Writing to you all today is hard and finding the right words seems impossible. For the last 38 years, the races that make up the Leadville Race Series have been a constant in the lives of Ken and Merilee, the staff and athletes that came before us, and the Leadville community. Each year, when June rolls around, we begin a 3-month long celebration with our family – the Leadville Family. Maybe that’s what makes writing this so hard…our team’s identity, who we are together, is the Leadville Race Series. We live it, we breathe it, we spend every waking moment, week after week, intimately interacting with thousands of extended family members milling around the town that was, in 1982, destined to be a ghost town, and since then, thriving due in large part to you all.
The Leadville community is our WHY. It is the reason Ken Chlouber founded the Leadville Trail 100 Run. The reason so many events followed to make up a Race Series. The reason Life Time made a long-standing promise to preserve these events and the community. And the reason so many of you keep coming back. Being a part of something greater than ourselves is one of the most fulfilling parts of this community, and we are so lucky to have you as a part of it.
For the last few months we have watched as the COVID-19 pandemic has made waves around the world. We’ve spent that time working in close partnership with city and county agencies to make the best, safest and most educated decision possible for the wellbeing of our community as well as yours. Here is our reality:
- Leadville’s hospital and medical resources are limited and cannot assume the risk of widespread outbreak.
- Our participants come from 40 countries and 50 states. We can’t control the precautions taken in communities outside of our own, and that comes with risk.
- Colorado has placed capacities on event gatherings that would greatly impact our event starting lines. It is undetermined when these will be lifted, but we’re told it will not be this summer.
After countless conversations and exploring many options, the Lake County officials voted yesterday, May 12th, in favor of the decision to cancel all special events through the summer of 2020. While it breaks our hearts, we fully agree with and support their decision. This cancellation includes the Silver Rush Event Weekend, Stages Cycling Leadville Stage Race, Stages Cycling Leadville Trail 100 MTB, Leadville 10k, and Leadville Trail 100 Run presented by La Sportiva, in addition to the June cancellations of the Leadville Trail Marathon and our LT100 Training Camps.
We are nothing short of devastated for our participants as we know how hard you have trained and looked forward to this summer’s events, and for our Leadville community, whose unwavering support each year has allowed us to provide the experiences we’re so lucky to create. It shouldn’t be lost on any of us the huge economic loss this will inflict on our local businesses and we encourage you to help us help them in whatever way we can.
So, what’s next? Where do we go from here?
We have provided options for each individual event that allow you to defer your entry, donate your entry fee to the Life Time Foundation, the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation, your local NICA chapter, or receive a refund of your entry fee. Those options and directions on how to proceed have been emailed to all participants.
We know for a fact that we’re going to come out on the other side of this. We will miss you and our finisher hugs so deeply this summer, and will think of you constantly. In the meantime, we can promise you that we will make 2021 the best year yet.
Expect to hear from us soon, as we roll out new options for all of our athletes to experience Leadville in new and innovative ways. Don’t forget why you signed up for these races in the first place. Keep your head up, your mind strong and stay Leadville Tough.
Upward and dreaming of 2021,
The Leadville Race Series Team