26 Feb Leadville Trail 100 Run. A land of hope.
Text: J.J. Alcaide
A new opportunity.L
eadville was burned into Henry’s mind as a new opportunity. A new hope to provide for his family. He knew it would be hard work and how difficult it would be to stay away from his wife and children, but he had no choice. The gold rush had also captivated others who left their homes and began moving to Lake City. After several weeks, Henry reached his destination. He did not carry luggage, just a small bag where he kept some bread and water. He watched as the timber to build cabins was cut and collected, and he set to work. He was surprised by the friendly atmosphere there, and even how they helped each other. Days passed, but the clear image of his family was still in his mind. He collected the soil and went to the river to kneel and sieve it, in hope of finding the desired gold stone. Months passed by without finding any. Until one day, luck was on his side and a nugget shone in his hands. Excitement glowed on his face, bright in his eyes. That night he dreamed he would come home and that his family would never be poor again.
However, fate would not make it so easy. In the following months, new waves of workers came, which coincided with the rise of the silver market. The cabins were multiplying and the atmosphere was no longer the same. Every day there was more work to be done and fewer benefits to gain. The massive looting of the lands gave way for the last of the sand of the times of glory to run out, welcoming decay. Anxiety and greed took control of the human mind. Desperation drowned in liters of alcohol, and envy rummaged pockets under the accomplice of the night. Faces were tired and broken, the looks were sad and dull. Henry watched as his dream slipped through his fingers and he could not bear the thought of failing his family. One night he came up with the idea of stealing from his companions, of even ending their lives if necessary. At that moment, a part of him died. He no longer recognized himself, he did not know who he was anymore, he was on the verge of madness. Fate wanted to send a sign and suddenly a shot rang out. As he emerged from his cabin, Henry discovered the lifeless body of one of his companions and rushed to his aid, but it was too late. Tears covered his face as he shouted words that no one could understand.
This event made him rethink his stay in Leadville. His head kept spinning, and though he did not want to admit it, he knew he was no better than the others.His mind had also played tricks on him because he had wanted to take on more than he could. All this devoured him from inside and he could not forgive it. He had trouble remembering the image of his family and wondered if it was time to return. There was enough gold in his pockets to keep on going, though without the opulence. He was not entirely sure, but the desire to hug them pushed him back home. The reunion made his eyes fill with tears again, but this time with happiness. Henry will never forget all that Leadville taught him.
LT100. The race across the sky.
Leadville is a magical place.
For 34 years, this rugged mountain town has welcomed racers with a monumental challenge. Every year brings a fresh crop of anxious and energetic athletes just waiting to test themselves in Colorado’s high country. As you place one foot in front of the other and witness our breathtaking views, the scale of your challenge will begin to sink in. There will be highs and lows and water crossings thrown in for good fun. And as the hours tick by, the sun will rise, then fall…and, for some, rise again. The further you get on this beautiful course, the more you will depend on your incredible crew of family and friends to get you back home. Our goal is to give you every opportunity to succeed. We have made some changes and are hopeful that you feel the benefits. Please be courteous to your fellow athletes and show respect to the course. You have spent countless hours preparing for this day and are definitely ready to toe the line.
Leadville’s magic has been here for over 100 years and soon it will be in you! Thanks for running with us.
Josh Colley, Race Director.