JULY 16 and 18, 2016

Running Hope Pass

Climbing to the summit of Hope Pass (~12,600') is the crux of running the Leadville 100M race. After mile 40 contestants must ascend its gradual slopes from Twin Lakes on a ten-mile out-and-back to the turn-around at the old mining ghost town of Winfield. If once isn't enough they must run up the pass a second time up a much steeper Sheep Gulch from the Winfield side.

It is an excellent place to train for not only the Leadville challenge, but any other trail event involving considerable elevation change. That was why I was here - to pile up the vertical; to prepare the quads for pounding and the hamstrings for climbing; to prepare the mind for enduring relentless stress at altitude. There are few training grounds with comparable vistas and such great camaraderie.

Running up and down for two days and 28 miles I met all kinds of ultra runners in training for many different events; and I met many thru- hikers aiming to bag the entirity of the 500-mile cross-state Colorado Trail or the even longer Colorado Divide Trail that is concurrent with the Colorado Trail here. I came away thoroughly enthused about trails after talking to all the people using them. And I felt fine-tuned to take on the 100K I had upcoming.