After two days of riding 160 miles through the Leadville 100 MTB course at the Leadville Camp, Cobe (my 14 year old son) and I prepared to tackle Silver Rush, a 50 mile MTB race in Leadville, Colorado.
We both won entries into the race from a Strava competition we entered and it worked out PERFECTLY because we were there anyway for the Leadville 100 MTB camp. We simply had to stay an extra couple of days for the race versus having to drive another 10 hours to get there from our home in Idaho!
ABOUT THE RACE
The start of the race was INSANE! Everyone had to pick up bikes and run like mad because the first hill was so incredibly steep.
Once you’re up the hill and finally able to get on your bike it is really difficult to pass anyone! It’s double track, but there are still sooooo many people everywhere from the start of the race that it is still pretty slow moving.
Not too long into that we hit a ton of loose rock that was almost impossible to navigate through…so again, there were many areas that still had to be walked. Also, it had been raining quite a bit the night before so there was still water coming down the mountain and it was impossible to avoid flipping mud and water everywhere.
The Hills and What Makes Silver Rush Different from Leadville 100 MTB
The next big hill was still pretty steep and many, again, did the “hike a bike” dance up the hill. Once up and over this hill competitors started to thin out a little so you could actually get on your bike and start racing.
What I feel is the most different about this race versus what I hear about the Leadville 100 MTB is that there really isn’t a whole lot of level ground that you’re riding across. It’s either up or down – either climbing or descending – and not much in-between.
I believe this is why all the riders coming in for this race were saying that mile for mile the Silver Rush is harder than Leadville 100 MTB. There really isn’t any time to let your legs recover between the climbing and descending, which makes it pretty darn brutal.
My Position at the Gate and the Gold Coin
The upside to finishing this race is that because I am doing the Leadville 100 MTB I am now “gated” for where I start there. My finishing time in the Silver Rush (which I wish would have been a little better, but because of all the climbing I did previous to this race my legs were pretty tired) allows me to now be gated 2nd back into the Leadville race. I don’t know if you have watched any videos on that, but if you want to be at all competitive there you have GOT to be near the front or you will get stuck between thousands of cyclists.
I also received a “gold coin” that allowed me an entry into Leadville 100 MTB! As you may or may not know, the Leadville race is a lottery so unless you get in that way you have to get pretty creative to figure out another way to get entry. I am already entered, but it did allow me entrance into next year’s race if I decide to go that route.
And… in a nutshell… that’s the Silver Rush 50 Mile MTB! Leave a comment if you feel so inclined!