Red Wing, MN â€“ August 11, 2009 - The mountains are rocky and so are the trails. But Vasque trail team athlete Duncan Callahan has been training to find a smooth groove through the Colorado Rockies for the Leadville Trail 100 race Aug. 22-23.
(photo credit: Rob O'Dea)
With Callahan, the 2008 winner, and other world-class runners in the lineup, the standard is high for the race, which will draw athletes from around the globe. As with any ultra running event, the Leadville Trail 100 is a drama: a 4 a.m. start in the dark, 50 miles out and back on forest trails and mountain roads, a low point of 9,200 feet and a high point of 12,600 feet at Hope Pass. And all along the way, each athlete's high and low points and hopes.
â€œThe competition this year at the Leadville Trail 100 will be intense. There will be many top names there, and I see it as my job to run my own race, stay conservative and swoop in and clean up the wreckage of a fast early pace,â€ Callahan says.
Runners to watch include Anton Krupicka, the Leadville Trail 100 winner in 2007 and 2006; Darcy Africa, one of the top women in the field; Tim Parr; and Charles Corfield, Callahan notes.
As a presenting sponsor of the Leadville Trail 100, Vasque's involvement is big â€” and multifaceted. Vasque employees will help support athletes and race sponsors during the week of the event and Vasque product manager Brian Hall will attempt his first 100-mile foot race.
Callahan, meanwhile, has had success this year in other races. The Gunnison, Colo., resident, 26, took the top finish at the notable Moab 100 earlier this season and notched an impressive third-place finish in the Leadville Trail Marathon in July. The race starts at 10,200 feet with an elevation gain and loss of 5,500 feet and is considered one of the country's toughest trail races.
In addition to races, Callahan has been working his running legs with cross-training in mountain biking, roller-skiing and strength training. â€œI am stronger than I have ever been and healthier than I have ever been. I'm hoping the strength training and my past experience will carry me through,â€ Callahan says.
If the training for the Leadville Trail 100 is grueling, the course is, tooâ€”but it's a stunning route: around Turquoise Lake, along dirt roads at mountain passes, through meadows and past beaver ponds.
â€œThis will be a tough battle, one that is won with the mind and the heart, not just with the body. I'm looking forward to â€˜going to the bottom of the well' and seeing what is there,â€ Callahan says.
For over 40 years, Vasque has crafted high-quality, performance-driven footwear for the outdoor market with a line that includes specialized footwear for trail running, crossover, hiking, backpacking, alpine pursuits and kids. With an unyielding commitment to innovation, Vasque focuses on fit and world-class performance as the core pillars in every product they produce. Company product-testing takes place through a team of exceptional athletes who report directly from trails all over the world, resulting in product that withstands the test of time and the hardest conditions and wear. To illustrate the â€œVasque Fitâ€ story, the company has brought on the Master of Fitâ„¢ to narrate, in a series of videos, exactly what it takes to become an award-winning footwear manufacturer.
To view the Master of Fit in action visit: www.youtube.com/user/vasquefootwear
For more information on all Vasque products, go to www.vasque.com