1,643 cyclists ranging in age from 18 to 73 and representing 50 states and 23 countries endured the extreme test of endurance and grit, also known as the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race, owned and produced by Life Time. During the iconic event, now in its 26th year, bikers raced at elevations beginning at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet.
Howard Grotts, 26, of Durango, Colo. secured his place as reigning champion of the event, placing first for the third year in a row with a finish time of 6:19:18. Quinn Simmons, 18, also of Durango, Colo. secured second place with a finish time of 6:22:24. Lachlan Morton, 27, notable road cyclist hailing from Louisville, Colo. followed Morton, placing third in the division with a completion time of 6:22:42.
Grotts, immediately after successfully battling 100 miles of rugged Rocky Mountain terrain and crossing the finish line, was able to carry on a conversation with spectators and media with ease, saying, “I rode a pretty steady pace … there is really good space out there, and I was on a great bike.” Morton, competing in his first mountain bike event, added, “My favorite part of the day was pretending to be a mountain biker, coming down Power Line with Alex, and hanging in there – the last time I went down it, I definitely felt like a road racer.”
In the women’s division, Rose Grant, 36, of Columbia Falls, Mont. earned first place with a time of 7:36:07. This was Grant’s first year participating in the event. Sarah Sturm, 29, of Durango, Colo. earned second place in the division with a completion time of 7:54:23. Angela Parra, 37, of Santa Ana, Costa Rica placed third, crossing the finish structure with a clocked time of 7:55:56.
Grant pushed hard and knew her needs, “I think a race like this is really so individual and knowing how to pace yourself and stay on top of nutrition,” the 36-year-old said. “I was able to pass Sarah on Columbine climb, and just kept my head down, kept eating and drinking, and it worked out.”
While not all were successful on America’s highest 100-mile MTB course, 1,332 of the 1,643 riders that started the race crossed the finish line within the twelve hour time limit. This year’s youngest finisher was 18 years old and the oldest was 73 years old. The median age was 44. 1209 men completed the race while 123 women did. Overall women’s participation increased by
39 percent year-over-year. In addition, 647 riders this year were first time Leadville Trail 100 MTB competitors.
Adding to the hype of the day, impactful fundraising took place for two key Leadville Trail 100 foundations. “Back of the Pack” rider Ty Hall, a Leadville, Colo. native, passed 1,474 bikers, raising money for the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation, which provides grants to Lake County High School graduating seniors pursuing higher education. Life Time Founder and CEO Bahram Akradi, along with a team of riders supporting the Life Time Foundation, raised money to support schools in removing the Harmful 7 highly processed and artificial ingredients from their menus.