Mike Le Roux Grand Slam Report

Just received the mailout from from Kirsten Le Roux, wife of UltraMan Mike, about his progress toward a significant Grand Slam in the US. It’s not enough for Mike to race 4 100-milers close together, he’s chasing the fastest cumulative time as well. Mike’s a Saucony athlete, we just want to celebrate and update you on his achievements as an inspirational Aussie going hard in the wider world of ultra. Go Mike Le Roux!!!

Dear Friends & Family,

Turns out the three top Grand Slam contenders going into today’s Vermont 100 all know how to race, and they’re going to make sure whoever wins this year’s USA Ultra Running Grand Slam earns every mile of it.

I just spoke with Mike, home and hosed, and he was blown away by the intensity of the race he had with Jay Smithberger and Paul Terranova. After running the first 30 miles in a pack with Jay and Paul in the top 10 from the gun, he yo-yoed back and forth with Paul for the next eight hours, each passing the other and staying within eyeballing distance, with Mike finally passing him at the 95 mile mark to finish 8 minutes ahead of him in 3rd place overall in 16h11. The winner took it out in 14h55 (1 minute shy of the 2004 course record) and 2nd place was 16h00.

The fast racing between the three Slammers meant that both Mike and Paul beat the Grand Slam Record at Vermont of 16h33, set by overall Grand Slam record holder Neal Gorman in 2010.

While Mike had a vastly better day then Western States (the hot, humid conditions suiting him) he did suffer high weight-loss (7 lbs./3 kgs) and got a stern talking to from the medics. He was struggling to hold anything substantial down and left a vomitus trail from the half way mark, but still felt strong most of the way.

The upshot of both races is that Mike is now in first place overall in the Grand Slam standings, although we won’t know by how much until we see where Jay finished (Mike left the finish after 20 minutes and he hadn’t come in yet). Hopefully there will be a decent buffer going into the final two mountain races.

Crew Le Roux consisting of Ed & Laurie were conscientious and Mike wanted for nothing. Vermont local Chris Martin was a fantastic pacer – knowledgeable and with just the right level of ‘encouragement’ to keep him going. Thanks to all of them.

Mike said the course was fairly comparable to Glasshouse Mountains with fractionally more undulation, particularly in the last 10 miles (which hurt), but he enjoyed himself overall. There were the typical low points (most vomits I imagine) but finishing in the daylight helped a lot and he felt his crew checkpoints were seamless and fast. No altercations with any Clydesdales either.

The fruitarian Mike Arnstein who I mentioned in the last email, dropped out at 76 miles BUT I just found out that he raced the Badwater 135 on Monday, so he gets this week’s door prize for BACKING UP.

Ed & Laurie head back up north and Mike heads inland tomorrow to Colorado, where he’ll start his altitude acclimatization in earnest, ready for Leadville’s 14,000ft Hope Pass.

Thanks as always for your support, thoughts and interest. Until the 18th August then!

Cheers, Kirsten

Kirsten Le Roux
Running on Saucony & Endura Sports Nutrition

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