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Behind every athlete on a start line lies a strong motivational force. What that motivating force actually is depends on the individual. For some it may be winning their first race, and for others it may be finishing their first race. The sources of motivation are endless, so we wanted to find out what drives our previous champions when they toe a starting line. Check out what drives some of the best ultra-endurance athletes on the planet.

Going back to my fundamental “why”. That is looking at my fundamental value system for why I pursue the goals I do. The more personal and deeply connected I feel to the process the easier it is to get fired up. Also remembering that there will always be moments in races and training when things get hard, when we want to quit but just because the negative thought comes up doesn’t mean we need to indulge it. – Devon Yanko, 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion


Knowing in the core of my heart that I’ll be a better person the rest of the day if I get out the door and get it done. – Rob Krar, 2-Time Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion (Pictured)


Thinking about what my competition is doing at the moment. If they are sucking it up and getting the intervals done and I’m getting soft I won’t stand a chance on Columbine, so I think about the women I will have to race with and imagine them nailing a crazy hard workout, and then get my butt out the door to get it done. – Larissa Connors, 2-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion


Imagining cycling up the red carpet after riding my best ever LT100!  – Sally Bigham, 3-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion (Pictured)


Most professional cyclists don’t lack motivation to ride, no matter how bad it gets. The hard part for me was never the training, it was the time away from my family and the diet. When you’re training or racing in some far off foreign land and not getting the results you hope for, it can be hard to keep the moral high. It’s easy to get home sick, eat poorly and too much. I always found surrounding myself with positive people and making as many mini trips home as possible worked bet for me. This probably isn’t the most relevant information for most people training for Leadville. I think the majority of people that sign up for Leadville are highly motivated, it’s knowing that putting in the work now will get you the results you’re hoping for on race day. – Todd Wells, 3-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion


Knowing how great and satisfied I’ll feel when I spend the rest of the day on the couch! – Annika Langvad, 2015 Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion and course record holder

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