By Dave Wiens

Congratulations! By being chosen to start the Leadville Trail 100 MTB, you have just been awarded a journey. Well, two journeys, actually. The first is a long one and it begins now, today. It entails your training and preparation. You will spend the next five months on this particular journey, and while you may not expect it, this part of the experience will alone change your life. I encourage you to write something down about your training and preparation every day between now and the race. Not necessarily the numbers, your heart rates or your wattage or your nutrition or your intervals. Instead focus on recording where you rode, who you rode with, what the day was like, what was on your mind, what you saw and felt. As the years go on, you will never regret pulling this out and reading it.

The second journey begins with a shotgun blast in downtown Leadville on Saturday, August 9, at 6:30 a.m. sharp. This journey is shorter, lasting only several hours. And if you’ve trained well and heeded Ken Chlouber’s advice, this journey will culminate in success later that day as you crest that final hill, returning to where you started. That morning will seem like it was a year ago as Merilee hangs a finisher’s medal around your neck. This journey too will change your life and make you a better, stronger person. Enjoy!