The Leadville Trail 100 MTB has been known to take its participants to extreme levels of agony and hardship. Approximately 10 hours in the saddle on the Leadville MTB course leaves just about everyone questioning why they just went through that. However, there are those individuals who cherish the struggle of the Leadville Trail 100 MTB and mark it on their calendar each year in excitement. One of those individuals is Todd Murray, a Colorado Springs Detective, who has finished all 24 LT 100 MTB races. This tremendous feat has produced countless memories for Murray, who will go on to share some of his favorite moments from his journey. We are happy to announce that Todd will be toeing the line for this year’s 25th Leadville Trail 100 MTB. This makes Todd one of two participant who will have participated in all 25 mountain bike races. Todd’s unmatched dedication deserves recognition and we are excited to share his stories.
This piece features seven stories from seven different years that Todd participated in the LT 100 MTB and Leadman. It is truly remarkable to see how the race has evolved in the eyes of Todd and what the race has meant to him over the years. Todd perfectly embodies what the Leadville Race Series is all about, and his determination is highlighted throughout these stories and photos. Without further ado, Todd will take us back to 1994 for the first annual Leadville Trail 100 MTB.
1994 – The first year the LT100 mountain bike race was held. I was 32 years old and lucky enough to hear about the race through a friend, Jim Butera, who had helped organize the first LT100 run. I had completed several road bike Century’s and even a double-Century and liked the idea of a mountain bike Century. At the pre-race meeting I remember Ken (Chlouber) telling us all that anyone finishing in under 8 hours would earn the big buckle and anyone under 11 hours would earn the smaller one. I had it in my head that I would be going home with a big buckle. That day only the winner, John Stamstad broke 8 hours (7:52) so at the awards ceremony Ken told us he was changing the cutoff times to 9 hours and 12 hours. I did 9:25 and went home with my tail between my legs, humbled but determined to come back and earn a big buckle. Laurie Brandt was the first female finisher in 9:03 and 19th overall (she would go on to win the race three more times). There were 96 finishers under the 12 hour cutoff out of 142 starters. Barb Dolan became the first person to complete both the 100 mile bike and the 100 mile run in the same year (inspiring what would become the Leadman competition!).