LT100 Champ to Rusch Up, Ride Down Mt. Kilimanjaro
Since today will be all about sports, it seemed appropriate to share this incredible story about an internationally renown athlete taking on a monumental challenge and yes, it has a Leadville twist!
When it comes to cycling, Leadville often touts the highest trails, the highest races. But for four-time Leadville Trail 100 (LT100) Champion Rebecca Rusch, her upcoming quest could leave those numbers on the heel of her back wheel.
This month, professional mountain biker Rebecca Rusch and full time adventurer Patrick Sweeney will take their bikes to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization, World Bicycle Relief. The feat will mark only the third time that the Tanzania Park Authority has allowed bicycles onto Africa’s highest peak.
Rusch and Sweeney will be riding, carrying and pushing their bikes to the summit at 19,341 feet, then riding the dangerous journey back down.
“I love a monumental challenge like this, and it’s even more meaningful if our adventure can help change the world,” commented Red Bull professional athlete and world-champion Rebecca Rusch. Since 2013, Rusch has been working with World Bicycle Relief to provide bicycles for individuals in Africa to access critical resources like education, healthcare and economic opportunities.
“I’m excited that we can do something to help the local people,” extolled Patrick Sweeney. “This grand adventure is part of my ‘Cycling the Seven Summits’ challenge that only a handful of people have ever even attempted. And World Bicycle Relief is a big charity changing the future of so many people in Africa – I can’t think of a better combination!” Sweeney is an Alpina Watch ambassador and the first person to officially mountain bike to the Mt. Everest Base Camp. He added, “I just hope Rebecca doesn’t hurt me too badly on the way up!”
The project has backing of Red Bull and will be filmed for Red Bull TV, which broadcasts an unrivaled world of action, live events, inspirational people, and breathtaking stories from Red Bull’s global playground.
Find out how Rusch is training with Carmichael Training Systems to take on the extreme altitude. As she prepares for a new adventure on Kilimanjaro Rusch recently spent time in the High Altitude Training Center (HATC) at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs with her coach Dean Golich. Here she talks about the rationale behind her time in the HATC, and how it applies to athletes, especially those training for a Leadville race.