FROM DOUG KEISER
A message he sent out after his first Lt100 in 2008Doug and Caroline wrote:
Greetings family and friends,
Thank you for the calls and emails re: my Leadville 100 experience! While I have yet to describe my experience in any detail I can give you a brief overview and have included you on my email list whether or not you really may be interested!
First of all, the goal was to finish Leadville and remember crossing the finish line ... unlike my first running marathon experience over 20 years ago!!! It was great to be out in God's creation and enjoying the mountain vistas of high Colorado! I went with four other racers from Cedar Falls and a support crew of six. We arrived in Leadville a week before the race to pre-ride parts of the course and acclimatize. The Leadville 100 Mountain Bike is the granddaddy of all endurance mountain bike races and arguably the most difficult. Actually, 103 miles in length with 14, 000 feet of climbing all between the altitudes of 9,200 and 12,800 feet. It starts in the old mining town of Leadville, CO the highest incorporated town in the U.S. at 10,152 ft.
I knew that if I was ever going to do Leadville I needed to do it with those who knew what they were doing! I fully succeeded in that regard. The group of 10 that went along had no less than 26 Leadville 100's under their belts from either a rider or crewing standpoint! Cedar Falls, IA might have the highest concentration of Leadville 100 finishers in the world! One of our racers, John Adamson, finished his 10th Leadville 100 MTB giving him a special award this year. He also placed third in his age group ... amazing for being 62 years young! Epic event ... challenging terrain, altitude and weather ... sun, wind, rain, and sleet! I had a great experience and felt like I was able to finish strong. Yes, I did race against Lance Armstrong! He passed me at about mile 53! Never mind that he was going in the opposite direction as I was! Okay ... it was an out and back course and he and eventual winner Dave Wiens were flying back from the Columbine Mine while I was technically at about mile 47 still trudging up to the toughest part of the climb to the mine! They still had to pass me!!
I finished with a time of 9 hours 34 minutes. Good for 195th place of 653 finishers out of the 804 racers who started the race that morning. An unofficial statistic ... I came in 19th place of all riders in states east of Colorado! I was pleased with my overall time and received a silver belt buckle as an official finisher under 12 hours. Was anticipating that I should be able to finish around the 10 hr mark and had those splits taped to my handlebars but I really had no perspective. I was wearing a heart rate monitor and did not let myself go anaerobic by exceeding 160 beats per minute. Most of the long climbs I was able to keep at about 145 bpm, my average for the entire race was a rather pedestrian 135 bpm. I think this allowed me to keep eating and drinking, avoid the bonk, and finish strong while actually enjoying the last 5 miles back up to Leadville and the red carpet finish! Thankfully, no mechanicals or flats. A big thanks to all the Bike Tech racers and crew members whose support, advice, encouragement and training tips helped me to have a great experience! Anyone want to go to Colorado next August!?!