Most people who know me, know that I’ve become somewhat of an avid runner over the last five years. I have taken on many new challenges in running including the Ragnar long distance race series, half marathons, and finished my first marathon this year. Next weekend I am off to run the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon. They call it the “Heavy Half” Marathon because the total distance is more than a half marathon at 15.46 miles. This race shows off the beauty of the Colorado Rockies and definitely has a unique challenge with the entire course being over 10,000 feet. Leadville is the highest city in the USA sitting at 10,430 feet in elevation.
The Leadville Race Series, encompassing all their diverse races, started with 45 runners in 1983 and now stretches across three months, and hosts thousands of racers on foot and in the saddle. The race runs through the historic old mining roads and trails, and hits a high of 13,185 feet at Mosquito Pass. I’m told the views will leave you breathless, if you’re not already. The marathon will mark its 17th year in 2016, while the Heavy Half will mark its 11th.
The race course is out and back through the historic mining district on the East side of Leadville. You may be crossing snow on the course at this time of year so runners need to be pepared for all types of weather and conditions. The course will be well marked with fluorescent pink-and-black-striped ribbon and chalk arrows to keep runners on track. This is probably one of the most rugged and tough half marathon’s around Colorado.
Another unique aspect with the Leadville race series is the “Leadman and Leadwoman Challenge.” The progressive series begins with the Leadville Trail Marathon, the Silver Rush 50 MTB or Run, then moving on to the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, Leadville 10K run, and finally the legendary Leadville Trail 100 Run. Complete the series and you’ll be forever known as a Leadville Leadman or Leadwoman. Racers must complete each event within the allotted cut off time in order to move on and be eligible for the next.
More information about the Leadville race serious can be found here: