The Leadville 100 is more a test of endurance than a test of athleticism.

Although Ricklefs says he constantly worried about Peterson suddenly appearing behind him, it never happened. He crossed the finish line at eighteen hours, seven minutes and 57 seconds -- the sixth-fastest time in the history of the event. About 75 people waited under bright event lights, shivering in Leadville's brisk night air -- it had rained early in the race, but the sky was now clear and filled with stars -- and they broke into raucous cheers as he broke the tape.

Patrick Merewether

Peterson followed, about 25 minutes later, paced by a thin man with a long beard and ponytail; he was met at the finish by Yo and other Divine Madness members. (By the time the third- and fourth-place finishers arrived, after twenty hours of running, the reception crowd had dwindled to a half-dozen people.) Despite his second-place finish and the enthusiastic reception of his supporters, Peterson was clearly disappointed. Several minutes after he'd finished the hundred miles, he looked away from his friends and told them, "I just want to walk alone for a while," then struck off down Leadville's midnight streets at a brisk walk.

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