Friday, March 27, 2009

Dropped like a Leadville balloon

I received a letter from the nice folks who organize the Leadville 100. You know about the Leadville 100, right? Killer MTB race, Rocky Mountains, Leadville Colorado. The highest incorporated city in the U.S., somewhere around 10,000 or so feet in elevation. If you remember, I attempted to join in this insanity by putting in my application. Here's the reply:

It's a bit difficult to read here (my old flatbed scanner doesn't have the highest resolution), but when a letter starts out with "We sincerely apologize and deeply regret we were unable to accept your application..." then it's not too promising.

I didn't know whether to be disappointed or relieved.

After I sent in my application, I continued to do research on the race. Various blogs talked about altitude sickness, Diamox medication, month-long acclimation periods, not even being able to walk very far at that altitude without being winded, special diets, grueling training, extreme pain, rapidly changing weather, rotten terrain, rutted roads, rain, hypothermia, broken equipment, broken bones, blood...

Had I bitten off more than I could chew? Pedaling my wheezing, fat old ass 100 miles up the side of a mountain over 10,000 feet? And the weather here hasn't yet been conducive to a lot of training. Here we are at the end of March and it's still below freezing. Yeek.

Just as I had written this one off as a 'good try', I read the third paragraph:

We hope you will consider entering the awesome 50 mile "Silver Rush" on July 25. It's a tough, demanding and incredibly beautiful ride in Leadville's historic east side mining district. A silver bracelet awaits all finishers and will forever serve as proof of your athletic skill and testimony to your grit, guts, and determination that day.

50 miles, huh? That doesn't sound quite as daunting. Plus, they'll take entries up until the day before the race.

Welllll........maybe I oughta sleep on this one a bit.


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