Leadwoman – Silver Rush 50 (7/7/19) (2nd/5 events)


It was the girl’s first trip to Colorado and they couldn’t wait to get there.  We stayed in Salida.  I really liked this decision because it was south of Leadville.  It wasn’t as far of a drive compared to where I was scheduled to stay the following month.  We overnighted in Amarillo at the same place we’d stayed for Memorial Day weekend and made it for the Salida 4th of July parade and firework show.  We took Woodrow (the Frenchie) on this trip.  Really bad idea.  Frenchie’s don’t do heat well and because there’s no A/C in most Colorado mountain homes AND it was 90 degrees, Woodrow experienced heat illness.  He ended up staying at a doggie daycare the rest of the trip and they had to just keep him from getting excited and keep him cooled off.

Mike wondering where in the world we went?

Finally finished!

Getting lost and having fun!

That Friday, I got to do a shake out ride with Jello and Mike Reade.  I had met Mike on one of the gravel rides with Eugene and learned he was doing Leadville.  Jello and I got separated from Mike (don’t ask me how that happened) and got lost. Phone service is non-existent, but I somehow managed to get to LP to come pick us up and get us back to town.

On Saturday, I loaded the family up to try and hike Hope Pass.  This was the most difficult part of the Leadville run course and I’d heard from Jill Price and Marcelo to try and see it before the 100-mile run.  Not just see it, but hike both up it and back down it. We did exactly what we thought was Hope Pass.  It was A LOT easier than what everyone had said.  Surely, I couldn’t be in that good of shape is all I could think about.  It wasn’t until later I realized we’d done the wrong part.







Everything for Silver Rush

Yes, we ran our bikes up that hill!








Silver Rush 50 was here.  I did this race 3 years ago and barely made the cutoff by 1 minute.  Not the best feeling ever.  Today, my goal was 7:15.  That was the time that would move me up a corral at Leadville.  Everyone says Silver Rush is one of the MOST DIFFICULT events.  They say it’s the hardest 50 miles of Leadville plus more climbing.  They had to change the course for this event, like the marathon, because of the record snowfall.  This day rocked my world in so many ways.  I’ll start with the crashes.  It was to my detriment that I didn’t get to do much technical riding up to this point. I crashed bad.  Not once, but twice.  For the exact same reason.  I was going so fast down the mountain both times, breaking and riding over big chunky rocks and the next thing I’d know is I’m on the ground.  I would just completely lose control.  Lots of blood was shed.  Both times, I got up so fast, jumped back on the bike without checking it out, cried it off and went balls to the wall.  Both happened before I saw my family and Stude at the  halfway point.  I knew I had a rock stuck in my elbow.  And I was letting my leg scab up which couldn’t be good.  When I hit the halfway point, I was hurting soooo bad and begged for Tylenol. The med tent said if they gave it to me, they’d have to pull me.  Stude hunted down some Tylenol for me and shoved a Nature Valley granola bar in my mouth and I was on my way.  About a month before this race, I dropped a pretty decent amount of money on a rain jacket for cycling.  Today, I was glad I did.  It rained on me twice.

1/2 way point!

So much hike-a-bike later, my mind starts doing tricks on me.  My watch wasn’t showing the correct mileage but I didn’t know that.  I start trying to do the math on making the 7:15.  Doing math during a race is NEVER a good idea.  For some reason that math never seems to calculate in my favor.  I know better, but there I was, doing the math, telling myself I wasn’t going to make it.  The end of the course was similar to the last time I’d done it so I’m coming up to the end, already feeling defeated that I wasn’t going to make my goal and 3 nice cheerleaders yelled, “you’ve only got a mile left, go for it!”  I look at the mileage on my watch, which was incorrect if they were right.  I asked them were they sure and they said yes.  I turned on race mode for that last mile and ended up with 7:15 and some seconds.  I crossed the finish line, hugged my family, gave them my bike and went straight to the med tent where I spent the next hour getting cleaned up. Man, was that painful.  They had to scrub off the scabs that had already formed to clean the wounds.  I would not let them remove the huge chunk of skin from my elbow (that would eventually die and fall off anyways.)  It was painful.  Miserable. But, the beer afterwards helped. At least for the rest of that day. We spent at least $50 on medical supplies on the way back to the Airbnb so I didn’t bleed all over their white sheets.

Finisher shoot!

Battle scars!










The next day in the 13-hour car ride home was the real misery.  Definitely not the best idea.  Once I finally got home, I was instructed to soak the scabs on my shin in a bath until they were soft and scrape them off again (since they really couldn’t get them off at the med tent.)  I did exactly that and listened to Coach Steve and bought Tegaderm to keep on my really bad wounds.  Silver Rush was another race that I was just training through.  I had another 60k night run the following weekend.  This was going to be interesting.

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