Will 2019 be the year the record is broken in the 100-mile bike race?
As far as the race is concerned, 2015 was a great year for cyclists. Two men finished in less than six hours, with Alban Lakata still holding the record set that year at 5 hours, 58 minutes, 35 seconds.
Second in the race was Kristian Hynek, who also came in under six hours.
For the women, Annika Langvad set a record that year by being the first woman to come in at less than seven hours at 6:59:24. That record still stands as well.
Since that time, 2016 saw Todd Wells capture his third win at 6:19:43. Sally Bigham took the win for the women at 7:05:47.
In 2017, Howard Grotts won with a time of 6:15:00, while Larissa Connors won for the women at 7:31:53.
The year 2018 was more of the same with Grotts and Connors winning once again.
The 100-mile bike race got its start in 1994 with only 150 entries. The popularity of the race has increased substantially since then.
Probably the years that attracted the most spectators and publicity were 2008 and 2009. In 2008 Dave Wiens, who won the race six consecutive times, beat Lance Armstrong. In 2009, Armstrong came back to beat Wiens.
Rebecca Rusch has the most consecutive wins for the women at four.
Obtaining a buckle in the 100-mile race is one thing. There is also the competition to gain a slot in the race. Those who competed via the lottery learned their results in January. Other options were available through qualifying races, participation in the MBT training camp and through competing on behalf of one of the Life Time Fitness charities.
This year’s Leadville Trail 100 MTB race starts at 6:30 a.m. Saturday. The 9-hour cutoff to be awarded a large trophy buckle is 3:30 p.m. The final 12-hour cutoff for completion of the race is at 6 p.m.