‘Mosquito Trail Marathon’ Saturday
LEADVILLE – Running a marathon is one thing. Climbing one of Colorado’s highest mountain passes in the process is another altogether.Nearly 300 people have registered for that task on Saturday as part of the fifth annual Leadville Trail Marathon, a 26.2-mile trail run from downtown Leadville to the summit of 13,186-foot Mosquito Pass and back.The marathon is the first in a five-event series sponsored by Leadville Trail 100, the organization which also promotes 100-mile running and bicycle races of the same name. “I’ve got people coming from all over to do (the marathon),” said Merilee O’Neal, LT 100’s race director. “It’s pretty widespread.” Out of the more than 250 people who had preregistered for the event by Thursday, some 20 states and two foreign countries – Japan and Australia – are represented. The marathon begins at 8 a.m. at the Sixth Street Gym on East Sixth Street and follows historic mining roads and trails east into the Mosquito Range and up to the pass, giving the race the nickname “The Mosquito Trail Marathon.”
As in years past, a number of Summit County runners will be among those tackling the grueling course on Saturday.”I’m just going to go out and play it by ear,” said Danny Teodoru, a Breckenridge lawyer who plans to run the marathon then wake up on Sunday and ride one lap in the Firecracker 50 mountain bike race as part of a two-person team. According to O’Neal, registration for the marathon will remain open until the race starts. The marathon serves as the first race in a five-event schedule between Saturday and Aug. 22, all organized by LT 100.The schedule continues on July 17 with the fourth annual Silver Rush 50-mile mountain bike race. Then in August, the organization’s premier events take place with the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race on Aug. 14 and the Leadville Trail 100 ultramarathon on Aug. 21 and 22. LT100 also holds a 10K trail run the day after the 100-mile bike race. In 2003, they introduced a new concept where anyone completing all five of the events would be labeled a Leadman or Leadwoman.
Though nine people attempted the feat in 2003, only four completed it; Jonathan Zeif of Fort Collins, Rick Pearcy of Colorado Springs, and Jan Bear of Santa Fe are Leadmen, while Bear’s wife, Kim, is the only Leadwoman. Teodoru is among those vying for Leadman status in 2004. “It all starts on Saturday and then just gets worse and worse,” he said.Registration for the 100-mile bike race is closed, as the popular event fills up via lottery each February. But registration for the other four events remains open. For more information, visit http://www.leadvilletrail100.com.Richard Chittick can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 236 or at email@example.com.
Info box:Leadman SeriesJuly 3Leadville Trail MarathonJuly 17Silver Rush 50-mile mountain bike raceAug. 14Leadville Trail 100-mile Mountain Bike RaceAug. 15LT100 10KAug. 21-22Leadville Trail 100-mile ultramarathon
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