There is no place I’d rather be in August than the Rocky Mountains of central Colorado. The weather is near perfect and there are so many fun outdoor activities to take in, including race spectating. Since I’ve been in Vail there has been a half marathon and a 10k, both of which I did not run and unfortunately also missed as a spectator. The D.C. area has no shortage of running events, and the like, happening pretty much every weekend. Here it is a bit different, though- at least for me. Pretty much all of the races usually involve trails and mountains, which are more my kind of thing. Yesterday I decided to head to Leadville and catch a bit of the mountain bike race. I hung around the finish, soaked up the excitement, took a few pictures with my cell phone and conversed with a few athletes and vendors. Witnessing the top male finishers cross the line was a thrill, as was watching Rebecca Rusch capture her third consecutive win, shattering her own course record time by 15 minutes. What an athlete!
In just over a week I will also have the pleasure of spectating the USA Pro Cycling Challenge as it passes through Vail and nearby towns. Top riders from the Tour de France (Cadel Evans, Schleck brothers, Ivan Basso, etc.) are among the athletes expected to compete. The same week will also deliver runners from the TransRockies to Vail and Avon (Beaver Creek). Friends from D.C. and a few other places are set to compete. Catching up with them at the event stages will be a lot of fun as well. The number of high caliber pro and amateur athletes who live Colorado is nothing short of remarkable. Add to that the number of athletes who descend on the Rocky Mountains each summer (and winter for winter sports) to train and compete. It is no wonder there are so many great events held in Colorado, all of which make for fun spectating.
Here are a few visuals from yesterday's Leadville 100 mountain bike race:
|Winner: Olympian, Todd Wells.|
|Alban Lakata, the beast from Austria, taking 2nd.|
|Co-Outdoor Mag mutant, Alex Grant, taking 3rd.|
|Finish line media. Obviously a popular event.|
|Next up the run. Runners, take your mark!|