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This one is for all of the first-timers out there! Any ultra distance event is a massive undertaking and the unknown of the race can be a little (or a lot) unnerving. Most first-time athletes line up on race day in hopes of just making it to the finish line in one piece, which we completely understand. To provide a little more support, we spoke to some of our veteran athletes to share some advice for those taking on the ultra distance for the first time.

Go out there with the intent to learn. You’ve never done this before, enjoy the beginners mindset and being able to learn from what comes up during the race. I think the goal of a first ultra should always be #1 to finish. – Devon Yanko, 2017 Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion (pictured)


Focus on the journey and not on the result. It’s the 99% that nobody ever sees that is most meaningful when it’s all said and done. – Rob Krar, 2-Time Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion


Be progressive and draw on your experiences from shorter races to face problems that might occur in an ultra. – Emma Roca, 2014 Leadville Trail 100 Run Champion (pictured)


Don’t overthink it, just bring your hunger for adventure and go for it! – Annika Langvad, 2015  Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion


HAVE FUN! Even if you are the most competitive pro out there I don’t think it’s worth it to toe the line if you aren’t having the time of your life, so enjoy every freaking minute of it. 100 miles may seem long, but it’s going to be over before you know it and if you don’t savor every pedal stroke, why did you stress so much about the training and everything leading up to the race?! Also enjoy the process, the training, the registration, the nerves at the start, enjoy it all, it’s all such a cool experience we are lucky to share! – Larissa Connors, 2-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion


Enjoy the training – you must make it fun – and come race day soak up the atmosphere of the race, enjoy the crowds and their support, and smile. Remember where you are and how lucky you are to be there. – Sally Bigham, 3-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion (pictured)


Just have fun,  racing is awesome. If possible try to ride the trails in the area before the race so you are somewhat familiar with the terrain. Make sure your equipment is in good working order the week leading up to the event. Make a checklist of things you don’t want to forget and make sure your necessities when you head off to the race, everything else you can make do with out. If you can find a friend to do the race with that will make it even more fun and less stressful. It’s always better to have someone to share a new experience with. – Todd Wells, 3-Time Leadville Trail 100 MTB Champion

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