This is the last installment from Hawaiian Shirt Ray on SeriousRunning.com. If you like what you read, check out his blog, Hawaiian Shirt Ray – Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things:
Leadville Trail 100 Training Camp Day 3 “The Night Run”
Leadville Trail 100 Training camp Day 3 is “The Night Run.” Camp participants have the entire day to explore all the outdoor activities that Leadville has to offer. For me, I spent the day fly fishing and it was a good day for the fish. The first time I attended the Leadville Trail 100 Training Camp I did not participate in the night run because I thought I knew all of the trails. I regretted my choice the night of the race because I felt lost at night, did not know what was ahead, or how far it was to the next aid station. For me it was mentally tough running from Twin Lakes to Treeline. Then for last year’s Leadville Trail 100 race the course was changed and it was difficult running the new section for the same reasons.
Twin Lakes to Tree Line
The camp participants meet late in the evening at the Leadville Trail 100 Headquarters and were bused to Twin Lakes. By the time we started the sun was down and it was dark enough that we needed our headlamps. Runners left Twin Lakes and climbed uphill for about an hour of hiking before the trail is even worth putting the effort into running. The runners ran on the Colorado Trail and then turn off into Boxcar Gulch. Technically this section is not tough, but it is nice to be able to familiarize yourself with how the trail feels running it during the night. Runners were having a lot fun during this section and I could hear all sorts of “interesting” sounds from one group (I’ll call them the “fun Group”). They were making me laugh with their monkey, pig, and other strange sounds they were making. The Tree Line aid station was stocked with burritos, hot cocoa, and beer. I can still hear the pig noises of the “fun group” coming into the aid station. Bottom line is that the night run is just plain fun!
Next: The Leadville Trail 100
After camp I feel that I am ready to achieve my goal of running a sub 25 hour Leadville Trail 100 race. I also know that even if my game plan goes bad, I know that I will still cross the finish line in under 30 hours. For me, this is what the Leadville Trail 100 Camp is all about; re-familiarize myself with the course and to mentally prepare myself to know that I will finish the race no matter what challenges lay ahead.
Photos by: Francisco Moreno
Tags: Leadville 100