In 1982, Leadville's primary employer, Climax Mine, closed. The 3,250 miners were instantly unemployed, devastating the town. Over night, Lake County had the highest unemployment rate in the nation. In searching for ways to save our beleaguered community, the Leadville Trail 100 Running race was born. Beginning with 45 runners, racing an epic 100 mile trek through the rugged Rocky Mountain terrain, the Leadville Race Series has now expanded from California to New York, hosting thousands of endurance runners and mountain bikers from all over the world.
Through these races the Lake County community has thrived. In 2012, our local Colorado Mountain College, did an economic assessment that reported the races brought over $15 million into the County each year. Athletes have fallen in love with our unique town, returning year after year, buying homes, and wishing to give back. In 2002 the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation was created to harness the generous donations of racers to our community.
The Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Tax ID # 84-1604797, creating a formal and legal mean to garner contributions, serving the ever-increasing needs of our historic and beloved Leadville, Lake County community.