Dear Leadville Trail 100 Family,

About 36 years ago, Leadville was devastated with the closing of the mighty Climax Mine. Over 3,200 jobs were lost. Overnight, Leadville became the highest unemployment city in the Nation. We lost our jobs, our income, and our tax base; everything was lost except for one thing --- We were Leadville.

So we reached out and you came. The Leadville Trail 100 run was born. They said it couldn’t be done. You proved them wrong. And this was how the LT100 family was born; sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, --- all LT100 family. You brought economic life back to Leadville. We had a Holiday party for Leadville kids, who without your help would have had nothing. Because of you we purchased shoes and athletic equipment that made it possible for many kids to compete in school sports. Groceries were bought, doctor and dental bills paid. The list goes on, and all anonymously so no one was ever embarrassed. Thank you.

 In 1994 we added the Leadville Trail 100 Mountain Bike Race. Again, they said it couldn’t be done, --- even if the human body could take such a beating, the bikes will never make it. But by now you are Leadville. You don’t quit. Mountain bike companies, large and small, came to Leadville. And they rode --- and like you, they dug deep. And like you --- mountain bikes became stronger, faster. And the LT100 MTB race became the largest, most sought after mountain bike race in history.

We developed a more than special, personal relationship with Lifetime Fitness. We had given the LT100 running shoes and it ran. We gave the LT100 wheels and it rode. With the breadth, depth and reach of Lifetime, they gave the LT100 wings and around the world we flew. Together, we have created events of incredible magnitude.

Yet our purpose remains the same, --- serving our community and sharing Leadville’s grit, guts, and determination with our Leadville Trail 100 family. Now that all encompassing goal --- changing lives. Being better, stronger, more determined, never quitting. Taking everything learned in Leadville and applying that to family--- kids, wives, husbands, ---jobs, relationships, and community---a life built on character. We know we’ve changed thousands of lives. Consequently, better homes, better families, better workplaces and hopefully a better America.  The foundation for all this is singular, ---YOU! We thank you, we hold you close.

Our ongoing work is now focused on the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation. With your help we will continue to serve unselfishly. Every Leadville kid will get a $1,000 kickstart in college, plus we continue to meet the needs and ease the pain when and where necessary through our Legacy Grants. Any financial help to the Foundation is deeply appreciated.

We promise to continue to change lives, ---a better you, a better Leadville, a better tomorrow. We send our love. Thank you.

Ken & Merilee

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