Top 7 Lessons Learned from Conquering Leadville 7 Times

Hey there, fellow Leadville MTB'ers! As we rev our engines for the Leadville 100 MTB race, I thought I'd share some pearls of wisdom from the saddle. After all, with seven Leadville conquests under my belt, I've seen it all—from stunning vistas to the occasional, erm, unexpected dismount (more on that later). So, buckle up, grab your hydration pack, and let's hit the trail!

1. Mind Over Matter, Baby: Ken Chlouber wasn't just whistling Dixie when he said Leadville is 40% physical and 60% mental. When my legs were screaming for mercy, it was my mental grit that dragged me over that finish line. So, folks, flex those brain muscles—it's the real MVP of endurance racing.

2. Nutrition: The Ultimate Science Experiment: Move over, Bill Nye—I'm the mad scientist of race-day nutrition. From carb-loading catastrophes to electrolyte experiments gone awry, I've tried it all. Let's just say, my "what not to eat" list is longer than a double black diamond.

3. Find Beauty in the Pain: When you're gasping for air like a fish out of water, it's hard to appreciate the majesty of Mother Nature. But trust me, there's beauty in the suffering—though it might take a few post-race ice baths to see it. So, chin up, smile through the sweat, and enjoy the masochistic marvels of Leadville.

4. Because I Can, That's Why: "Why Leadville?" they ask. Why not? I've got the legs, the lungs, and the sheer stubbornness to tackle this beast, and darn it, I'm not about to let it beat me. Besides, there's nothing quite like the sweet taste of victory mixed with a hint of altitude sickness.

5. Trail Angels, Support Crew and Iron Deficiencies: Ah, the unsung heroes of Leadville—the trail angels & Support crew. Like the time I found out I was low on iron mere days before the race. As I trudged up Powerline, feeling more wilted than a week-old salad, it was the laughter and camaraderie of friends that kept me rolling. Who needs iron when you've got humor, right?

6. The Heartbeat of Leadville: It's not just the racecourse that keeps me coming back—it's the beating heart of Leadville itself. From the cheers of spectators to the high-fives of volunteers, Leadville isn't just a race; it's a full-blown love affair. And let me tell you, there's nothing like crossing that finish line to a chorus of cowbells and cheers. It’s magical!

7. Don't Be a Handlebar Hurdler: Listen up, speed demons! As you charge through the trails with all the grace of a caffeinated mountain goat, remember one thing: don't take yourself too seriously. Sure, there's always someone zippier and zappier out there, but who cares? Embrace the journey, revel in the challenge, and for the love of all that's holy, try not to become a handlebar acrobat like yours truly. Trust me, nothing says "I'm pushing my limits" quite like a face-first rendezvous with the dirt. So, take it from me—aim for greatness, but maybe not quite so high that you end up skydiving without a parachute. Ha ha!

So there you have it, my fellow dirt warriors—the top seven lessons I've learned from conquering Leadville seven times. Whether you're a seasoned pro or a wide-eyed newbie, I hope these nuggets of wisdom bring a chuckle to your lips and a little extra pep to your pedal stroke. See you on the trail, amigos!

Check out Coach Kimberly's bio to learn more!

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