At the opening ceremonies for this year's Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race this weekend, Life Time Fitness chairman, president and chief executive officer Bahram Akradi will present the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) with a check for US$32,940 to support IMBA's mission of new and better trails for mountain biking.
"Since the inception of the first Leadville Trail 100 race in 1994, our goal has been to make a difference - and a contribution - to those who support the mountain biking industry and the town of Leadville," said Akradi. "We're honored to partner with IMBA as its mission mirrors our dedication to growing and enhancing the sport of mountain biking to riders of all abilities and to help create trails for cyclists."
"Both IMBA and Life Time want to see more people, healthy, outside and mountain biking. Combining our two robust networks can do great things for the sport," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "We see a natural alliance between Life Time's goals and IMBA's."
Jenn Dice serves as IMBA's Government Affairs Director; she's also a 12-year Leadville vetaran competitor. "Between the vision of community leaders like Ken Chlouber and Merilee Maupin to the movies the race has inspired and now Life Time's involvement - Leadville has become one of the premier endurance events in the nation," said Dice. "By partnering with Life Time, IMBA hopes to engage thousands of racers to take a stand for trail advocacy."
Launched in 1994 with 13 riders, the Leadville Trail 100 MTB Race now attracts nearly 2,000 of the world's fiercest competitors. On Saturday, participants from 50 states and 28 countries will race on a demanding course with steep, technical climbs and descents.
Competitors paid $15 to enter a lottery for race slots. More than 500 entrants chose to contribute above and beyond to IMBA with their entry fees. All proceeds from the lottery are being used for charitable/non-profit and volunteer purposes.
"Applicants can feel good about their contributions knowing all that money will go into IMBA's mission of creating and preserving great trails. IMBA is working in all 50 states to make sure that when racers go back home, they have a great place to ride, close to where they live," said Van Abel.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for coverage of the Leadville 100.