My Leadville journey started a week before the race, me and the wife packed up the car and headed to Colorado on Friday August, 13th. We made it to Hays and stayed the night there. I woke early and hit the streets for a quick 7 miler. Then we headed West again for Cripple Creek, where we were going to have some fun gambling and have a few drinks to celebrate the start of vacation. We hiked a 3.5 mile mining trail that started all downhill. The uphill hike wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, I just got winded a bit easier than normal. We had some fun in Cripple Creek and headed to my Aunt and Uncles house across the mountain from Leadville, near the town of Fairplay. We would stay with them till Friday the day before the race. I spent the week hiking, riding 4 wheelers in the mountains. My sister, mom, dad, son, and niece were also were there. On Tuesday me, my sister Darcy, and my wife Darcie, went over to Twin Lakes to hike up to Hope Pass to see what I was getting myself into come race day. It was a 6 mile hike from Twin Lakes with 3,700ft of elevation gain one way. We had to cross the river first before we made to the trail heading up the mountain. We had a great time chatting as we hiked up the trail towards Hope Pass. When we got close to tree line we got excited. We would hit a clearing and think we were almost out of the trees, three or four times we though we were coming out of the trees before we finally did. My wife was starting to get a little tired at this point, but she was a real trooper and kept moving on. Once out of the trees, it was a series of switch backs to get to the Pass. It seemed like we hiked and hiked and looking up we kept thing the summit is right there and when we would get there, there was another summit and another. We finally made it after a several stops to catch our breath. When we finally made it we took some pictures at the top of Hope Pass. My wife and sister were a little wore out from the hike up and we made a decision that they would go down the back side 2 mile down and I would run the 6 miles back to the car and drive around and pick them up. It was a beautiful hike and we took lots of pictures along the way. I flew down the trail back to Twin Lakes, and drove around to the back side to pick them up at the trail head. When I arrived there they were not there yet and I was a little worried, so I laced up the shoes and headed up the trail. I only made it a couple hundred yards before I meet them coming down the trail. They were spent, out of water and food and hungry. So we loaded up in the car and headed to Buena Vista and stopped at a local burger joint for some food. Wednesday I spent the day shopping with the 2 Darcie's in Breckenridge, figured I'd give them the day off after hiking Hope with me the day before. Thursday all the girls went shopping again and the guys went and rode 4-wheelers in the mountains. Friday we were up early and off to Leadville for the pre-race weight in and meetings. After the weight in we ate breakfast at the Golden Burro. We also ran into the Kettle Moraine race directors Tim and Jason and had fun chatting with them about their race before we got a seat. After the runner and crew meetings I showed the 2 Darcie's around to all the aid stations and briefed them on how to crew me at each aid station. Then it was back to the cabin for some early dinner and right to bed to get as much sleep as I could before the 2:00 am wake-up call. Stay tuned for my race report to follow soon. All the pictures are from out Tuesday hike up Hope Pass.