serious running: trail running, races, shoe reviews

Leadville Trail 100 Training Camp Day 1

posted by Chris Barber


Hawaiian Shirt Ray’s adventures at the Leadville Trail 100 training camp continued.  Check out Hawaiian Shirt Ray’s blog.

On day one all the runners meet at the Mining Museum in downtown Leadville for breakfast at 6:30.  This is the first opportunity for the runners to all meet and start to make new friends.  After breakfast Ken and Marilee introduce themselves as the Leadville Training Camp directors.  Ken discusses the purpose of the Leadville Training Camp as a means to become familiar with the Leadville Trail 100 course.  It is not a race and I would advise first time runners not to run it as a race.  Ken also introduces the panel of experts that will be helping during camp.  This year he also asked all previous Leadville Trail 100 finishers to stand up whereby he directed all the new runners to tap us as a resource on how to finish the Leadville Trail 100 in less than 30 hours.

May Queen

After the introductions, the runners are bused to the May Queen camp site where the runners will start the first days run to Twin Lakes.  During the race this will be the May Queen aid station, the first aid station at mile 13; while the Twin Lakes aid station will be at mile 40 during the actual race.

May Queen Campground - the start of the first training run

May Queen Campground - the start of the first training run

One of the strategies to having a good experience at camp is to try to run each day’s run as though it is race day.  This is very hard to do since all the runners have fresh legs.  For example this run starting at May Queen, the runners will have already had 13 miles in their legs on race day and at camp they are fresh.  Right out of the May Queen aid station there is a small incline that most runners at camp run.  Trust me, on race day they runner will be walking up this hill.  I use this hill as a great spot to refuel before running the next section.

From May Queen the runner run up to Hagerman Road which is a dirt road with a gradual incline; first time Leadville Trail 100 runners are recommended to walk this section.  Again, for a 30 hour finish there is no reason to run this section.  During camp there is a small aid station on the very first hairpin turn.  Runners should be aware that this aid station will not be there during the actual race.

Turquoise Lake from Hagerman Road

Turquoise Lake from Hagerman Road

Hagerman Road leads up to the top of Sugarloaf Pass and descends the “power lines.”  This is the first long downhill stretch and it can take about 45 minutes to run down.  (Hint, so coming back at mile 80-ish, guess how long it is going to take to get back up).  Once the runners are down the power lines they come to a paved road and head to the Fish Hatchery aid station.

Fish Hatchery

During the Leadville Trail 100 this is the second aid station for the runners.  during camp the aid station set-up right off the road, but during the race the runners will have to take a right-hand turn and run up to the Fish Hatchery.  It is maybe about .2 miles up the road, but during the race if you are not expecting to have to run up to the Fish Hatchery it can seem like a very long distance.

Stay tuned for the rest of Day 1 of the Leadville Trail 100 Training Camp!

Descending Sugarloaf Pass - aka "The Powerlines"

Descending Sugarloaf Pass - aka "The Powerlines"



  1. [...] runner Hawaiian Shirt Ray shared his experiences with us about the Leadville Trail 100 Training Camp about a month ago and now he’s here to tell us about his race.  Check out his awesome [...]