This past weekend, Northstar-at-Tahoe hosted the second race in the Leadville Qualifier Series, the Lake Tahoe Trail 100k (LTT100k).
The Leadville Qualifier Series offers participants the chance to qualify for one of 300 positions on the 2011 Leadville Trail 100 start list. The LTT100k event started bright and early on Sunday, July 24 with close to 300 participants at the Start Line located in the Village at Northstar.
After competitors gathered, Northstar-at-Tahoe's COO, Bill Rock, fired the start pistol the bike racers were off on a neutral start through the village and then up onto the mountain. The course consisted of two 31 mile loops with the mid-point and finish located in the heart of Mid-Mountain just steps from the Lodge at Big Springs. After about two hours we saw our first two racers come through the pass lane -- Paul Mach and Jesse Miller-Smith coming in head-to-head, then they were off and back out on the course for their second loop. A little while later racers started to trickle in and then come though in droves.
Many people worked the aid station helping riders
find their drop bags; help them replenish with water, soda, pb & j sandwiches, GU, and more. We also had Dave Wiens (Technical Director & six-time Leadville Champion) out there greasing riders' bike chains. The cheering definitely got louder when Andy Buckley, Northstar-at-Tahoe's Director of Skier Services, and Julie Young, Nordic Center Director passed through the mid-way point.
With a mid-way cut off time at 11:00 a.m. most of the riders made it through and joined us at Mid-Mountain started to prepare for the race finish.
Just after 10: 30 am Paul Mach made his second appearance and came through the finish line, securing his top men's finish as well as first in his division with a race time of 4:02:42. Jesse Mach-Smith came in just after him, securing second with a time of 4:04:24.
Racers then started to come in through the finish, with our top women's finisher, Julie Young (mentioned above) securing her spot and division first place finish, with a time of 4:57:43. For the next four hours we waited anxiously as racers came in to award them their finisher medal, as well as congratulate them on a job well done.
Our final competitor came in just after eight hours. We followed the race with an awards ceremony, where we gave out belt buckles to the top finisher in each age group as well as to top three men and women. The 100 spots to register for the Leadville Trail 100 were then handed out. The entire day was so much fun and the event was a success. We are all looking forward to next year.
-- Whitney Wall