Riders Take Home Coveted Champion Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Belt Buckles
LEADVILLE, Colo. (Aug. 12, 2017) – Today nearly 1,500 riders from all 50 states and 35 countries participated in the 24th Annual Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike (MTB) 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. MST start, Howard Grotts (United States) and Larissa Connors (United States) emerged as the 2017 champions. In the male division, Grotts crossed the finish line in 6:14:54, followed in second place by three-time champion Todd Wells (United States) who finished in 6:18:24. Payson McElveen (United States) rounded out the top three in 6:36:08. All top three male finishers hail from Durango, Colorado. In the female division, Connors finished in 7:31:51 followed by Andrea Dvorak (United States) in second place in 7:58:18 and Anne Perry (United States) in 8:18:53. Another notable participant, Sugarland guitarist Thad Beaty, kicked off the race by playing the National Anthem, finishing in 11:49:21.
“This was first time doing the Leadville Trail 100 so I really wanted to take it conservatively. I knew I couldn’t dig too deep but at the same time I knew I had to go as fast as I could,” said Grotts. “I ended up winning by four minutes at the end but until that point, I had no idea if it was four minutes or one minute. I’m sure I’ll be back. The fans, the crew, the racers, the scenery, it’s all pretty special here.”
“There were a lot of strong women out there and I was terrified the whole time, so once I was in the lead I just panicked for the last seven hours of the ride,” said Connors. “I just rode panicked thinking how strong they were.”
Leadville’s own Ty Hall competed as Transamerica’s Go-Giver to help raise money for the Leadville Legacy Foundation. As the Go-Giver, Hall started at the back of the race and passed fellow MTBers to raise awareness and funds to support the needs of the Leadville community. This year, Hall passed more than 1,300 riders during the race and raised more than $5,900 for the Leadville Legacy Foundation.
Also this year, “One Arm Willie” Stewart and Andre Szucs raced to raise awareness and funds for the Challenged Athletes Foundation to help support people with physical challenges by providing access to sports and physical fitness. Both Stewart and Szucs are accomplished Paralympic athletes as Stewart lost one arm in a construction accident and Szucs was born without a lower right leg. Additionally, Stewart is vying to become the first Challenged Athlete to earn the title of Leadman. Each Leadman candidate must complete the Leadville Trail Marathon, Leadville Silver Rush 50-Mile Mountain Bike or Silver Rush 50-Mile Trail Run, Leadville Trail 100 MTB and the Leadville Trail 10K Run.
The inaugural Leadville 100 Mountain Bike event launched in 1994 with 113 finishers and now in its 24th year, endurance athletes worldwide make the pilgrimage to Leadville, Colo., with the single goal of competing in ‘The Race Across the Sky’.
“Congratulations to Howard and Larissa on their amazing wins today and to all competitors who had the guts and determination to cross the finish line—we welcome you with open arms into our Leadville family,” said Ken Chlouber, Founder of the Leadville Race Series. “After 24 years of being a part of the 100 MTB event, 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.”
The 2017 Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Race Series concludes Saturday, Aug. 19, with nearly 700 participants running the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Trail 100 Run presented by New Balance. The legendary “Race Across the Sky” 100-Mile Trail Run began in 1983 and still draws thousands of participants to Leadville each year for a demanding 100-mile out-and-back run course with total elevation range, or climb, of more than 18,000 feet.
About Leadville Race Series
Started with only 45 runners as the Leadville Trail 100 in 1983, the Leadville Race Series now consists of six running events, the Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, and six mountain biking events in the Leadville Qualifying Series. The Race Series stretches across three months, and hosts thousands of racers on foot and on mountain bike in some of the world’s most iconic events. Endurance athletes worldwide now make the pilgrimage to Leadville, Colo., with the single goal of competing in “The Race Across the Sky.” Visit www.leadvilleraceseries.com for more information.
About Life TimeSM, The Healthy Way of Life Company
Life Time is a privately held, comprehensive healthy living, healthy aging and healthy entertainment Lifestyle Company that offers a personalized and scientific approach to long-term health and wellness. Through its portfolio of distinctive resort-like destinations, athletic events and corporate health services, the Healthy Way of Life Company helps members achieve their goals everyday with the support of a team of dedicated professionals and an array of proprietary health assessments. As of August 12, 2017, the company operates 127 centers in 27 states and 35 major markets under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information is available at www.lifetimefitness.com.
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