The Leadville 100 is one of the most well known Marathon Mountain Bike races in the world – I mean, Lance has won it. Levi has won it. Dave Wiens has won it heaps of times…
Like any big marathon race, you need to prepare for it. The Leadville 100 is certainly no different. The past weeks have seen a lot of top racers preparing for the altitude at Breckenridge. That’s close enough to Leadville, but with vastly better riding. Specifically though, what does final preparation involve?
Karen Hogan has worn the Masters USA National Champions jersey many times across cyclocross and Marathon, and will be racing the Leadville 100 for the first time this year. A bad crash at an XC race in Salida slowed down her preparation, as she tore her quad just above her knee. But the training has been good, and with some advice form her husband Mike Hogan (who has finished fourth in the Leadville 100 previously) she should have a great race.
Thursday 9th August
5am: Wake up
“Although I’d like to be sleeping in, there is so much to do at the moment to prepare for the race, and getting the kids ready to go back to school, that I wake up really early with my mind super busy.”
7am: Morning grocery shopping
7:30: prep kids for running training
8:30 Drive to bike training
9:00 Start a session. 6 x 1 minute Threshold efforts, with 1 minute recovery.
“I’m never really sure whether I’m tapering right. I still have the metabolism from doing lots of riding, so it just feels like I’m eating all the time!” says Hogan. “I had wanted to do yoga everyday for the fortnight before the race, but I ended up not having the time.”
1:00 Household management, packing for Leadville
4:20 Drive to Accomodation
6:30 Dinner with Herbalife
10:30pm – Bed – finally!
Friday 10th August
This day hosts race registration and rider meetings, along with more appointments with Herbalife, who are sponsoring Karen in 2012, along with Kappius Hubs. There is a lot to get done, when you include a short pre-ride on the course, prepping food and bottles, and getting the support crew organised.
6:30 Time to get up and get organised
7:30 Drive from Copper Mountain to Leadville for registration
8:15 Complete Registration – this was really efficient, although we did beat a big sized queue!
8:30 Join the line at the cafe for a coffee and breakfast – including breakfast burrito’s for some.
9:00 Go the the Herbalife 24 Basecamp – a meeting place for any Herbalife racers. They can chill out away from the crowds, stock up on supplies, or just hang out and watch the Olympics.
10:15 Go to the racers meeting, which ended up being on at 11:00… cue a lot of sitting around!
12:00 Ditch the meeting. It was taking too long. We need to ride! heading to the Powerline climb, Karen rolls up to take a look at it, before returning to Leadville for the photo shoot at the Herbalife Base Camp.
2:30 More grocery shopping. Mountain bikers eat a lot!
3:30 Finally ready to leave Leadville, and get the feet up. The day has dragged on more than expected.
4:00 Nap time – ever so briefly
5:00 With a child’s birthday on race day, it’s time to start preparing a great Birthday dinner!
6:00 and onwards: Watching some Olympics, having the bike fitted with a transponder and number, and eating a big dinner with the legs up
8:30 Finally getting bottles and Camelbak’s organised for feed zones. Extra clothing for mile 80, due to the weather forecast.
10:00 Bed time!
3:45 Wake up time – painfully early!
4:00 Breakfast of oatmeal and banana, with coffee
4:30 Time to drive from Copper Mountain to Leadville
5:15 Arrival at Leadville, time to head to pack the pockets and find your place in the start chute. Lots of nerves around, and people are rugged up against the cold weather.
6:20 Time to strip off jackets and put the race face on!
6:30 Race Start!! It was pretty hectic, and Karen had a light dab on the way out. But she’s off and racing!