24-Hour Gritness

Leadville has seen rushes on gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper and even molybdenum. But the town’s most recent rush may prove to be its most enduring: At 10,152 feet, the highest incorporated city in the U.S. has positioned itself as a mecca for high-altitude endurance athletes. Now that the Leadville Trail 100 events have struck a vein, founder Ken Chlouber is mining it for all it’s worth. “In Leadville, we don’t do level,” Chlouber boasts. “You’re either climbing up or barreling down.”

This weekend’s 12/24 Hours of Leadville is a new mountain-bike race sanctioned by USA Cycling, with 12-hour and 24-hour races for solo competitors and teams. And riders can expect to be lapped, over and over again, by Rebecca Rusch — this year’s Leadville Trail 100 women’s champion and new course record holder.

Registration is $350 for solo riders in the 24-hour race and $175 for the 12-hour option, with discounts for teams. The ride starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday at the base of Dutch Henri Hill (Cloud City Ski Hut). For more information, visit www.LeadvilleTrail100.com.
Sat., Sept. 4, 2010