When Newburyport’s Maddy Hribar began the Leadville Trail 100 Run in the Colorado Rockies at 4 a.m. on Aug. 17, one thing kept springing to her mind.
“I’m actually here,” Hribar said. “I’m actually doing this, right here, right now.”
Hribar’s goal was to finish the 100-mile race that starts at an elevation of 9,000 feet, then jumps up to 13,000 feet, in less than 25 hours. Coming in at 24 hours and 23 minutes, Hribar accomplished her goal and finished eighth in the woman’s category.
“I’m very happy,” Hribar said. “I just wanted to finish, and I definitely wanted to be under 25 hours. But I had no idea that I would be within the top 10 women, coming from Newburyport which is really flat and certainly not at altitude. It’s a pretty big accomplishment for me.”
Nine hundred runners made it to the starting line, while 500 finished. Those who completed the race in less than 25 hours got a belt buckle, and Hribar is now displaying hers on her desk where she works at New Balance.
“Everyone comes over to check it out,” Hribar said. “It’s pretty awesome.”
Hribar won her first 100-miler last year, Pennsylvania’s Pine Creek Challenge, with a time of 18 hours and 16 minutes. But with the Leadville, the biggest challenge is the altitude. In addition to running 100 miles a week, Hribar spent the summer sleeping in an altitude tent.
“I think I was well prepared for it,” said Hribar. “The altitude tent, I’m not sure whether that was really a help or if it was all in my head, but going out there I felt like I had done the best that I could to prepare for it. But when you go out there, and you go for a run on your first day, it is definitely hard to breathe. There is definitely a lack of oxygen. It’s tough.”