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Rusch crushes her former time and sets a course record to retain her reign as women‘s champ
Leadville, CO -August 14, 2010 –Rebecca Rusch, the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 Women’s Champ and three-time 24 Hour Solo Mountain Biking World Champion, has scored another high-profile victory -taking top female honors at the 2010 Life Time Fitness Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race for the second year in a row. Finishing the grueling 100-mile race with a time of 7:47:35, Rusch beat her 2009 time by almost 30 minutes, and broke the course record set in 1997 by 11 minutes.
After a chilly early morning start, Rusch says the blue bird skies and temperatures in the high 60s to low 70s were a stark change over last year‘s freezing conditions.
She spent most of the first half of the race trying to shake second place finisher Amanda Carey. Rusch finally gained a sizeable gap at the Columbine climb.
“I just said it‘s now or never,” said Rusch. “I just knew it had to happen then. And I just put the screws to her and it worked.”
Rusch battled through leg cramps during the last stretch of the race to cross the finish line 25 minutes before Carey and an hour before the 3rd & 4th place female finishers.
“Another win at Leadville is a huge. This race is just unreal,” said Rusch. “I‘ve been training with this being my main goal all year. Still, I surprised myself. I wanted the course record, but I didn‘t expect to beat it by 11 minutes. This was the most painful day I had on a bike, but it was worth it.”
The Life Time Fitness Leadville Trail 100 is one of the most high-profile mountain bike races in the sport, as well as one of the most punishing, with steep climbs and harrowing descents totaling approximately 14,000 feet in elevation gain. This year the race had more than 1,500 riders from 48 states and 21 countries. The race covers 100 miles of peaks and valleys all above 9,000 feet in elevation in Leadville, CO. It draws some of the top names in the sport, and at least 20,000 spectators. The race is an out-and-back course; 50 miles to the highest point on the course, the Columbine Mine Aid Station at 12,600‘. 90-percent of the race is on back-country dirt roads, with some short sections of paved road.
Since becoming a pro adventure racer and endurance athlete in 2001, Rebecca Rusch, residing in Ketchum, ID, has proven to the world she has what it takes to execute any of the above even after going beyond her limits in far flung places like Kyrgyzstan and Tibet. She added 24 Hour Solo Mountain Bike racing to her rÃ©sumÃ© five years ago and proceeded to dominate the sport. She is currently the three-time 24 hr Solo World Champion, two-time Leadville Trail 100 Champion. Rusch‘s blog about her adventures and training can be found at www.rebeccarusch.com. www.twitter.com/thequeenofpain