Leadville Race Strategy

With Leadville now 2 weeks away I figured it was time to start planning out how I'm going to get this done. So here's my game plan as I put it together. I'm sure I'll be tweaking this a bit up until the race, but for me, my main game plan is to run. I'll figure out the rest as I need to because one of the biggest things is being able to adapt when things go wrong. They will and what is going to make me successful is how I react to those things.

mileage according to race website/Mitch gps
Goal Time: sub-28:00hr
  • Start to MayQueen (13.5/12.5mi) 6:20am
  • MayQueen to Fish  (23.5/22.7mi) 8:21am
  • Fish Hatchery to Half Moon (29.1/27.6 mi) 9:46am
  • Half Moon to Twin Lakes (39.5/38.5) 11:41am
  • Twin Lakes to Hopeless (44.5/44.4) 2:00pm
  • Hopeless to Winfield (50/50.7) 3:38pm
  • Winfield to Hopeless (55.5/56.9) 6:14pm
  • Hopeless to Twin Lakes (60.5/62.9) 7:56pm
  • Twin Lakes to Half Moon (70.9/71.6) 10:29pm
  • Half Moon to Fish Hatchery (76.5/78.8) 12:28am
  • Fish Hatchery to MayQueen (86.5/88.9) 4:05am
  • MayQueen to FINISH (100/101.6 mi) 7:59am

  • Shoes: Pearl Izumi M2 with Super Feet
  • Socks: Drymax, I don't like to wear socks, but for long races they're a must and these are the only socks I race in
  • Watch: Garmin 310XT
  • Hydration: Nathan handheld water bottles and pack
  • Headlamp:
  • Headwear: Colorado Buff, I don't leave home without it!
  • Gloves: Craft glove/mittens
  • Food: EFS vanilla gel and Hammer Heed both mostly added to water in my handheld and Cliff Fruit Straws and of course my favorite Coke. I'm sure I'll grab some gummy bears at aid stations as well, but this will be the bulk of my calories. A new take on the 'liquid lunch' diet!
  • Poles: Black Diamond Z pole 100cm

aid stations:
  • MayQueen: I don't plan to see any crew here. I want them to get their sleep for a long night. I'll have a drop bag for my headlamp, but otherwise I plan to move through here pretty quick.
  • Fish Hatchery: This will be the first time I see my crew. I'll get rid of my cold weather gear from the morning and get ready for the daytime. I'll be loading up on more fuel here and probably dropping to one handheld water bottle.
  • Half Moon/Pipe: Last year we didn't have crew here, but we're anticipating crew here this year. This is a bit of a long boring stretch. Last year both Dan and I had a low point around here so we figure seeing some friendly faces and restocking will be a big help. This is actually 2 stops, one for crew and 2 miles later is the actual aid station with drop bags.
  • Twin Lakes: Here is the BIG aid station. Two years ago we watched quite a bit of the race from here and it just is a special place. You charge down the hill into the aid station full of spectators, crew and pacers. And this is where you re-fuel before going over Hope for the first time. This is the one aid station where we may spend any amount of time. We'll have a chair and the majority or our extra gear and food here. So after quite a bit of debate I have decided here I will forgo my beloved bottles for a pack and pick up my poles. I wasn't really planning to use poles, but after practicing with them on Grays last weekend I think they will be beneficial.
  • Winfield: I don't really plan on spending any time here. Just grab my pacer and go. I know we both need to get back to Twin and get out of there.
  • Twin Lakes: The biggest thing is to get out of this aid station. While we may spend some time here, probably changing shoes after the river crossing, it is crucial to get out of this aid station. Most reports indicate if you can get out of here ahead of cutoff you have a good shot at finishing. This cutoffs relax and you've gotten over the toughest point. There are still a load of hard parts along the way back to Leadville, but you've gotten past the crux if you get out of Twin. I'll pick up my headlamp here and may or may not put on some layers.
  • Half Moon/Pipe: I'm anticipating starting to hit dark around this point. I'll have my headlamp, but will likely start using it after leaving Half Moon. I'll also put on my tights and some warmer clothes here.
  • Fish Hatchery: At this point its definitely night time and seeing your crew is totally a huge mental boost. I'll likely put on even more warm clothes and load up on chicken broth to keep warm over the hike up Powerline. This is also where we'll both change out pacers. One more marathon to the finish! I also plan to pump as I hike Powerline, hopefully the only pump of the day.
  • MayQueen: Okay at this point the climbs are done, its all about getting the last 13 miles around Turquoise Lake done safely. There are a load of roots along this trail so it may be hard to navigate. Of course it will be close to sunrise...again, so we'll be losing our headlamps soon. This really marks the git er done section.
  • Tabor Boat Ramp: This isn't an official aid station but you can get crew here and I hope to have crew here to get me the last 7 miles. I'll likely drop my headlamp and just continue moving forward. At this point forward progress will be my only thought. Well that and picturing the red carpet linig the way to the finish.
  • FINISH: Alls I want here is a can of Dales! I like what I read last week that it doesn't matter what time it is, if you've finished a race its time for a beer!
pacers/crew (the most important part):
  • Brian and Ben will be my pacers and I have no doubt these two will keep me moving forward all night long. Brian was there to greet me in Twin last year when I timed out with no hard feelings that I didn't make it to his leg. I owe him big time this year!
  • Ben will be taking me over Hope and with his 14er experience I know he'll be great for this leg. Brian will be grinding it out with me from Fish to the finish.
  • JB will once again head up our crew with several other friends and my parents as the official trackers and babysitters.
While this section is short it is crucial to our race. Without this amazing group of peole who are willing to give up their weekend and sleep we wouldn't be able to do this sort of race. So in advance, thank you all for your hardwork and dedication! There may not be buckles at the end of the day for you but I promise you all peanutbutter balls and Dales!

music playlist:
Anyone who knows me knows I don't listen to music while I run, unless I'm on a treadmill. But I will have an iPod ready to go if I need a pick me up during the night.
  • Rise - Eddie Vedder
  • Society - Eddie Vedder
  • No More - Eddie Vedder
  • Hard Sun - Eddie Vedder
  • Blue Sky - Allman Brothers
  • Airplanes - B.o.B.
  • Southern Cross - Crosby, Stills and Nash
  • Shady Grove - David Grisman and Jerry Garcia
  • My City of Ruins - Eddie Vedder and Ben Harper
  • Shake It Out - Florence and The Machine
  • Never Let Me Go - Florence and The Machine
  • Dog Days Are Over - Florence and The Machine
  • Hey World - Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • Hey Hey Hey - Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • Ghosts That We Knew - Mumford and Sons
  • Lover Of The Light  - Mumford and Sons
  • Reminder - Mumford and Sons
  • Hopeless Wanderer - Mumford and Sons
  • Lovers' Eyes - Mumford and Sons
  • For Those Below - Mumford and Sons
  • Black Rock - O.A.R.
  • Good Life - OneRepublic
  • Off He Goes - Pearl Jam
  • Given To Fly - Pearl Jam
  • I Am Mine - Pearl Jam
  • Walkin' - Widespread Panic
  • Glad You Came - The Wanted
  • Butterfly - Crazy Town
  • Start Line - Nathan Barr
  • Never Give Up - Peter Bayne
  • Green Spandex - Xavier Rudd
  • Follow Me There - Third Day
  • Send Me On My Way - Rusted Root
  • 11:59 - Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • I'm Alive - Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • Life Is Better With You - Michael Franti and Spearhead
  • Belong - REM
  • Floating Vibes - Surfer Blood (these last two were recommended and I have a feeling they'll keep me going out there)

My amazing crew will be posting to Twitter so you can follow along by following @RunWithSiobhan or #RunWithSiobhan

or follow at http://my1.raceresult.com/details/index.php?page=4&eventid=18847&lang=en


  1. You rock as does your playlist. I'd like to suggest a couple of tunes to add. BELONG by REM and FLOATING VIBES by Surfer Blood. The former conjures my son Milo and my desire for him to be accepted and to find his place in this world. The latter had me truly floating as I left the last aid station of the Sedona 50K. Sending you so much support and wishing you luck.

  2. OMG, I am so excited for you! And can I just say that what you are doing is amazing...but pumping while you are doing it brings you to a whole NEW level of amazing!!! There is nothing you can't do!!


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