This post is an update to my prior Leadville MTB 100 Review
After several unproductive and unapologetic emails (see below), on August 31 I spoke to Scott Giffin, the LT100 MTB race director, via telephone. Over the course of the conversation he agreed that the LT100 was a prestigious and expensive event and should be held to a higher standard, but if he was concerned about the fact that they had run out of water, he was not apologetic. He informed me that they transported 20% more water to the top of Columbine this year than last year and that they would take steps to ensure that this did not happen again in the future, as if this somehow improved the situation for those that were unable to get aid this year. My suggestion to him was that since he possessed the split times for the top of Columbine and could talk to his aid station captain to determine when the water ran out, that at the very least they should email an apology to those racers affected. Better would be an apology and an offer to skip the lottery for a future event and enter the event at a discounted rate. Is it too much to ask for people to own their mistakes, whether intentional or not? I certainly don’t think so, but this suggestion was ill-received, apparently they “regret water was not available” but are not prepared to apologize for it. Scott did ask if competing in the event again in the future is what I wanted, and offered to give me another crack at the event without going through the lottery, which I declined. He did state to me, upon my questioning, that if he was contacted by others who were in this situation in 2011 he would extend the same offer to them. So, if you raced this year and reached the top of Columbine and were unable to get water at the aid station and if you want another crack at the event, I encourage you to contact Scott Giffin. Closing the call we talked cordially for a number of minutes about the experience of riding from the last corral, confusing aspects of the race and how the event could be improved in the future. I think it is fantastic that Scott was courteous enough to spend some time on the phone with me, but I think the very least that they could do is apologize to myself and the other racers, as such the sour taste that this event left in my mouth remains.
My first email to the race staff was on 8/19, after having received no reply by 8/25 I followed up with the following
You have had over a week to respond to this, that is ample time by any definition. I ask again, what do you intend to do to rectify this situation? Sam
On 8/25 I received two emails, the first from Marvin Sandoval:
We understand that you want answers. We also understand that we did not provide enough fluids at the halfway point of this great race. This past week we were also putting on another race that took priority. I want you to know that we have talked to our aid station captions and intend to provide even more fluids next year. We understand that we underestimated the amount needed. Thanks for your concern and input and as always we will continue to work even harder in our effort to not let this happen again. Marvin Sandoval Supply and Logistics Coordinator
The second from Scott Giffin:
Sam, Thanks for your patience. We have been consumed with putting on a 100-mile run. For Columbine, all water and supplies must be transported to the top by aid station personnel. We load their vehicles full and they drive to the top. Once there, with the race in progress, there is no resupply. This has never been an issue - aid station personnel have always been able to transport enough supplies. This year, with the hot temperatures, it became a problem. We regret water was not available for the final racers to reach Columbine. Next year, we will pre-position additional water on Friday prior to the race. This will ensure an ample supply for all racers. The aid station captain has confirmed food was available to all racers. We will continue to provide a wide variety of food at this aid station. To ensure rider safety, medical assets were on station at Columbine, and Search and Rescue was nearby. We will continue to have this medical support at future races. Best, Scott Giffin Race Director - Leadville Race Series
I responded to Scott’s email with the following:
Scott, That response is unacceptable. I paid $275 for this event with certain expectations. I will ask again, what do you intend to do to remedy this situation? Sam
and the final email I received from Scott was simply, “What is your phone number?”.