Leadville 100 Adds Qualifiers as Lottery Entry Deadline Looms

, , | UltraRob | Saturday, January 29th, 2011 at 8:33 am

Leadville 100 Start

The Deadline to enter the entry lottery for the Leadville 100 mountain bike race is Monday January 31st at 8pm (MST). If you plan on entering and haven’t yet, I’d enter right away. I ended up needing to email them since I had issues logging into my account from last year.

Being able to enter as a team returned this year after that option was removed last year. Teams of up to 4 can enter and then either all or none will get into the lottery.

Lifetime Fitness announced this week that they will be adding qualifier races as another way to get into the race this year. There will be 3 qualifiers this year and will expand to eight races by 2013. This year’s three races will be held in June and July in California, Colorado and the Northeast. Peter Spencer of Lifetime Fitness told me through email that the races will be around 100k in length.

Each of the races will have 100 Leadville 100 race spots up for grabs. 50 spots will be weighted per age group for the top age group finishers. Peter said that the other “50 spots will be a drawing at the race event for all other finishers under a designated cutoff time (which will be lenient) to allow everyone a chance at the other 50 spots.”

When I asked Peter about whether the field limit would be staying the same he said, “It will increase to 1700 – Last year they actually had 1600 entered into the race. I think 1400 or a little over showed up. Our goal is to not take away from anyone’s chances of getting in via the lottery – just increasing their chances with adding the qualifying series.”

The reaction was mixed on the announcement of qualifiers on the Yahoo Leadville 100 list. Riders that have finished near the cut-off feared their days of doing the race were over. Others were concerned that the race was just being used for profit by big corporations.

I’m no longer fast (I finished 17th overall in 8:18 in 2003) but want to add to my 5 belt buckles and get to the 1,000 mile buckle. The race has grown bigger than I’d like; however, part of the fun of doing the race after the start congestion is there are so many racers and spectators on the course.

With the addition of qualifiers, I think they can add racers that likely will be toward the front of the race where it tends to get more spread out and not cause problems. The 50 that get in by drawing that aren’t the fastest at the qualifiers will at least have demonstrated they should be able to finish and most likely have decent handling skills.

One of the problems since Lance Armstrong raced and the Race Across the Sky movies were made, people have signed up and gotten in that had no fitness or skills for being in the race. The qualifiers will give a chance to those that think they’re good enough that they should be allowed to race to prove it and get to race.

Although I liked the race better when there were half as many racers, the fact is it’s become much bigger and popular. I’m happy that Lifetime Fitness is trying different things to make the race better. Yes, some of it may be so they’ll get more exposure and profit but I rode with Bahram, Lifetime Fitness founder, while training on the Columbine Climb and feel that he really does care about the experience of the race.

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4 responses to “Leadville 100 Adds Qualifiers as Lottery Entry Deadline Looms”

  1. Art Fleming says:

    The actual number of entries for 2010 according to Milliseconds timing was 1,564….of that 531 were DNF (306) plus DNS (225), fully 1/3rd of the field….regards, Art

  2. UltraRob says:

    Art, thanks for the entry breakdown. I was being lazy and didn’t bother looking them up.

  3. […] lodging. If you don’t have that kind of money, you can still try to get in through the new Leadville 100 qualifying races. There are also plenty of other 100 mile mountain bike races so there’s no reason to be too […]

  4. […] to the lottery to get into the Leadville 100 mountain bike race that they were going to have 3 qualifying races this year. By 2013 they plan to have 8 qualifying races. At the time, the race locations weren’t […]

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