Suunto's Rebecca Rusch, the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 Women’s Champ and three-time 24 Hour Solo Mountain Biking World Champion, has done it again. This weekend Rebecca not only defended her 2009 Leadville Trail 100 title, to become the 2010 Life Time Fitness Leadville Trail 100 Women's Champ, but she also smashed the course record set back in 1997. She beat her 2009 time by nearly 30 minutes and broke the course record by 11 minutes to finish the grueling 100-mile race with a time of 7:45:35. She finished 22 overall in a field of 1022 finishers. From the press release:
After a chilly morning start, Rusch says the blue-bird skies and temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s were a stark change over last year’s freezing conditions.
She spent most of the first half of the race trying to shake second place finisher Amanda Carey. Rusch finally gained a sizeable gap at the Columbine climb.
“I said it’s now or never,” said Rusch, “I just knew it had to happen then. And I put the screws to her and it worked.”
Rush battled through leg cramps during the last stretch of the race to cross the finish line 25 minutes before Carey and an hour before the 3rd & 4th place female finishers.
“Another win at Leadville is huge. This race is unreal,” said Rusch, “I’ve been training with this being my main goal all year. Still, I surprised myself. I wanted the course record, but I didn’t expect to beat it by 11 minutes. This was the most painful day I had on a bike, but it was worth it.”
The Life Time Fitness Leadville Trail 100 is one of the most high-profile mountain bike races in the sport, as well as one of the most punishing, with steep climbs and harrowing descents totaling approximately 14,000 feet in elevation gain. This year the race had more than 1,500 riders from 48 states and 21 countries. The race covers 100 miles of peaks and valleys all above 9,000 feet in elevation in Leadville, CO. It draws some of the top names in the sport, and at least 20,000 spectators. The race is an out-and-back course; 50 miles to the highest paint on the course, the Columbine Mine Aid Station at 12,600’. 90-percent of the race is on back-country dirt roads, with some short sections of paved road.
Congratulations to Rebecca on an amazing accomplishment. Reba uses a Suunto t6c for all of training, and she uploads her race reports, routes, accomplishments, and training data at www.movescount.com. So see how many calories she burned during Leadville, her heart rate, her mileage and route, check out her movescount profile here. http://www.movescount.com/members/rebarusch
For more on Rebecca Rusch visit her website.
Photos by Dave McElwaine and Rob O'Dea