Leadville Trail 100

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Leadville Trail 100
DateAugust 18–19
LocationLeadville, Colorado
Event typeUltramarathon trail run
Distance100-mile (160 km)
Course recordsMatt Carpenter 15:42:59 (2005);
Ann Trason 18:06:24 (1994)
Official sitewww.leadvilleraceseries.com

The Leadville Trail 100 Run (aka The Race Across The Sky or the LT100) is an ultramarathon held annually on rugged trails and dirt roads near Leadville, Colorado, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. First run in 1983, the race course climbs and descends 15,600 feet (4,800 m), with elevations ranging from 9,200 to 12,620 feet (2,800–3,850 m). In most years, fewer than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit.


The course is a 50-mile (80 km) out-and-back dogleg run primarily on the Colorado Trail, starting at 10,200 feet (3,100 m). The centerpiece of the course is the climb up to Hope Pass at 12,620 feet (3,850 m), encountered on both the outbound trek and on the return.

History and records[edit]

In the early 1980s Colorado Ultra Club president Jim Butera had the idea of creating a 100 mile run in Colorado. When Aspen and Vail showed no interest Butera found support by Lake County Commissioner Ken Chlouber to hold the event in Leadville as a way to bring in visitors after the closing of the Climax Molybdenum Mine. Butera designed the course and the first running was held on August 27–28, 1983, with Butera serving as race director with the assistance of Chlouber and Merilee Maupin.[1]

Leadville is one of the four 100-milers in the United States that make up the "Western Slam", completing four western 100-mile (160 km) events: the Leadville 100, the Western States 100 in northern California, the Wasatch Front 100 in Utah, and the Angeles Crest 100 in southern California. Leadville is also a part of the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning (the Vermont 100, Western States 100, Leadville and the Wasatch Front 100, originally Old Dominion 100 instead of Vermont) and an optional part of the Rocky Mountain Slam (Hardrock 100 plus three of four other races in the Rocky Mountains: Leadville, the Bear 100, the Bighorn 100, or the Wasatch Front 100). Leadville is also one of the valid qualifying events for the Western States 100.

Leadville was the venue for the American debut of the Tarahumara runners of Mexico. In 1992 the Tarahumara first showed up to run outside their native environs. Wilderness guide Rick Fisher and ultra-runner Kitty Williams brought some of them to Leadville. However the experiment went bust. The problem, it turned out, was psychosocial, i.e. an unfamiliarity with the trail and the strange ways of the North. The Indians stood shyly at aid stations, waiting to be offered food. They held their flashlights pointed skyward, unaware that these "torches" needed to be aimed forward to illuminate the trail ahead. All five Tarahumara dropped out before the halfway point.[2] The Tarahumara teams came back in 1993 and 1994 and won the Leadville event outright both years. In 1993, 52-year-old Tarahumara runner Victoriano Churro came in first, followed by 41-year-old teammate Cerrildo in second. In 1994, a five-man Tarahumara team took on Ann Trason in a much-publicized race in the ultrarunning community. Twenty-five-year-old Tarahumara runner Juan Herrera won in a record time of 17:30. His mark stood for 8 years until broken by Chad Ricklefs in 2002 (17:23), then again by Paul DeWitt in 2004 and finally by current record holder Matt Carpenter's performance in 2005 (15:42). Trason finished in second place with a time of 18:06, which remains the course record for female runners.

Notable Finishers[edit]

The winner of the first race in 1983 was Skip Hamilton of Aspen, CO., in a time of 20:11:18

Matt Carpenter is the current course record holder. His time of 15 hours and 42 minutes in 2005 shattered the previous Leadville Trail 100 record. The publisher of Colorado Runner magazine, Derek Griffiths, said afterwards, “It was a perfect race for him. He finished in daylight, for crying out loud — no one has ever done that before. I think he has just raised the bar of ultra racing to a whole new level.”

Ann Trason holds the female LT100 record, 18:06:24, which she set in 1994. Trason is widely recognized as one of the greatest ultrarunners of all time, and nearly won the race outright in 1994. Charles Williams holds the record of the oldest man to ever complete the race, which he did at the age of 70 in 1999. He was featured in the August 1999 issue of GQ magazine, which compared his training for the race to that of a professional football player.

Bill Finkbeiner became the first person ever to receive the "Leadville 2000-Mile Buckle" for twenty LT100 finishes in 2003. Finkbeiner has a total of 30 consecutive finishes, starting in 1984.[3] In 2014, Kirk Apt finished his 20th Leadville 100. In 2019, Eric Pence finished his 25th Leadville 100, becoming the third person to earn 25 or more buckles, along with Finkbeiner and Garry Curry.[4]


Men's Winners[5]

Year Winner Time Age State/Country
2023 JP Giblin 17:07:25 29  Colorado
2022 Adrian Macdonald 16:05:44 33  Colorado
2021 Adrian Macdonald 16:18:19 32  Colorado
2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2019 Ryan Smith 16:33:24 40  Colorado
2018 Rob Krar 15:51:57 41  Arizona
2017 Ian Sharman 17:34:51 36  England
2016 Ian Sharman 16:22:39 35  England
2015 Ian Sharman 16:33:53 34  England
2014 Rob Krar 16:09:32 37  Arizona
2013 Ian Sharman 16:30:02 32  England
2012 Thomas Lorblanchet 16:29:28 30  France
2011 Ryan Sandes 16:46:54 20  South Africa
2010 Duncan Callahan 17:43:25 27  Colorado
2009 Timmy Parr 17:27:23 27  Colorado
2008 Duncan Callahan 18:02:39 25  Colorado
2007 Anton Krupicka 16:14:35 24  Nebraska
2006 Anton Krupicka 17:01:56 23  Nebraska
2005 Matt Carpenter 15:42:59 41  Colorado
2004 Paul DeWitt 17:16:19 36  Colorado
2003 Paul Dewitt 17:58:45 35  Colorado
2002 Chad Ricklefs 17:23:18 35  Colorado
2001 Steve Peterson 17:40:53  Colorado
2000 Chad Ricklefs 18:07:57 33  Colorado
1999 Steve Peterson 18:47:31 37  Colorado
1998 Steve Peterson 18:29:21 36  Colorado
1997 Steve Peterson 18:10:45 35  Colorado
1996 Steve Peterson 19:29:56 34  Colorado
1995 Kirk Apt 20:33:05 33  Colorado
1994 Juan Herrera 17:30:42 25  Mexico
1993 Victoriano Churro 20:03:33 52  Mexico
1992 Rick Spady 19:51:10 40  Colorado
1991 Steve Mahieu 19:38:04 44  Colorado
1990 Jim O'Brien 17:55:57 37  Colorado
1989 Sean Crom 18:56:40 33  Colorado
1988 Rick Spady 18:04:03 36  Colorado
1987 Skip Hamilton 18:44:55 42  Colorado
1986 Skip Hamilton 19:26:09 41  Colorado
1985 Jim Howard 19:15:57 30  California
1984 Skip Hamilton 18:43:50 39  Colorado
1983 Skip Hamilton 20:11:18 38  Colorado

Women's Winners[5]

Year Winner Time Age State/Country
2023 Jacquie Mannhard 21:24:55  Colorado
2022 Clare Gallagher 19:37:57 30  Colorado
2021 Annie Hughes 21:06:58 23  Colorado
2020 Cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic
2019 Magdalena Boulet 20:18:06 46  California
2018 Katie Arnold 19:53:40 46  New Mexico
2017 Devon Yanko 20:46:29 35  California
2016 Clare Gallagher 19:00:27 24  Colorado
2015 Elizabeth Howard 19:34:09 43  Texas
2014 Emma Roca 19:38:04 41  Spain
2013 Ashley Arnold 20:25:42 26  Colorado
2012 Tina Lewis 19:33:44 30  Colorado
2011 Lynette Clemons 19:59:06 30  Colorado
2010 Elizabeth Howard 21:19:48 38  Texas
2009 Lynette Clemons 20:58:01 35  Colorado
2008 Helen Cospolich 23:21:53 31  Colorado
2007 Tammy Stone 22:44:54 45  Colorado
2006 Diana Finkel 20:43:19 34  Colorado
2005 Nikki Kimball 20:28:21 34  Montana
2004 Anthea Schmid 20:50:05 32  Colorado
2003 Valerie Caldwell 22:54:16  New Mexico
2002 Anthea Schmid 19:44:24 30  Colorado
2001 Janet Runyan 21:47:44  Colorado
2000 Amanda McIntosh 22:16:17 35  Texas
1999 Amanda McIntosh 22:05:22 34  Texas
1998 Ann Trason 20:58:32 37  California
1997 Julie Arter 24:08:07 36  Colorado
1996 Martha Swatt-Robison 23:30:11 34  Colorado
1995 Linda Lee 22:59:01 39  Colorado
1994 Ann Trason 18:06:24 33  California
1993 Christine Gibbons 20:55:59 31  Colorado
1992 Theresa Daus-Weber 23:37:23 37  Colorado
1991 Alice Thurau 22:10:35 35  Colorado
1990 Ann Trason 20:38:51 29  California
1989 Kathy D'Onofrio 20:50:41 25  Colorado
1988 Ann Trason 21:40:26 27  California
1987 Randi Young 24:12:57 35  Colorado
1986 Maureen Garty 22:45:01 36  Colorado
1985 Marge Hickman 26:57:50 35  Colorado
1984 Teri Gerber 28:17:41 35  California

Leadville Race Series[edit]

The LT100 is one of six races presented under the Leadville Trail 100 banner. The other five events are as follows:

  • Leadville 10K Run: This is an open event the week before the main Trail 100 race, comprising the first and last portions of the full Trail 100 course.
  • Leadville Trail 100 MTB: This mountain bike race was added in 1994. The race was the idea of Tony Post, then a marketing vice president at the Rockport Company, sponsor of the event who arranged for television coverage for both races. The first mountain bike race drew just 150 entrants, while the 2009 edition allowed 1400 entrants. This USA Cycling-sanctioned race is held on a course that roughly parallels the LT100 run course, with some sections in common. It is held the same weekend as the 10K, and has attracted cyclists including Dave Wiens, Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis. In 2010, Levi Leipheimer won the Leadville Trail 100 MTB in a then record time of 6:16:37, breaking the previous course record of 6:28:50 set in 2009 by Armstrong. The current course record is 5:58:35, set in 2015 by Alban Lakata. Howard Grotts, of Durango CO., has won the last three editions of the race, most notably in 2019 when a number of world tour road professionals competed in the race.
  • Silver Rush 50 MTB: This race is a USAC-sanctioned 50-mile (80 km) mountain bike race through the mining districts east of Leadville in late July.
  • Silver Rush 50 Run: This is a 50-mile trail run introduced in 2008 that follows the same route as the MTB course. The event occurs the day after the MTB event. Competitors who complete both Silver Rush events are recognized with a Silver Queen or Silver King award.
  • Leadville Trail Marathon: This is a 26.2-mile (42.2 km) marathon through the mining districts east of Leadville, is held in June each year. The midpoint of the course is at Mosquito Pass, with an altitude of 13,185 feet (4,019 m). In 2006, a "heavy" half marathon event of 15 miles was added, which is run on the same day and also goes to the top of Mosquito Pass.

A competitor who officially finishes the Trail 100 Run, Trail 100 MTB, the Marathon, the Silver Rush bike or run, and the 10K is called a "Leadman" or "Leadwoman", a title which nods to the Ironman Triathlon. Charles Bybee currently holds the most Leadman titles, with 10 years of finishing all events (2007-2010, 2012–2017).[citation needed] In 2015, Junko Kazukawa completed the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and the Leadwoman series, becoming the first person to complete both events in a single year.[6][7] In 2019 Dion Leonard became the first male to complete the Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and the Leadman series in one year.[8]

All events of the 2020 edition of the race series were cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, with all registrants given a deferral and a refund option for each race.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Colorado Encyclopedia". 10 April 2020.
  2. ^ Don Kardong in Runner's World, March 1995 v30 n3 p84(8)
  3. ^ "Auburn, CA - the Endurance Capital of the World". Archived from the original on 2006-06-15. Retrieved 2006-06-23.
  4. ^ https://www.facebook.com/leadvilleraceseries/posts/766126816786350 [user-generated source]
  5. ^ a b Leadville Trail 100 Results
  6. ^ Fields, Jenn (December 25, 2015). "Denver woman completes Grand Slam of Ultrarunning and Leadwoman". The Denver Post. Denver, Colorado. Archived from the original on 4 June 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  7. ^ Smith, Tonia (January 28, 2016). "Junko Kazukawa: Grand Slammer, Leadwoman, 2x Cancer Survivor". UltraRunning Magazine. Bend, Oregon. Archived from the original on 18 May 2017. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Dion Leonard: 2 series, 8 races, 3 months, 936 km". www.waa-ultra.com. Retrieved 2021-03-13.
  9. ^ "2020/2021 LRS Cancellations, Deferral Info, and FAQs".

External links[edit]