Leadville or Bust
A runner's third attempt at tackling the venerable Leadville Trail 100
Scott Boulbol and Dan Miller approach the high point of the course, the 12,600-foot summit of Hope Pass. Photo by Phil Mislinksi.
I had just finished running 40 miles in the mountains near Leadville, Colorado, all above 10,000 feet. This would be a major accomplishment in any runner’s mind, so why was I sobbing uncontrollably? The physical and emotional pain had just become unbearable. Five years of dreaming, training and planning had come down to this, my third attempt at the Leadville Trail 100. The past year had already been the most frustrating of my life, and now I was on the verge of not finishing this race — once again.
I had all but given up hope. Severe pain seized both quads every time my feet hit the ground. I had been fighting it off for the past 22 miles, both physically and mentally, and my patience and tolerance had worn thin. All I could do was cry and ponder how I would be pulled from this race without crossing the line — again.