Wells, Bigham win Leadville 100 mountain-bike race on Saturday
LEADVILLE — On Saturday, nearly 2,000 riders from all 50 states and 27 countries participated in the 23rd annual Leadville 100 mountain-bike race. In the iconic event, participants rode more than 100 miles of challenging Colorado Rockies terrain at elevations ranging from 10,152 to 12,424 feet.
Following the 6:30 a.m. start, Colorado’s own Todd Wells, of the United States, and Sally Bigham, of Great Britain, emerged as this year’s champions, both marking the third time each has won the race. Wells notched his third Leadville Trail 100 title after winning in 2011 and 2014 and Bigham was the past champion in 2013 and 2014. In the male division, Wells crossed the finish in 6:19:43, followed in second place by Joe Dombrowski, of the United States, who finished in 6:22:40. Jeremiah Bishop, of the United States, rounded out the top three in 6:28:47. In the female division, Bigham finished in 7:05:47 followed by Lorenza Morfin, of Mexico, in second at 8:01:02 and Colorado’s own Jennifer Smith, of the United States, at 8:04:19.
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Leadville’s own Ty Hall competed as Transamerica’s Tomorrow Chaser to help raise money for the Leadville Legacy Foundation. Hall started at the back of the race and Transamerica donated $5 to the local foundation for every cyclist he passed. This year, Hall passed more than 1,200 riders during the race and raised more than $6,000 for the Leadville Legacy Foundation. Professional ultra-runner Mike Aish, who is competing in the Leadman Series this year, completed his first Leadville Trail 100 mountain-bike race in 8:19:30 and is currently chasing a new Leadman record.
Part of the ‘Family’
The inaugural Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike event launched in 1994 and has since attracted thousands of racers to the Colorado mountain community.
“Congratulations to Todd and Sally on their amazing wins today and to all competitors who had the raw guts and determination to cross the finish line — they are all now part of our Leadville family,” said Josh Colley, race director of the Leadville Race Series. “I never tire of seeing the spirit of Leadville instilled in everyone on course, pushing themselves to the brink to embody a healthy way of life.”
This year’s Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Race Series concludes Saturday with nearly 750 participants running the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail 100 Run. The legendary “Race Across the Sky” 100 mile run began in 1983 and still draws thousands of participants to Leadville each year for a demanding 100-mile out-and-back course with total elevation range, or climb, of more than 18,000 feet.
For complete results visit http://www.leadville raceseries.com.
Rita’s two closest peers have climbed the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) peak 21 times each, but both of them have retired from mountain climbing.