Set in the Colorado Rockies, Leadville’s 50-mile, out and back course starts around 9,000 feet. At mile 40, the elevation is 13,000 feet, with a 2-mile, 23 percent grade climb over Hope’s Pass.
“It’s a huge elevation change in the matter of 5 to 10 miles,” said Hribar. “(But) I’m very nervous about the altitude, I’ve never run at altitude before. But I’ve been sleeping in an altitude tent for over a month now. I know that I can run the distance, but it has a very low-finishing rate. The dropout is pretty high. So there is that to think about.
“It’s definitely one of the more difficult races out there, even for the 100-mile ones. They give you a cut-off time of 30 hours. I’d like to get under 25, but I’ll be happy just to finish it.
“This is going to sound stupid, but they give you a big belt buckle if you finish in under 25 hours. So that is kind of the goal right now.”
Hribar will not be alone in this venture. She will be traveling with a four-person crew including her mother and three pacers who will run with her for the last 50 miles.
“They make sure I’m not falling asleep on the trail or getting lost,” Hribar said of her pacers. “They’re sort of like a mom at that point.”
Persistence and dedication may not be strong enough words to describe what Hribar puts into her passion.
“It takes a lot of time as far as training is involved,” she said. “And even though I’m not getting paid to do it, it’s really tough. I work 40 hours a week and then I put in another 100 miles a week to get ready for something like this. It’s another good 12 to 15 hours a week.”
Runners are weighed before the race and can be removed from the course if they lose 7 percent of their body mass. Hribar hopes she will not be one of those.
“Hopefully I’m not too torn up after the race.”