Damon Cahill - LT100 MTB

Damon Cahill

As a “former” endurance athlete (last real race was the 2013 Chicago Marathon) who was intrigued by the opportunity to race Leadville, I made a decision early on that would pay dividends. IF I was going to do the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, I was going to hire a coach for the first time ever. I came across Boundless through the Leadville Race Series and Lifetime, and sent a note on a Sunday to Ryan Krol. He responded within hours, called me, and gave me the comfort level needed to pursue this legendary race. I had already picked out the coach I wanted to work with, Jeff Winkler.

Along with crossing the finish line, this decision was life changing. I had let myself get out of shape, and had some battles during covid. In December of 2022, I weighed in at 219 lbs. By early January, when I started working with Jeff weekly, I weighed in at 209lbs. After learning my background, Jeff advised me to do the work, and I would be in a great position in August. I talked to Jeff weekly. It was simple – do everything he told me to do, and I would be well positioned to get my buckle in my first attempt in the race! I went to work. I got stronger. I trained smarter than I ever had (rest days and active recovery days – who knew), and trained with purpose. Jeff is an expert at this race. After staying stagnant for a month or two, the weight finally started to come off. I got below 200lbs, then to 190lbs….things were coming together. I attended the camp in June, did the stage race in July, and rolled to the start line in the best shape of my life – at 48 years old. 169lbs on race day.

In addition to all of the time invested with Jeff, I was able to spend some time with Jon Clinthorne from Boundless on a very specific to me nutrition plan. He had me incorporate habits starting in January for what I would use in the race. We refined over time, and I had a very detailed, personalized nutrition plan for the race – based on my body, my sweat rate, my sodium loss, etc. So, with an initial goal of 12 hours, I knew going into the Stage race I could do better. I had a great result at the Stage race of 8:16:31 – even with an unfortunate sidewall tear climbing Powerline in Stage 3. Jeff let me know sub 9 was definitely in the cards, and a big buckle! Two weeks later, right before the race, Jeff advised me to use an 8:30 pace chart. Wow! I had a great day, and crossed the finish line with Jeff and my family waiting there for me, in 8:28:44, shattering my initial goal. Tears flowed.

The race is everything it’s hyped up to be. It changed my life – crossing the finish line AND the process to get to the start line! Everyone associated with the Race Series, Boundless Training, Leadville, and The Legacy Foundation was phenomenal, and I have family for life with these people.

If you are thinking about taking on this monumental challenge, and you want to be prepared on race day, don’t think twice – get one of these phenomenal coaches who specialize in this race. It will prepare you, and in turn, it will change your life (as Ken and Merilee say!). I’ve already committed to 2024 and committed to Boundless – see you at the start line!