Why tackle five to six Leadville Race Series events over 50 days all at more than 10,000 feet in elevation? Well, why not? It is, after all, the Leadville way. Ninety-nine athletes attempted the beastly competition, one of the toughest in the United States. Thirty-five completed it. Tim Waggoner came out on top!
Tim Waggoner (Golden, CO)
Total time: 37:45:55
You were the very first to register for Leadman. Did you plan it that way? When did you first decide you had to take on the challenge?
I had given a bit of thought to Leadman, so when registration opened I wanted to commit immediately. I woke up the morning after I registered and did a long run at 3:00 am.
The big question: Why? What was it about the challenge of Leadman that made it a must-do for you?
My first 100-mile run was Leadville (2010) and I placed 6th. Then I did the 100-mile mountain bike the next year (2011) and I rode it in 8:40. It made sense then to try Leadman.
How has the recovery been? Do you have any lingering aches and pains?
I've taken five weeks off from running so any issues I might have had are healed. So, no, nothing.
You reported on your blog that you didn't feel so great during the marathon. How did you pull your running legs together for the 100-miler?
I didn't feel great during the marathon but I still ran quite well. I had placed second at the Mt. Evans Ascent a couple of weeks prior, so I knew my fitness was there. I think I had just biked a bit too much before the marathon. It was just an off day and my fitness was fine heading into the LT100 Run.
How do you go from a 100-mile mountain bike race to a 100-mile foot race in a week? What did you have to do during the week between the two to make sure you were recovered (at least, recovered enough)?
I trained completely focused on the 100-mile run and rode the 100-mile bike as easy as possible, trying only to not lose too much time to the other Leadman competitors. So I came out of the 100 bike feeling quite good (I was able to place 4th overall in the next morning's 10K). Recovery from the bike wasn't much of an issue. I increased my fat intake to reduce inflammation and I did just a couple of easy recovery runs to loosen up. But ultimately I wasn't recovered enough as I did have muscle breakdown early in the 100-mile run.
Which event was the toughest?
None of them stand out as the toughest because they all mattered. The 10K hurt! Troy Howard, who is an amazing athlete, was on my tail the entire series, so every race was truly a race. But of course the 100-mile run is just brutal. In the 10K I hurt for 15 minutes and in the 100-mile run I hurt for 15 HOURS.
You said at the end (the very last mile of the LT100 Run, and effectively of Leadman) that you were finally “satisfied.” What did you mean by that, exactly?
I've been doing endurance/ultra events for ~16 years now. I've raced 15 Ironmans and placed 12th at Ironman Hawaii. Leadman left me feeling like I could finally, maybe, step away and not chase these events. But I did find myself recently thinking that I can go faster at Leadman. If the opportunity came up, I could go back to Leadman! The entire series was just FUN. The race organization is top notch and I love the Leadville races.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to attempt Leadman next year? How can someone know if they are ready to attempt a challenge of this magnitude?
For me, it was doing the 100-mile run and then the next year the 100-mile bike. I think you need to finish both first (or at least the 100-mile run) because they are really the key to the event. As far as advice goes, bike a ton over the winter and then focus almost solely on the run in the five to six months leading up to the 100-mile run.
Tell us about your next goal on the track. Where did that come from?
I wanted a goal that would be a huge challenge. My goal of running a sub 53-second 400m on the track is about as far from my current fitness as possible! That goal is ridiculous and I'll need to do everything perfectly to hit it. I have run a 49-second 400... but that was 21 years ago. I'm 41 years old now. It's a ridiculous goal... but I'll hit it.