Tahoe 100 Race Report | Leadville Here I Come! By Team Rider Karin Edwards

August 9, 2012


I was reminded of three vital elements of racing at the Tahoe Leadville Qualifier:

  1. The importance of having fun. 

  2. The beauty of being inspired.

  3. The value of being goal-oriented. 

My 2011 race season did not begin smoothly.  During the Sea Otter XC race in April, I was ambulanced off the race course, an experience that really shook me up.  After that trip to the emergency room, I took a step back from racing and just focused on having fun on my bike.  The Leadville Qualifier at Northstar was one of my first races back since the Sea Otter debacle and I went into it telling myself, ‘No pressure Karin – stay hydrated, eat enough food, have fun, and just see what happens.’  I followed my own advice and my race went surprisingly well!  I beat my time from last year by almost 20 minutes and placed 3rd in my age category – which automatically qualified me for Leadville.

Lesson #1: I race better if I am having fun.  So, remember to have fun!

Now to be honest, I had no intention of signing up for Leadville.  I really enjoy long mountain bike races and as history shows, the longer the race, the better I tend to do.  But 100 miles at 10,000+ft elevation?  This is where inspiration comes in.  See, the race organizers are smart – they make you decide about Leadville when you are up on the podium receiving your award.  Maybe it was my post-race endorphin high, or maybe it was the fact that 500 racers – including 3-time Leadville winner and current record holder Rebecca Rusch – were cheering me on as I hemmed and hawed on the podium, deciding whether or not to accept, but I accepted with a smile.  How could I say no?  I was inspired.

Lesson #2: Be inspired to get out of your comfort zone.  You are stronger than you think you are.


So now what?  The great thing about signing up for Leadville 2013 is now I have a very concrete goal to work towards over the next year.  So how am I going to prepare for Leadville?  My current training regime is the following: Ride. Often.  For long periods of time. Mostly hills. This generally works for me now, but Leadville is no joke.  I will have to become more scientific about my training and will rely heavily on the experience of my Giant/Northstar teammates and coaches. The following are a few examples of things I plan to incorporate into my training over the next year: racing cyclocross this fall to improve my power and technical skills, skate skiing in the winter to maintain my endurance, and following Tim Evens’ plyometric/balance workout.

Lesson #3: Leadville is no joke.  Be intentional about your training, but don’t forget to have fun and stay inspired!


See you in Leadville! – Karin


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