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Rider dies at Leadville Trail 100 MTB race

Scott Ellis, of Johnstown, Colorado, riding in his 19th Leadville Trail 100 mountain bike race, suffered a heart attack Saturday on the 100-mile race’s Power Line climb and died, despite efforts to revive him.

Late on Sunday, Ellis’ Peloton-Specialized team, based in Fort Collins, Colorado, confirmed the sad news on its Facebook page. “It is with great sadness that we post this. Yesterday at the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, Scott Ellis had a suspected heart attack at Power Line climb as he headed to the finish and did not survive. This was his favorite race, and I believe his 19th race, which shows his love of the ‘race across the sky.’”

On the “Leadville 100 MTB Participants” Facebook page, Chris Brower wrote, “I was the first one to stop, the second guy, was an ER doc, and he knew what to do. A bunch of us helped with chest compressions, and I rode back up the trail to the white jeep at the top of Powerline, they were able to get though to 911, by the time I got back to the scene, the medics in the atv were there and they waved me on down the trail, I met the 4×4 ambulance on the way down and continued my race. My deepest sympathy to Scott’s family …”

“The entire Leadville family is saddened by Scott’s passing,” read a statement from Life Time Fitness, the race organizer. “As a 19-time participant, he embodied the spirit of Leadville and truly will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Scott’s family and all others who had the privilege to know him. We want to thank the many individuals who so graciously suspended their own races to assist Scott in his time of need. This truly is an example of the power of the human spirit and just how much these athletes are part of the special community we have established in Leadville.”

Leadville-based writer, Laurel McHargue wrote about the incident on her blog, Leadville Laurel:

“And this was when the dark cloud passed over. Outside on the sidewalk, two women — a racer and her friend — sat looking morose. I went to offer assistance not knowing what was wrong and found out their friend had died during the race.

“Mike and I met Scott Ellis and his wife years ago when they were staying at the B&B two houses down from us, their LT100 routine. This would have been Scott’s 19th LT100 finish. ‘He was in great shape’ and was an avid racer. But his heart gave out about 20 miles from the finish. His wife was not here for this race. He was only 55. Mike’s age.”

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