Over the course of 100 miles, every athlete is bound to go through a rough patch or two. What separates those who finish from those who don’t is the ability to push through the dark times and dig deep. It can be a trusty Snickers Bar, a memory of you getting out of a rough patch from a prior race, or the thought of an ice-cold beer at the finish line. Whatever it may be, we all have our own special trick to push through the tough times in a race. Read how some of our past champions were able to push through their rough patches below.

Remembering that there will always be highs and lows and that one (or 20) bad miles doesn’t equal a bad race. Things will always get better (and then worse and then better). Just try and remain focused on the next goal whether that is the next aid station or the finish line. – Devon Yanko, 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion


Reminding myself that the tough parts of the race are what it’s all about and what will mean the most to overcome. Anyone can run well when they feel good, but success comes from doing that through the hardest sections. – Ian Sharman, 4-Time Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion (Pictured


Reminding myself that I choose to be here, that it’s supposed to hard, and that I can work through the low points and still have the race of my life. – Rob Krar, 2-Time Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion


 Anything with chocolate taste! – Annika Langvad, 2015 Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion and course record holder


Thinking about ice cream. Hahaha, this is 100% true of almost every 100 mile race I’ve done (about 15 in the last 2 years). Also I think about Ken saying ‘You can do more than you think you can’ and that helps a LOT! – Larissa Connors, 2-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion (Pictured)


Knowing that I don’t want to miss the goosebumps and sheer thrill of turning the last corner, cresting the hill and crossing the finishing line! – Sally Bigham, 3-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion 


Knowing everyone is suffering and anything can happen. In such a long race not only are mechanicals a real possibility but people crack all the time. One year when I won Kristian Hynek had dropped me so badly on columbine he was minutes ahead of me at powerline. He blew up, I caught him on the descent and wound up winning the race. You have to keep pushing because you never know what’s going to happen. – Todd Wells, 3-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion