By June, most athletes are bemoaning the rise in hot summer temperatures that affect their workouts. However, runners in Colorado are still clearing snow from their path. In fact, there was so much that they could even ski as of last weekend.
Due to late season snowfall in the Rocky Mountains, the organizers of the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half Marathon are still shoveling out trails to prepare for race day. Their crew will have to clear snowdrifts in some areas that are up to seven feet high. With daytime temperatures ranging from high 60’s to low 70’s, the crew is often surrounded by snow while wearing short sleeves.
The June 17th race kicks off the ultramarathon season in Leadville, Colo. It is the first event in the Leadville Race Series. The trail marathon also acts as a qualifying race for the prestigious Leadville Trail 100 later this summer. The popular ultramarathon has a lottery entry system, making the qualifying slots highly coveted. Since the Leadville Trail Marathon is an important first step in a season of ultra racing, crews are working overtime to ensure that the course is ready to go.
“With the May storms this year, we’ve received a considerable amount of late season snow in Leadville. Our team has been working hard shoveling and clearing the snow away for our participants to give them the great race experience Leadville is known for,” said Ken Chlouber, Founder of the Leadville Race Series in a statement.
The Leadville Trail Marathon and Heavy Half Marathon, which is actually 15.5 miles, climbs to an elevation of 13,185 feet. The technical course is not for beginners. However, organizers call it “perfect introduction for those looking to attempt other ultra-endurance events” later in the season. The five-event Leadville Race Series will run from June through August.