Smoky Skies, Firecracker Finishers, Silver Rush Racers
Residents in Lake County saw a noticeable difference of smoke in the air this morning from the Weston Pass Fire located over the mountains in Park County. Yesterday, just as wildfire officials predicted, the winds shifted and came in from the east. That was good news for the Campground of the Rockies which is located along the currently closed Highway 285, as it gave owners some hope of saving the beloved vacation spot.
But for Lake and Chaffee Counties, the wind shift meant a heavy dose of smoke which kicked up yesterday afternoon, as reported in last night’s official WPF report: “At 4:00 pm, winds shifted from the west to east-northeast. This marks the first time since Weston Pass Fire began that winds have come out of the east.” Readers can find the FULL report on Leadville Today’s Weston Pass Fire Updates web page, along with officials smoke prediction for the next several days. #staysafe #bevigilant #reportviolations.
Firecracker 5k Familiar Finishers
July 4th kicked off with the Firecracker 5k, which reported a sizable bump in participation, seeing 225 racers cross the finish line, with a solid “Leadville” representation, including the winner. The race is a fundraiser for the Leadville/Lake County Sports Hall of Fame. For full race results: CLICK.
Leadville’s Alex Willis has been tallying up the wins this race season, already seeing victory in the Turquoise Lake 20k, Fish Hatchery 5k and the Leadville Heavy Half Marathon. Yesterday he did it again at the Firecracker 5k with a 15:52 win time. The other top two spots went to out-of-towners: Kevin Beachy of Glenmont, OH was second at 18:22 and Noah Jenkins, 14 of Herriman UT, rounded out the podium with 18:46 time.
On the women’s podium, it was Alex’s wife and professional athlete Sierra Willis, 33, of Leadville who took top honors, crossing the finish line at 20:37. Leadville Track Coach Amy Peters took second with a 20:48 finish time.
For Peters its good training for her upcoming September trek to Australia to compete in the 2018 ITU Standard Distance Triathlon Age Group World Championships being held in Gold Coast, Australia, on September 16, 2018. By placing well at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships in Omaha, Nebraska (August 2017) Peters qualified for the Australia competition. The standard distance is a 1500 meter swim, 40K bike, and 10K run. Peters will be competing against women from 46 countries.
“Since I was a little girl, I always wanted to go to the Olympics. Although this is not even close to the Olympic level, it will be a dream-come-true to represent Team USA on the international stage,” said Peters.
Amy is married to Jamie Peters, a mathematics teacher in the Lake County School District . They keep busy raising eight children. Amy lives and trains in Leadville and has served Lake County Schools for 17 years coaching students in track & field and in cross country running.
The Leadville community is supporting their fundraising efforts for the trip and has established a GoFundMe page HERE. Good Luck Amy, we know you’ll do Leadville proud!
Race Series 50-Milers This Weekend
Up next on the local race circuit are the 50-mile races for the Leadville Race Series. As a result, there will be increased traffic in and around Dutch Henri Hill (below CMC) and up throughout the east side’s California Gulch Mining District’s. Racers should also be aware of the active Weston Pass Fire and wind predictions which could bring an increase in smoke during the event. Please prepare accordingly.
This Saturday and Sunday, July 7 & 8, Lifetime hosts the Silver Rush 50-mile race events, part of the Leadville Race Series (LRS). The Silver Rush 50 Mountain Bike Race is Saturday, July 7. It’s a 50-mile out-and-back course taking racers through the historic mining district on the east side of Leadville. The Silver Rush 50 also serves as a qualifying event for the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race on Aug. 11, 2018. Silver Rush 50 participants can have their starting corral position boosted for the Leadville 100 MTB event if they finish in a certain time-frame as well.
Then on Sunday, July 8 the Silver Rush 50 Run race takes on 50 miles of extreme territory that starts at 10,200 feet and reaches 12,000 feet on four separate occasions. It leaves runners’ lungs burning, hearts pounding and eyes mesmerized at the amazing Rocky Mountain scenery. The Silver Rush 50 not only prepares racers for the pinnacle Leadville Trail 100 Run on Aug. 18, 2018, but also provides bragging rights for conquering one of the toughest 50-milers in the country.
There is also a Silver King and Silver Queen Race which includes BOTH days of exhilarating challenges. With the finish time from both events crowning the LRS’ Silver King or Silver Queen for 2018. Find additional information at www.leadvilleraceseries.com.