The ONLY WAY to Complete a 100 Mile Ultramarathon (And Why it’s About More Than The Miles)

The ONLY WAY to Complete a 100 Mile Ultramarathon (And Why it’s About More Than The Miles)
On August 21st 2021 in Leadville, Colorado, a vision was realized. At the sound of the 4am shotgun start, the dedication of nearly a decade’s worth of work was brought into picture. In the 27 hours, 53 minutes, and 5 seconds that lay ahead, the crew, the team, the family, wouldn’t miss a step. It would be an unforgettable experience for all involved and will forever serve as a testament that if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. What follows is the story of a team on a mission; and the ultramarathon that was about much more than the miles.

THE VISION:

The Leadville 100 serves as an almost mythological event in the ultra-endurance community. With 15,744 feet of elevation gain, and a peak altitude of 12,532 feet above sea-level, there’s a good reason that it’s coined the “Race Across the Sky”.
 
For BPN Founder, Nick Bare, this race always presented itself as a North Star. Having heard about the event for years, and wanting to participate in the ultra-running world, Leadville had always been the one. With an event of this magnitude on the horizon, there would be only one recipe for success: A team that believed in the mission and was down for the work required. That is precisely what has been built at Bare Performance Nutrition.

THE TEAM:

There must be a certain camaraderie that resonates throughout any high-functioning team or organization. There is no ‘I’ or ‘Me’, it is only ‘Us’ and ‘We’. The person to your left and right wants to see you succeed.
 
From the beginning of this journey, there was a critical understanding amongst all involved, that the BPN team was running the Leadville 100.  
 
Nobody’s job would ever be more or less important than the other.  

THE PLAN:

With the right team in place, it then becomes about establishing the plan, controlling the controllable, and allowing each individual to maximize their abilities.
 
The BPN family didn’t just show up to Leadville, Colorado, we arrived with intention. Every member of the team knew their role… There was the Creative Team, tasked with bringing the event to life; capturing the content that would later craft the More Than the Miles documentary. The Crew, responsible for meeting all of Nick’s needs, providing nutrition, supplies, and support at each of the six checkpoints. Pacers, who started at mile 62.5, and were charged with accompanying Nick through the mountains, while also providing mental, physical, and emotional support into the 100-mile finish. Each of these responsibilities were crucial in the accomplishment of the mission.
When a team is in sync, it’s like an orchestra. Each piece must work together; and without one’s contribution, the value is lost. But when each component flows with one another, music is created. Music that, to this day, continues to resonate through the Rocky Mountains of Colorado.

THE EXECUTION:

Let Me Orient You…

You can’t understand the extent of 100 miles until you are in it. In the days that preceded the race, the team scouted out the course, and became oriented to the mountains. The creatives established shots and considered how to navigate the course, come race day. The crew scouted out checkpoints, building an understanding of where, and perhaps most importantly, when they would need to arrive at each location. No stone would be left unturned. Every detail mattered to the success of the mission.  
In these moments, you begin to come to terms with just how much there is to be learned throughout the journey. A realization that there's a lot of work to do, but you must enjoy just how special the opportunity is.  

Doubt is Only Dangerous if…

For the entirety of the race, there were six times where Nick and the Crew could convene. Each checkpoint provided the opportunity for members of the team to apply lessons learned, to make the most of these vital minutes. An adrenaline rush for all involved: Refuel on nutrition, restock Nick’s Salomon vest with important resources, provide any needed medical care, and send him on his way… All in a matter of what felt like seconds. Left wondering if anything was forgotten.  

These were truly the moments that defined the race. Because with each checkpoint, another person would rise to the occasion. Whether it be providing a key resource or a needed word of encouragement, each member of the team capitalized on their moment to leave a mark.

Now We Wait…

From mile marker 37.9 to 62.5, Nick would summit Hope Pass twice. A total of 6,000 feet of elevation gain, with no crew access. The team was left waiting for hours. All but two members of the team, that is. Cinematographers Jordan Utter and Tyler McCain would summit the mountain, alongside Nick. Allowing them to catch some of the more breathtaking clips from the documentary.
For the rest of the crew, these hours were filled with moments to bond, reflect on the day that already had been, and get some rest, in preparation for all that lay ahead. There was a significant amount of pressure involved in all of this. Each member of the team felt the weight of the task at hand. But with this pressure came an immense amount of privilege. To be a key player for the team on a mission; continues to be the dividing line between good and great.

Hanging On by a Thread…

In an ultramarathon, darkness serves as both a metaphor and a reality. As night had fallen, Adam joined Nick for some of the toughest miles of the race. In these moments, support was not a desire, but a necessity.
If there was ever a question mark on the entire event, it was in these late-night hours. Breathing was labored; the climbs were brutal; and it seemed as if every step were magnified. The body had quit miles ago, and now it was only the mind that continued forward. Because of this, there must be a greater purpose. The mission must be about more than yourself.

Join Me…

Over the course of these 100 miles, every member of the team had given 100% of themselves to the vision. Each person was asked to dig far outside of their comfort zone. And with each challenge, they did whatever it took to accomplish this goal. With the finish line in sight, there was only one question that remained: ‘Where is the BPN team?’

The family always finishes together, what had been started together.  

GO ONE MORE

The foundation of the organization. The beat of our stride. The standard that keeps us moving forward.
 
The completion of the Leadville 100 served as an opportunity to bring to the forefront years of belief, commitment, and work. The finish line was preceded by a long journey. One filled with peaks and valleys. Highs and lows. But in the end, everyone knew and realized that they had a massive role in this accomplishment, that we achieved together. This race was a clear example of the power that exists when people unite. And that is what we want for you! Find people who are committed to something greater than themselves. Establish and pursue a common goal. Because when you accomplish things together, it is truly fulfilling.
 
Join the BPN community.
Together, we will accomplish great things & Go One More!
The Crew Members:
Stefany Bare
Trey Freeman
Wyatt Knight
Preston Bare
Megan Murray
Alex Rodriguez
Brittany Montoya
Ian Rodriguez
 
The Pacers:
Adam Klink
Makayla Utter
The Creative Team:
Jordan Utter (Director; Cinematographer; Editor)
Tyler McCain (Director; Cinematographer; Editor; Colorist)
Trey Freeman (Marketing Team Leader; Still Photographer)
Ulysses Gabriel (Cinematographer)
Miguel Rivera (Drone Operator; Cinematographer; Still Photographer)
Ian Rodriguez (Cinematographer)
Tyler Myers (Sound & Mix Designer)
Alex Rodriguez (Art Director)

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