Here at Inside Trail we’re getting excited for the upcoming weekend of racing. We’ve been learning more about South African Ryan Sandes and like what we’re seeing. He’s been getting in high altitude training, beginning with his pacing duties for Julien Chorier at the Hardrock 100 and continuing with a month of training in and around Leadville, CO in preparation for this Saturday’s Leadville 100, his first attempt at the distance. Ryan seems to be fitting in well with the crusty, tough mining town folks as seen here hanging out with Caballo Blanco in a local coffee shop.
When not schmoozing with barefoot runners, he’s been busy covering every foot of the Leadville course with independent film company, The African Attachment, who’ve been following Ryan around the world to create the upcoming documentary, “Wandering Fever“. He may be a newcomer to 100 mile trail events but not to endurance events. Some of his accomplishments include: winning the Gobi Desert Race, Sahara Desert Race, and Jungle Marathon. The desert adventure races are no joke; 250k stage races that are self-supported. With that endurance experience, his altitude training, and support crew he’s in a good position to be contending for the win.
Another young gun, who took 3rd in his first 100 in last year’s version of Leadville is Dylan Bowman, who returns this year with deeper experience, sharper focus, and more training. In his latest blog entry posted today he provides a glimpse inside the mindset of a nervous, “the emotion is much closer to absolute terror” but ready contender.
I will be in Leadville starting tomorrow getting ready for my own race there and will be posting some commentary and insights from some of the top runners who will be battling to reach the red carpet and finish banner at the corner of 6th and Harrison in America’s highest town.
Tomorrow we’ll have a thorough yet granular preview of the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent. A special guest will help us break down the weekend’s madness in Manitou Springs.