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Giles - The Leadville Trail 100 Run (aka The Race Across The Sky)

Giles - The Leadville Trail 100 Run (aka The Race Across The Sky)

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The Leadville Trail 100 Run (aka The Race Across The Sky) is an ultramarathon held annually on trails and dirt roads near LeadvilleColorado, through the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Because of its altitude and steepness, it is considered one of the most difficult 100-mile races. First run in 1983, the race course climbs and descends 4,800m, with elevations ranging from 2,800-3,850m. In most years, fewer than half the starters complete the race within the 30-hour time limit. Hypoxia, dehydration, hypernatremia and hypothermia are all side-effect risks of running the distance at such an altitude.

The course is a 50-mile (80 km) out-and-back dogleg, starting at 3,100 m in the town of Leadville. The centerpiece of the course is the climb up to Hope Pass at 3,850m (view course profile below), encountered on both the outbound trek and on the return. The gruelling course has various aid stations for the runners, who will likely encounter a variety of weather conditions along the 100-mile route, including a warm day during the U.S. summer and oftentimes dropping to below zero at night in the Rocky Mountains (which to date still has a sizeable amount of snow at its peaks).

About the runner’s participation

Giles Hedley joined Barak Fund Management in November 2015 and has seen the company grow significantly over this time, all under the watchful eyes of co-founders of Jean Craven and Prieur du Plessis. Giles has been a passionate runner for a number of years, completing several well-known longer-distances races in South Africa including the Comrades Marathon, Two Oceans Ultra and Otter Trail Marathon. Following in the mantra of MadSwimmer, Giles decided to pursue the opportunity to take his running to a more extreme level, and put his name into the race lottery at the end of 2018 after first reading about the Leadville 100 Race in Born To Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen, the book written by well-known sports journalist Christopher McDougall.

Acceptance into the race came as a bit of a shock in early 2019, and whilst preparations have been underway to get ready for the challenge, there are nerves aplenty as the clock ticks down to August 17th. Giles will be representing the MadSwimmer Charity for the event and will be donning the Charity’s running vest, taking on a new leg for the traditional mad swims that Jean and his crew put themselves through on a regular basis. No doubt after the (hopeful) completion of the race Jean and co. will go in search of a swim to complete up in the Rocky’s. Giles is excited to head over for the journey and is looking forward to be representing the MadSwimmer team on a new adventure and everything that the Charity supports for underprivileged children in South Africa. As MadSwimmer Founder Jean says, “Facing threats might mean we’re mad, but we have to be even madder not to care”.

Quick update on the race preparation: Giles and his seconder for the race Dave had the privilege of meeting Ryan Sandes in Cape Town on July 15th, Leadville 100’s 2011 winner. Ryan has been South Africa’s most successful international trail runner and has won numerous prestigious and gruelling events around the world in his career. Whilst Ryan’s approach to races is naturally on a different level, it was hugely beneficial to get some valuable insights into both race day expectations and pending preparation, and the insights gained from a South African running legend were inspiring and encouraging. Whilst the task will no doubt be daunting, all Barak stakeholders continue to encompass


  • Aug 19, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Great effort!" - Pete & Roo

  • Aug 19, 2019 - R 200.00
  • "Go deadly you good thing " - Emmott

  • Aug 19, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Can’t hurt me!!! Enjoy " - Dave and Jacs

  • Aug 17, 2019 - R 200.00
  • "Enjoy!" - Carl

  • Aug 15, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Good luck Giles!" - Miranda

  • Aug 13, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Good luck Giles ... what a trooper!!!" - Titch Burnill

  • Aug 12, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Fly Giles!" - Vish

  • Aug 12, 2019 - USD $ 251.66
  • "You run fast like the wind Giles!" - Tina

  • Aug 12, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "So proud of you Giles!! All the best. " - Jus and Gill Platt

  • Aug 12, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Good luck Giles & enjoy. " - Clive Tasker

  • Aug 12, 2019 - R 5 000.00
  • "Good Luck Giles !!!!!! " - Contess Entellina

  • Aug 10, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Go you good thing - let those genetically inherited family calves carry you on. " - Dala

  • Aug 10, 2019 - R 200.00
  • "Run fast mountain goat from nanny goat!" - Gonny

  • Aug 10, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Gijima kahle umfaan wami " - Mark

  • Aug 09, 2019 - USD $ 13.30
  • "Good Luck boet!" - Pranay Magan

  • Aug 09, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "Enjoy the whole thing Heddles" - Pete Hird

  • Aug 08, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Amazing effort Giles!" - Simon

  • Aug 08, 2019 - R 4 000.00
  • "Good luck Giles , sorry about seconder" - Brian

  • Aug 07, 2019 - R 1 000.00
  • "I believe in you!" - Petals fine flowers

  • Aug 06, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "If you get tired, you can just walk." - Linda

  • Aug 05, 2019 - R 500.00
  • "Try to distribute your weight equally on the stretcher on the way down. " - The paramedic

  • Aug 05, 2019 - R 2 000.00
  • "Run Forest, Run" - Evan

Donate to this charity


Donations to date

R 26 628.70

Fundraising target

R 20 000.00
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Madswimmer is a registered non-profit company consisting of individuals involved with daring open water swims to raise funds for children’s charities. They are established businessmen and women in their own right, but also do these extreme, adventurous swims. Take a look at some previous campaigns here to see how they managed to raise over $420000 over the past 13 years.