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Andrea’s Leadville 100 Race Recap!

September 10, 2010

Recently, Mega Tough Ultra Teammate Andrea Metz competed in the Leadville 100 Trail Run, her first 100 miler (and only her third ultra to date!), where she finished fourth for women, across the line in under 24hours. Here’s her official race report:

I chose to race the Leadville 100 because I wanted a challenge.  Between the rugged terrain, lack of oxygen in the 9,000+ feet elevation (it is America’s highest 100 miler), unpredictable weather, and over 15,000 feet of total climbing, it’s no wonder that only half the field manages to cross the finish line in this 100 miler.  Consequently, my #1 goal was to cross the finish line in the 30 hour time limit.  To prepare, I trained 700 hours over twelve months, ran up to 8 hours in a single training run (through the night to simulate running when sleep deprived), did countless repeats up ski hills, and my favorite part—spent two weeks acclimating in the Rocky Mountains.  This preparation not only enabled me to cross the finish line, but in a manner that exceeded all my expectations.  I finished HOURS ahead of my anticipated finish time of 26-28 hours, in a time that I had not even considered as a possible goal time (23:34)!  In addition, I nearly podiumed, placing 4th place among women.  I was able to do so without a crew, but I was fortunate to find pacers who were important in getting to the finish line.

The weather could not have been better.  It warmed up to the low 70s, with clear blue sunny skies and not a drop of rain, hail, sleet, or snow—which is often the case in the mountains.  It was critical to continually take in calories and fluids.  I estimated that I burned 11,000 calories.  I probably ate a dozen Power Bars and several more gels in addition to other foods.  I have no idea how much I drank, but I felt like I was constantly putting something in my mouth.  As a result, there was never a point where I became dehydrated or low on energy.

I anticipated reaching point in which I would not think I could go on, but that moment never came.  In fact, the 3,400 foot climb midway through the race over Hope Pass is often a breaking point for many racers, but it was a high point for me.  The countless hours of preparation for the race paid off, enabling me to exceed even my highest expectations for the race.  I have been blest with many opportunities and abilities in my athletic career.  Had it not been for collegiate athletics, I would have never had the hunger to push myself to this level, so I am grateful for all that I have been given.

The recovery process has also been exceedingly fast as well…so much so that I will be completing in a 50 miler just 4 weeks following the race.  With the training I put into this race, I expect to be able to improve upon my 8:22 finish in the 50 mile race from a year ago.

What got Andrea through the Leadville100:

Socks: Icebreaker Run Lite Micro

These socks are a huge reason why I did not get a single blister during the Leadville 100.  I chose to wear them during a section of the race in which there were several water crossings, since I knew they would wick water away from my feet, preventing blisters as well as keeping my feet warm.  In addition, they dried out quickly, so I did not get bogged down carrying water in my shoes for miles on end.

Clothes: Icebreaker short sleeve 150 ultra light t-shirt
The lightweight, breathable shirt was perfect for the race.  The wicking properties of the fabric and seamless design prevented chaffing, which is common when drenched in sweat for hours on end.

Icebreaker long sleeve Chase Zip lightweight 200 shirt
Since the weather in the mountains is so unpredictable, I needed to have extra clothes available.  This shirt was so lightweight that I chose to carry it every step during the Leadville 100, even though it was bright and sunny all day.  It folded up so small that I was still able to carry a full 2L of fluid as well as extra food in my hydration pack.

Nathan Intensity hydration pack
The Nathan hydration pack was essential to my success in the Leadville 100.  Not only could it carry enough fluids for me between aid stations, but food and clothes as well.  Since the weather in the mountains is so unpredictable, I needed to have extra clothes on me, which could easily be carried via my Nathan hydration pack.  In addition, the two pockets on the arm straps were priceless.  I was able to fit two Power Bars in one pocket and a gel and my pace chart in the other.  As a result, I did not need to slow down to grab fuel, which was constantly.  I was always able to carry adequate amounts of fuel and liquids that I never felt dehydrated or depleted of glycogen, which was a pleasant surprise, considering I burned about 11,000 calories and shed many pounds of fluids throughout the race.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 12, 2010 5:31 pm

    Andrea you are a CHAMP!! Way to go woman. Good luck in the 50 miler!!!!

  2. megankillian permalink
    September 26, 2010 8:53 am

    Andrea, you are awesome. Way to do work! You really are MegaTough!

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