Colorado resident Chris Lloyd finished climbing all of the fourteeners in Colorado — mountain peaks with elevations of at least 14,000 feet — and was looking for a new challenge. He found it when the Blueprint for Athletes Leadman and Leadwoman program was created in 2003.
Fifteen years later he is still competing in the series, thrilled to be a part of what he refers to as the “family they have created.” Lloyd has expanded his role, guiding their training camps for the past several years to help athletes prepare. Even after fifteen years he still says each race feels like the first, mostly in part to the weather; every year has its own set of challenges that athletes may not have experienced the year prior.
“I have shown up at the start line when there were two inches of snow and then the next year it could be hot and dry or raining and you have hypothermia concerns…you have to be ready for anything.” Lloyd guarantees that at some point in the race every athlete feels bad. However, learning to limit the lows and push through them to stay positive — in part with the help of your race crew (he specifically mentions his joy that his children are now old enough to be on his crew) — is an important part of reaching the finish line.
After Lloyd completes the 2017 Leadman Series, he will have conquered 97 events total in the Blueprint for Athletes Leadville Race Series. His goal is to be the first to reach 100 events.
“Every year is exciting because […] each year there is a new milestone you can still go after.” 2018 will also mark his tenth consecutive Blueprint for Athletes Silver King, yet another milestone he will be the first to claim.