You all know of our “Last Ass Over the Pass” award, but do any of you remember our coveted “Jackass” Award? Well, we had one and while its history was short lived, it proved to be quite colorful! Color that came from you, our hard-headed stubborn athletes. Athletes so hard-headed that the Jackass was the only comparison we could come up with, because when a Leadville Trail 100 athlete gets an idea in one’s head, well, it typically isn’t something your opinion will sway theirs on. Let me give you some examples with the brief history of this colorful award.
We often had many friends who were up to antics that we thought would end their 100 mile journey but it wasn’t until Rebel that one of those ideas seemed so bad that it was time to create said Jackass award. That’s right, we decided to create such an award after learning about our buddy ole’ Reb “Rebel” Wickersham of Woodland Park and the time when he decided he wanted to run the race even though he’d been at the hospital a day prior. And this wasn’t for a physical or normal checkup, oh no. This was the time when Rebel was learning of his life-threatening blood clots. So, what’s any smart man with very serious blood clots do? Go try to run 100 miles in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of course! And darn it, if Rebel didn’t try to do just that! Darn it Rebel, we love ya, try that again and we’ll kill you!
The following year Buena Vista resident and Buffalo Joe rafting outfitter/owner, Pete Makris, must have felt he had a good shot at the now infamous award because he became a recipient. Now Pete’s story is a bit more amusing and a lot less deadly. Pete’s Jackass award came after he thought he had lost 7% of his body weight (back in the day you could lose 7% of your body weight or 10 lbs., any more and we pull you for medical concerns). We all watched as Pete came running in to make weight. What we didn’t get to watch? The scene of stuffing his shorts full of rocks to make up the 7% of body weight he thought he’d lost. What we learned was that Pete has stuffed enough rocks in his shorts to be up 7% in weight at the medical check. The rocks were discovered, stripped from Pete and replaced with his new hardware at the award ceremony. It should also be noted that Pete had made weight and finished that year.
If these two stories don’t sound good enough we have more! The next year it was our good buddy Errol “the arrow” Jones of Arkansas who would be the recipient of this prestigious piece of hardware. And why did Errol receive it? Errol dropped out of our race for not having hydrated enough and having run out of water. Now, please note that Errol did have water available. In fact, it might be the best water known to man, Leadville tap water. It was at the aid station. It was with almost every crew member. But not Errol’s, nope! Errol believed our water was dirty. Should Errol ever return I wonder if he’d drink the water today in fear of a different “high” the Leadville water might now produce.
Heck, even that cowboy I call dad, race founder Ken Chlouber, took home the coveted Jackass award one year. This was a week before the Leadville Trail 100 Run and dad was in New Orleans partying it up. Our California cutoff king and queen Mike and Sandy Monahan did not think this was a good look and they were concerned about dad’s big race. After dad was pulled for his haphazard training regimen the Jackass Award electoral committee felt his actions were enough to secure the Jackass trophy and so it was to be.
Fitting enough, the Jackass award ended after that day. The award was done away with as there were some really stupid things occurring for a shot at the Jackass Award and we didn’t want to see how far it would go or unsafe it could get. So there you have it, the quick history of our shortest lived award and most colorful: The Jackass Award.