Muz: Our Leadville Legend

The first Leadville race report has come in from Muz, the Rogue legend of the week!

After a summer spent in his native Turkey, uncertain as to whether he would be able to return to the US in time, Muz flew back to Austin last week, immediately headed to Colorado and lined up at the starting line at 4am Saturday, still jet-lagged and fighting the altitude change. Muz was aiming to run his first 100 mile race in the 25 hour range. What Muz did was run more than 102 miles (wrong turn in the woods) in 22 hours, 55 minutes. Part of his race report is below, the link to the full edition is at the bottom of the page. Read it and be awed.

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Well… It was hard. It was long. It was awesome. That was the short version below is the longer one.

However before I start writing anything about myself or my crew I would like to send my regards to all of my friends who started but were not able to finish the race. They all had the guts to do what others did not and even if they were not able to finish, you know what I know they put their best in and thats the only thing you can ask a man/woman. This race after all has in many ways a lot of coin tosses. Even after you take your precautions by training well, by taking care of nutrition and such, you know what, when you eat your gu and you cant digest it there is nothing you can do, same goes for your pace you run what you can run. You can only do the best you can and nobody can ask nor give more.

Long Version:
Well first of all a special thank you for Ken and Jason’s Team Rogue Ultra. Even though I was not able to attent the majority of their runs (I had a 50 mile night run with them) I followed their advice closely and adapted according to my special situation.

Many of you know of my training in Turkey but let me give some details. We are talking about lonely runs for countless hours in the hills of Balcova, a neighbourhood in Izmir. We are talking about my father driving me to training locations and sometimes even following me with the car when he did not trust what he saw around the area (nothing dramatic, they are just too cautious). We are talking about running without gu or anything similar for runs under 20 miles and being able to carry only 1200 calories for anything above. Drinking spring waters from algea covered pipes laid who knows when, running in Military Zone and being able to only watch the blue sea from 100s of ft above instead of properly swimming in it. (ok I did swim a little but very limited).

So long story short here is the report itself:
I was driven to Leadville on Thursday 11pm and dropped (not fell) down to sleep as soon as I put my head on the pillow. I saw the town on Friday by walking and jogging it and had a quick systems check. The calves were worrisome. Since I came from Turkey last week they were feeling tired. You know the kind of tiredness you get right before things start to cramp.
Walking around Leadville I was quite impressed with the little town. It is the sort of place I might want to retire to. Small shops around me and mountains in the not so far away distance…

I was very excited to see many Austinites including but not limited to Ken, Jason, Paul, John and Carrie (others were in Breck) and their crews.

Waited for the crew to arrive and they did… Caught up with Bruce and Cindy first. We had a great dinner at Ken’s place and I was able to meet more of his family. Many other Austinites were there which all added to the excitement and the feeling of community.

The only advantage of a week long jetlag is, you can sleep a whole 6 hrs before the race wake up time of 3 am. Me and my awesome crew of (in no particular order) Bruce Coleman, Sydney Pitt, Hao Liu and Cindy Shlandt get together and drive to the mile away start.

I quickly check in, meet the Austin crew and the excitement is at its peak. I have not been able to train with the Team Rogue Ultra guys much but always had a sense of belonging with them.

In any case the gun goes off and we start pitch dark at 4:00 am in the morning. We dont want to get caught in the clutter and take the front of the middle pack position. At some point Paul tells us to look back and a wonderful sight of a stream of headlamps is revealed to us. We approach aid station number one MayQueen (mile 13.5). This is where everything got so confusing. I tell Ken and Paul I will need to refill my camelbak (nearly empty by this time) and they say they are going to get something to eat. If u need to refill or get something from the aid station itself you get directed into a chute thats where I go. Paul and Ken go to their crew(I instructed mine not to show up for the firt one) The volunteer is not very experienced and this is the first time I use this particular camelbak (I left my original camelbak back home) so I lose couple of precious minutes. I leave the aid station and frantically search for the guys. They are nowhere to be seen. I think I see somebody that somehow looks like Ken and take after him. Half a mile down the road I realize thats not him. So I start going faster to catch up with others that look like the guys. Not so much after I realize they are probably behind. This realization becomes cemented when I see Cynthia who is going for a faster time. At this point there is not much reason to stay back and I decide to go by feel. This means low heart rate on the flats, walk the steep hills shuffle the not steep ones and run the downhills. Sugarloaf goes by pretty quick with this strategy.

Around mile 20-30 while running down these hills I start getting what I was afraid of…

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