Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
Run through the historic mining district’s challenging old mining roads and trails, and hit a high of 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass during the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail Marathon or Heavy Half Marathon. The views will leave you breathless, if you’re not already. The marathon will mark its 18th year in 2019, while the Heavy Half will mark its 14th.
The race course is out and back through the historic mining district on the east side of Leadville. Race start will be at 8 a.m. in front of the Sixth Street Gym. The course is primarily on old mining roads and trails, topping out at 13,185 ft. at Mosquito Pass. You may be crossing snow on the course. The course will be well marked with fluorescent pink-and-black-striped ribbon and chalk arrows.
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After almost 50 marathons in 30 different states, this was by far the most unique and most difficult race I’ve ever completed. I can’t say “run”, because I ran very
After almost 50 marathons in 30 different states, this was by far the most unique and most difficult race I’ve ever completed. I can’t say “run”, because I ran very little. Unless you are a mountain goat, or an elite trail runner, be prepared to do lots and lots of hiking/walking. The course overall has 6000 feet of elevation gain, which is packed into basically 3 never-ending climbs. Even when you get to come down those climbs, they were often either too steep or too rocky for me to run. I’ve only run 1 road marathon that was over 4 hours, and that was the 2nd race of a weekend “double”. Therefore, completing this one in 7.5 hours should give you an idea of how difficult it really is!
Now…the climbs are rewarded with some of the most amazing snow-capped mountain views I’ve ever seen, so I’d suggest that the torture is worth it. Furthermore, although it’s not the 100 miler that Leadville is famous for (and the course is completely different), it’s still put on by the same folks in the same cool Colorado town. Therefore, it’s incredibly well-organized, and you feel well-supported. The aid stations are manned with awesome volunteers and stocked beyond belief!…tons of GU products, waffles, chips, pop, water, GU drinks, fruit, etc. Anything you could possibly want!
Following a few miles of much-needed downhill to the finish, you are rewarded with a red carpet-lined finish, a nice medal, a “finishers” coffee mug, a few cold beers, and a BBQ pork sandwich. You also get emailed FREE race photos, which you will definitely want from this one!
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Holy Crap! Do it!
This ‘race’ kicks your butt. But you will like getting kicked! So many nice people and amazing views. Course is simple… but the altitude will get you 🙂 I trained
This ‘race’ kicks your butt. But you will like getting kicked! So many nice people and amazing views. Course is simple… but the altitude will get you 🙂 I trained for the hills so my legs were good… mostly… but about 12,500′ the best i could manage was an ungraceful walk. At the top got water and a quick pic and back to where the oxygen was!! Going down was great, felt better with every step… until the course goes up again. Heart rate was zone 5 the whole race and 100+ the rest of the day even just sitting having a drink. Acclimate to the altitude for as long as you can before the race. I did not stay in town, I wish I had, cool town!
Well done, Chris! I’ve had Leadville in my sights for several years now, ever since I signed up to run in 2012 and had to DNS due to injury. So…
Well done, Chris! I’ve had Leadville in my sights for several years now, ever since I signed up to run in 2012 and had to DNS due to injury. So I’m wildly impressed by anyone who gets it done, and reading this now makes me even more determined. Congrats on adding Colorado to your 50 States Map (with flair!), and thanks for the excellent review! LESS
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