Leadville Marathon & Heavy Half . . . By The Numbers
Some say that when it comes to racing, it’s all about the numbers. And for Leadville, that’s true. So here’s a numbers report about the Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half held last Saturday, June 14.
Nine hundred and fifteen runners laced up to the start line under blue skies and sunshine. This year there were more racers in the Heavy Half than the Marathon, confirming reports that some runners may have shied away of the commitment of taking on 13, 185 feet Mosquito Pass and reports of “lots of snow” still on the trail.
But for those who toughed it out, through the course changes, through the snow fields and wet trail conditions, the victory was that much sweeter. And so it was for Leadville’s Timmy Parr who crossed the finish line first with a 3:45:45 finish time. Rounding out the podium was Michael Aish 3:57:24 and Paul Moth at 4:03:58. On the women’s podium, it was Leadville local Christy Lindh with an impressive 4:45:38. Lindh has been tallying up the victories this season, with a top place finish in last month’s Turquoise Lake Half Marathon. Kathryn Ross (4:58:11) of Durango and Erin Lewis (4:59:49) of Crested Butee rounded out the top three female finishers for the Leadville Trail Marathon.
On the “lighter” side of the race, also known as the Heavy Half Marathon, Ewen North broke through the finish line ribbon first with a time of 2:16:01. Ryan McCurnin was only seconds behind for a second place finish of 2:16:51. But the surprise of the day came from Meagan Deakins of Mountain View, Ca who not only took third, but also set a new female course record for the Heavy Half with a time of 2:17:21.
“That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Deakins stated (over and again) at the finish line.
Perhaps an understatement for the sea level dweller, as the challenging course not only starts at an altitude of 10,200 feet but then goes up, up and then way up, topping out at 13,185 ft Mosquito Pass. And with winter’s snowy grip still firmly in place at the higher elevations, race organizers had to make some last minute course changes due to sizeable snow drifts still present on the course, particularly on the backside of Ball Mountain.
Other noteworthy numbers involve participants for the race. Of the 915 runners, 23 were Leadville locals, 49 states were represented and there were 9 participants from other countries. These numbers continue to rank at the top of the leader board when it comes to the level of interest the Leadville Race Series continues to garner among world-class athletes. FULL RACE RESULTS
And while official race numbers will be logged into the record book for year 15 of the Leadville Trail Marathon, the benefits to the town and its businesses and area non-profits will have lasting affects.
At the start-finish line area, Cloud City Conservation Center volunteers were busy assisting participants and spectators in recycling efforts, Manuelita’s Restaurant catered the event with some delicious Mexican food, and the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame was busy raising funds, serving one icy cold beer at a time to finishers in a beer tent set up by Leadville’s Rutkey Distributing.
It would be hard to deny the traffic – both vehicle and pedestrian – on historic Harrison Avenue over the weekend. The season is on – get out and enjoy it!