Jon and his brother Rob have been training for months for the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race in Leadville, CO. It is a grueling 103 mile mountain bike course. The majoirity of the race is on forest trails in the mountains. The course begins at 9,000 feet and climbs to 13,000 feet. My Jon is not 'a claimer' so I am going to brag for him. I am soo proud of him. He and his brother have worked so hard. Training has been no easy task. Jon's work schedule has been so crazy this last year that the only time he has had to train has been in the very early morning hours. He would get up most mornings before 5 am to train and make it home to begin his work day. He trained on mountain trails around our home and also on his road bike. If he didn't get in a ride in the morning then late at night after we all went to bed he would go into the garage and train on his stationary bike. To say he was determined is an understatement. The main goal is to make the 103 miles in under 12 hours. If you do, you receive a large belt buckle. There is however another level of accomplishment. The under 9 hour mark. Jon being an overachiever only wanted to try for the this goal. This award is an even LARGER Belt Buckle. It sounds funny to be working so hard for a belt buckle. However, being there with him I quickly realized that the belt buckle is more than just a buckle...it is the symbol of working hard for and achieving a goal.
Being at all of the "crewing stations" I knew that Jon and Rob had stayed together for the whole race. As we all waited at the finish line we saw Rob coming in. It was super exciting but he was alone! Rob came in at 8 hours 46 minutes and 56 seconds (way to go, Rob!!) I quickly ran to him to see what had happened to Jon. He said Jon had gotten sick and was cramping just 10 minutes before and had to get off his bike. I was now sick. So then we all just stood and waited at the finish line with the huge clock ticking. I finally saw him come over the last hill at 8 hours 59 minutes and 15 seconds. The whole crowd stood up on their feet to cheer him in. He finally crossed the finish line at exactly 9 hours 0 minutes and 14 seconds. At first my heart sank because I thought he missed his goal by 14 seconds!!! However, the race owner quickly ran to him and informed him that each rider has an electronic monitoring bracelet on his/her ankle. The main clock starts at the sound of the shotgun but each individual riders time starts when he/she crosses over the Start Line at the beginning of the race. Since Jon started a little further back in the pack that gave him a few much needed seconds. And every second counted in his case. My Jonnie did it! He made it without a second to spare...literally. Talk about cutting it close!
He qualified for the coveted X-Large Under 9 hour Buckle.
There were 1320 riders from 20 different countries that participated in the race. Jon placed as rider number 137 to cross the finish line. Amazing.
I have lots of photos that I still need to go through and will soon post but had to show-off his and his brother Rob's much earned belt buckles.
This all sounds so crazy but for me to see the person I love the most in this world achieve something he worked so incredibly hard for was amazing.
Here's a link to the course.... Leadville Trail 100 - Race Across the Sky