This Just In . . . .
LT100 Belt Buckle Gift to Leadville B&B Owners
When it comes to the ultra running world, the Leadville Trail 100 Run belt buckle is a highly coveted prize, especially the “Under 25” hours buckle. Now, the only thing that might bump that up a level, is if it was an “old-school” buckle, the ones that were hand-hewn, one of the “originals.”
That being said, what could possibly prompt a racer to part with one of these treasured trophies? Friendship and gratitude. And that’s the reason that local bed and breakfast owners, Peri and Ed Solder of Mountain Hideaway, now have one of these prized possessions hanging on their wall.
And for those who live and breathe the ultra-running world, the fact that the buckle was presented to them by Kirk Apt of Grand Junction, well that’s note-worthy in its own right. Apt, 52, is a legend in the ultra-running world. In fact, this year, he finished his 20th Hardrock and Leadville Trail 100 (LT100) Run.
“We were so honored,” said Ed Solder, owner of the Mountain Hideaway Bed & Breakfast where Apt has stayed during the last 10 of his 20 LT100s.
“It’s the first time, in the 25 years we’ve been doing this, that anybody has ever given us something this valuable as a thank you gift,” adds Peri, Ed’s wife and co-owner of the B&B, as she proudly displayed the buckle which Apt had framed in a shadow box for the Solder’s to display.
Peri added that when Apt presented the gift to the Solders, he expressed a deep gratitude, saying that the couple had made a big difference in his life and had been a big part of the Leadville race for him. And, Peri says, “He always looks like he’s doing a hike, he never looks like he’s racing one hundred miles.”
The LT100 belt buckle will fit in nicely with the rest of the sports memorabilia that surrounds the Solders and their B&B guests. In fact, it will help to balance out the loving tribute to another superstar athlete – Nate Solder, Peri and Ed’s son and offensive lineman for the NFL’s New England Patriots.
“We’ll definitely be taking it to North Carolina,” explained Peri, as the couple plans to spend winters back east, a bit closer to all the football action. “In Leadville, the buckle is important, but back there, it’ll be a real conversation piece, something people may not have heard about or ever seen.”
And who knows, maybe that gold and silver trophy will inspire some professional football players to take on the LT100 challenge and conquer more than that 120 yards that make up their home field.
But for Ultra-Runner Kirk Apt, the 19 buckles that remain in his respectable collection will have to suffice, as he has chosen to close out his LT100 ultra-career with victory #20.
“He said it’s his last one,” explains Peri. “But he’ll be back, to crew and encourage other racers.” And maybe to visit his buckle, now proudly on display and prepared to make it’s first tour on the NFL circuit!
High School Cycling Takes 3rd Among State Racers
The Leadville Racing Team took 3rd place overall among 52 Colorado high school cycling teams at the season opener on Sept. 7.
The Summit Mountain Challenge hosted 52 Colorado teams and over 600 racers on Sept. 7 at The Fall Challenge in Breckenridge. Among them was the Leadville Racing Team representing Lake County High School. The team fared well, with two individual podiums, according to team coaches Stacy and Bruce Kelly. LCHS Junior Charlie Koch took 4th place and sophomore Brandon Hanson came in 5th in his division. In addition, the group did very well as a team, taking 3rd place overall at the statewide competition.
Team racers this year: Stephanie Colton, Jonah Osborn, Charlie Koch, Grant Gipson, Ryan Arguello, Aarika Johnson, Cheyenne Mendoza, Cain Gipson, Brandon Hanson, Gracie Robinson, Federico Montes, Lara Lufkin, Joe Koch. Not pictured, Brayhan Reveles.
Please join the team for the annual fund raising ride this Sunday, Sept.14. Meet at High Mountain Pies on W. 4th Street at 10:30 am. Make a donation, ride the race course with the team, and then enjoy some delicious pizza compliments of Tim and Vicki Koch at High Mountain Pies.
Another way folks can show their support of the team is by volunteering for the Cloud City Challenge, the race the local team will be hosting at Colorado Mountain College on Sunday, Sept. 21. Anyone interested can go to www.coloradomtb.org and click on the volunteer tab, scroll down to Cloud City Challenge and sign up for whatever might be of interest.
Leadville Flame Soccer Continue to Heat Up the Field
The Leadville Flame beat the Colorado Rapids Blue 1 team 8-2 down at the Aurora Sports Park last Saturday, Sept. 6.
“We dominated every aspect of the game, and every player did their job,” stated Flame Coach Kevin Cannell. “The field was absolutely perfect.”
Uriel Bujanda who had missed the first two games due to injury scored 4 goals, Alonso Lozano who will miss the next two games scored 3, and the captain of the team Omar Hernandez scored 1.
The Leadville Flame record has improved to 2-0-1. During the competition, The Flame won their first match 8-0 against a team from Brighton, but went on to lose to the Tigres Hispanic All Star team from Commerce City 0-5.
However, it should be noted, according to Cannell, the Tigres beat FC Boulder Sporting 14-0, the team that The Flame tied 2-2 at the Player’s Cup the day before.
Flaming Foliage Comes Thru Lake County at Night
This relay foot race was originally started in 2012 to be an annual adventure race throughout the Colorado high country. However after the inaugural event, the Flaming Foliage Relay was cancelled last year due to the ravaging storms and flooding across Colorado. But this year, the race is back on the calendar for September 12-13. is an adventure race with a 170-mile route
The route that was originally created by Outward Bound in 1998 but has been revived for the first half of the Flaming Foliage Relay. Starting in Idaho Springs, the route runs through Georgetown, climbs up to the summit of Guanella Pass, descends down to the Burning Bear Trail and other single track trails, climbs up and over Georgia Pass to Breckenridge, then through Frisco to Copper Mountain.
The course then diverges from the original trail, creating a more scenic, remote route by heading up and over Fremont Pass (the relay’s third 11,000 foot pass) to Leadville, around Turquoise Lake, then down the Arkansas River Valley to the finish at River Park in Buena Vista.
Runners will most likely be coming through Lake County and Leadville the night of Saturday, September 13 and into the early morning hours of Sunday, September 14.
The Flaming Foliage Relay is a form of adventure race. There aren’t any police escorts or pacing crews; the FFR is an adventure-race format that is self-supported and takes place on open trails and roads. While detailed maps are provided and the course is very well marked, each and every team is expected to support themselves from race start to race finish.
Relay teams are divided into two main categories that tackle the 170 miles of race course: 10-person teams, or Ultra teams. The most popular team organization is the 10-person category (6 – 10 runners) With the mileage divided into 30 legs, each teammate will have 3 legs to run over the course of the race. The fun part is the categorization of each team depending upon their demographic makeup. From mixed to all female to the flatlanders group, all teams will find themselves competing against like teams. For those looking for a bigger challenge, there is the Ultra team categories (4 – 5 runners), or for the really adventurous, the Super Ultra categories (3 a team).