ashley Arnold is only moments away from the halfway point at Winfield Aid Station.
Image 6 – Leadville 100 men’s winner Ian Sharman flying down the trail at mile 49
Image 7 – Winfield Aid Station. The turn around for the true out and back course
Image 8 – Ian Sharman winning the Leadville 100 in 16 hours 30 minutes 2 seconds
Image 9 – Runners are still coming in with most finishing between the 24-30 hour mark
Image 10 - Race co-founder Ken Chlouber congratulates a finisher of the Leadville 100