the Leadville 100 Race Series & Other Major Events
Leadville, Colorado (elevation 10, 152 feet above sea level), is a colorful, unique town that’s off the beaten path. You won’t see many tourists here. But you will see an uncommon glimpse into a hearty, quirky Colorado mountain lifestyle. Many of Leadville’s signature events reflect these same characteristics. For example the Leadville 100 Race Series pushes athletes over 100 miles of mountain trails. It’s not for the faint of heart. Literally. But this is the kind of superhuman tenacity (plus a bit of foolhardiness) that’s always been necessary to live in Leadville.
The Leadville 100 Race Series is “a bucket list” event for athletes who relish the most extreme challenges. But not all Leadville events require participants to be insane. Well, not that much, anyway. Here are some of the annual events to be found in the highest incorporated city in the US. Click here for the full calendar of events in Leadville.
Leadville 100 (aka The Race Across The Sky or the LT100) is the event that put Leadville on the map. A competitor who completes all the events in the race series receives a special honor with a nod to the famous Ironman Triathlon. Racers who officially finish the Trail 100 Run, Trail 100 MTB, the Marathon, the Silver Rush bike or run, and the 10K are called a “Leadman” or “Leadwoman.”
The Leadville Trail 100 Run is an ultra-marathon held annually on trails and dirt roads in and around Leadville, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. First run in 1983, runners in the race climb and descend 15,600 feet (4,800 m), with elevations ranging between 9,200–12,620 feet. In most years, fewer than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit.
The Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race has become nearly as renowned as the LT100 Trail Run. This event was created for athletes determined to push their limits, starting at 10,152 feet and climbing to 12,424 feet and entailing one hundred miles across the extreme terrain and high altitude of the Colorado Rockies.
The Trail 100 10K is an open event the week before the main Trail 100 race The course includes the first and last portions of the full Trail 100 course.
The Silver Rush MTB Race is a USAC-sanctioned 50-milemountain bike race through the mining districts east of Leadville in mid summer.
The Silver Rush 50 run is a 50-mile trail run introduced in 2008. It follows the same route as the MTB course. The event occurs the day after the MTB event. Competitors who complete both Silver Rush events are recognized with a Silver Queen or Silver King award.
The Leadville Trail Marathon is a 26.2-mile marathon through the mining districts east of Leadville. The midpoint of the course is at Mosquito Pass, with an altitude of 13,185 feet (4,019 m).
The Leadville Heavy Half Marathon is “heavy” because it smirks at the standard half marathon distance of 13 miles. Instead, it requires runners cover 15 rugged miles. It also goes to the top of Mosquito Pass for great views and grueling physical challenges.
Leadville Boom Days
Leadville Boom Days is a one-of-a-kind festival celebrating Colorado’s rich mining and Old West history. As you’d expect, it includes with gunslingers and a street fair with over 100 food and craft booths. What you might not expect – and won’t find anywhere else – are burro races and contests of mining skills. Boom Days is always the first full weekend in August. Three days of fun, food, arts & crafts, and activities for the whole family!
Leadville Ski Joring
Ski Joring is a competition in which a horse and rider pull a skier through a race course. The course has gates and jumps competitors must successfully navigate. Meanwhile, they must also collect rings as they race. By the way, the “race course” happens to be the slick, snow-covered Main Street of town! Winners must not only complete the obstacle course quickly, collect the rings and avoid penalties that are doled out for missing gates or jumps, or missing or dropping rings. The competitors race for cash prizes, and teams are made up by a random draw before the start.
The Mount Massive Mush
The Mount Massive Mush is a recreational race that attracts participants of all ages. Additionally, teams include dogs both large and small. Race activities include dog sledding, skijoring (you ski, your dog(s) pull), cani-cross (you snowshoe or hike, your dog(s) help pull), bike-joring, scootering, carting, weight-pull, and other fun contests. The focus is safety, fun, and learning. Not surprisingly, it’s a hit with kids.
Come and enjoy the hospitality of this old west boom town with lovely historic Victorian style buildings, spectacular mountain scenery and a variety of local restaurants that are family owned and operated. The “mom and pop” businesses, unique boutiques and lots of antique shops will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time.