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The LT100 events have contributed to the Leadville community and its ability to strike it rich once again. This time we are going to use Crowdrise to help us do it and have lots of fun in the process.
It was nearly 150 years ago when placer gold was first discovered in California Gulch. Soon after the town of Oro City sprung up near present-day Leadville, however, it would be another 15 years before the great silver rush was on. By 1880, Leadville was one of the world's largest silver camps, with a population of over 40,000. Literally thousands of people flocked to Leadville for their chance at the great American dream and to become one of those incredible rags to riches Leadville stories.
It's in that same spirit that the Leadville Trail 100 was born. At the race's inception, Leadville was experiencing another bust cycle after the closing of the Climax Molybdenum Mine resulted in nearly 3,000 miners losing their jobs.
LT100 founder Ken Chlouber was one of those miners and conceived "The Race Across the Sky" as a way to make Leadville famous and bring in visitors during a period of economic downturn. In the beginning, there was just one foot race; 45 racers lined up at 6th and Harrison to take on the challenge. Only ten racers finished.
But even in the LT100's humble beginnings, it's easy to see the parallel between the days of gold panning and pick axes, and the lure that the challenge of racing 100 miles - often in unforgiving weather and terrain - brings. After all, both are seeking the same precious metals, only for racers, it's in the form of a medal or belt buckle.
And while silver and gold are terribly alluring, it's something more personal that makes racers choose to do something that most Leadville locals consider to be, well an interesting choice, to put it nicely. Maybe they've overcome a personal tragedy or addiction. Or perhaps they are racing in someone's memory.
Like the small nuggets of gold that can lead to the bigger vein of prosperity, so can every single donation. Be it $10 or $100, it all adds up and makes a difference to every charity that we contribute to.