Not gonna lie, it was kind of an awesome week for Dirtbags! Let’s start out in Colorado where several Ambassadors and team members took on the Leadville 100 as racers, pacers, crew members, and even a few high altitude beer milers!
If you’ve been around the ultra world, especially at 100 milers, you probably know how important pacers and crews can be to the success of the runner. Ambassador Julie Blanda crewed for Norbert Blobel as he attempted his very first 100 miler. Crewing most of the day, driving from aid station to aid station and preparing drop bags, Julie jumped in as his pacer at the Twin Lakes aid station (61 miles in). Fighting against missing the cutoff at each aid station along the way, they departed May Queen with just 4 minutes to spare! With 13.5 miles to go and needing to hit 15min pace, Norbert dug deep and pushed the pace to ensure an official finishing time. In fact, he ran so well those last few miles that he actually dropped Julie! An amazing finish left him with a 29:41:56 time. Amazing!
Beer Miles. What more can really be written or said about beer miles? Well, the one that took place pre-Leadville 100 was better captured and enjoyed via video: Click Here and photos! Oh, and they happened to raise $388.75 for the Lake County Animal Shelter. Nice work everyone!
We’ll have some more Leadville 100 stories next week, so be sure to check back!
It was a low key week for the Dirtbags of Arkansas, but a few got together over the weekend for a group run at Blowing Springs and Back 40 in Bella Vista, AR.
The other big event over the weekend took place in Canada at the Squamish 50/50k/23k. Boise Dirtbag team member Rick Valentine, who is having a tremendous racing season, took on the 50 mile distance. According to Rick, the course that Gary Robbins created was “brutal to say the least”: The first 6 miles is flat and fast along with the last mile to the finish. However, the other 43 miles included both smooth and technical scenic single track with over 12,000′ of vertical gain.
Rick started out smartly and eased into the race over the first several miles (around 30th place at the first aid station at mile 6) catching some fast starters once the hills really began. The longest & steepest climb started about the half way point. Rick continued to pick runners off and had climbed into about 5th place overall by mile 30. Going from strength to struggle, he lost a couple spots over the next 10-15 miles. However, by mile 45 and feeling better, Rick ran a strong finish for the last stretch finishing 7th overall in 9:28!
Rick noted that this was one of the most organized & scenic courses he’s ever raced. The course markings were plentiful and the volunteers were amazing. However, his favorite thing about he weekend is that he got to bring along his two daughters and one of their friends. Not a bad way to start them out with their first Dirtbag adventure!
That’s all for this week! As a way to better highlight some of our Ambassadors, we’ll have a separate post for the “Get-to-know” feature next week.