On Top of the World
This year's Leadville Trail 100 provided plenty of late-stage excitement—all around 10,000 feet above sea level
Photo by Matt Trappe
Thomas Lorblanchet had never raced a 100-miler before Saturday. He also says he rarely gets the chance to train in the mountains, or at altitude.
It was sure hard to tell, as France's Lorblanchet won the Leadville Trail 100—an out-and-back race run at an altitude of 10,000 feet and higher—Saturday in a time of 16:29:27.
“I decided early to make my own race. I could see from the beginning that we were running very fast,” says Lorblanchet, who ran with the early lead pack, consisting of New Zealand’s Mike Aish and Boulder, Colorado’s Anton Krupicka, before Krupicka pulled ahead after the 50-mile turnaround, on the second crossing of the race's toughest mountain section, Hope Pass.
Near mile 70, Lorblanchet stole the lead from Krupicka (who eventually fell back to finish fourth) and held it, winning by just under 15 minutes.
Says Lorblanchet, “It was a challenge for me just to finish.”
Meanwhile, Basalt, Colorado’s Zeke Tiernan moved up steadily from fifth at the turnaround, to fourth at the Fish Hatchery aid station, near mile 76, to third after passing Krupicka. Finally, he passed the UK’s Nick Clark, crossing the line second in 16:44:20.