Todd Mozzer is a Leadville veteran, and this year he's taking on the Epic Challenge to complete four Leadville events. But his races aren't about personal achievement. He races to raise funds and awareness for two important causes: the search for a cure for the genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis, and the fight against childhood sexual abuse through his organization, Ask Why Eight.
Meet Todd Mozzer.
What do your friends call you?
Tool Time or Todd
What is your claim to fame?
I can fix anything and am persistent until I accomplish what I have set out to do.
What was your most memorable experience at LT100?
I was at the last aid station with 10 miles left to the finish. I was sitting down just wiped, no energy left, and one of the volunteers said, "Todd if you get on your bike right now and don't stop until you get to the finish, you will get a belt buckle." I looked at the volunteer and told him "Dude I don't wear a belt."
I made it across the finish with the belt buckle being the farthest thing from my mind and didn't attend the award ceremony the following day. A month later, a representative of Life Time Fitness called to confirm my sweatshirt size because I was a 12-hour finisher. I asked, "Did I get a buckle?" She responded, "You were the last belt buckle receiver of the race." I thought that it would have been a cool experience to receive the last buckle at the awards ceremony. However, finishing the race was not about the buckle.
What was your worst moment at LT100?
Two years ago was my first attempt at the LT100 and I didn't have a support team at the aid stations. I was at the base of Columbine with no fuel or water and the leaders had already passed me going the other way. I made it to the top of Columbine and back and felt fairly decent without any fuel, but at the nine-hour mark I was pulled from the course. I had never participated in an event in which I was pulled the course. To add to the agony, I knew I was still 15 miles from my car and there was no SAG wagon. I rode back to my car with my head down, feeling empty that I had not accomplished what I had set out to do.
What are your goals for this race season?
My goal is to raise $100,000.00 for Ask Why Eight. Ask Why Eight is a public acknowledgement bringing awareness and support to those who have been affected by childhood sexual abuse.
What is your favorite training ride?
I generally don't like to ride on the road and prefer to stay in the woods. If I had to pinpoint my new favorite ride, I'd have to say it's a one-way ride from Glastonbury to Stonnington Borough, Conn.
What is your favorite pre-race dinner?
A 16-oz rib-eye steak cooked medium rare with asparagus spears.
What is your favorite race morning breakfast?
Scrambled eggs and a chocolate glazed donut.
What is your strategy for staying fueled during a race?
Drink and eat before my lips get dry - it's always in my thoughts.
How do you stay motivated in the middle of a race?
I think about my son, Trevor, and his fight for a cure for neurofibromotosis. Neurofibromotosis is a genetic disorder in which tumors grow along nerve endings. One in 4,000 are born with the genetic disorder.
Who motivates you out on the trail?
It used to be my dogs but now it is the eight-year-old boy inside who was sexually abused.
What is the first thing you do when the race is over?
Cry. Tears come to my eyes and I think about the accomplishment of finishing the race.
What advice do you have for first-timers?
It's all in your mind. Put your mind to it and the rest will follow.
What advice for returning riders who want to better their time?
My motivation for racing has never been about the time but about the endeavor and the journey, from the training to the finish.
Want to learn more about Todd, his causes and his road to Leadville? Visit toddmozzer.com.