DA Hurlbert Hints Mountain Bike Racers Don’t Deserve Felony or Jail in Leadville 100 Number Swap: UPDATE 5-13 – Race Organizer Chlouber Wants Criminal Charges Dropped, Says Settlement in Works

In the face of mounting criticism of his May 8 decision to file felony criminal impersonation charges against two Colorado  mountain bike racers for swapping numbers at a Leadville race last year,

DA Mark Hurlbert

DA Hurlbert nows says it is unlikely the two women would go to jail or face a felony conviction.  It also looks like a settlement is in the works and could be announced as early as today.

Hurlbert charged Wendy Lyall, 36, who competed in the women’s 40-49 division of the race, with one count of felony criminal impersonation.  She is due to appear in Lake County Court at 11:30 on May 24.

Her friend, Katie Brazelton, who allegedly gave her non-refundable racing packet to Lyall because she was injured and could not compete, has not yet been charged. Update: 5-12, 11:30 a.m. – The court clerk just notified me that Hurlbert has charged Brazelton with one count of feloncy conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation.  She is due in court on June 7.

Mark Hurlbert is the controversial prosecutor of L.A. Lakers’ basketball star, Kobe Bryant. After a failed bid to extend his term limits as DA, he is now a Colorado state Senate candidate for District 16, shown in this map.  Hurlbert, ironically, is competing for the Republican nomination against an avid endurance road cyclist, conservative/libertarian businessman, Tim Leonard of Evergreen.  Update: 5-12, 11:30 a.m. See today’s lead article in the Summit Daily, on this campaign.  Hurlbert lies and says Leonard was in the race three months longer than him as a pathetic excuse for Leonard whipping him in fundraising.  Try three weeks in the applicable quarter.  Lots of other stupid quotes too.

Given Hurlbert now admits that a felony conviction is unlikely and jail unmerited, why did he go ahead and charge the felony to begin with? Though he probably doesn’t care, Hurlbert certainly knows that the mere charging of a  felony is likely to ruin a person’s life.  Here’s his answer:

We were looking at the laws, and this was the only crime that was a fit.  That doesn’t mean they will be convicted of a felony.

A prosecutor has a sworn ethical obligation, though, not to merely seek a conviction, but to act in the best interest of justice on behalf of ” The People of the State of Colorado.”   It would seem charging an individual with a crime that is admittedly overkill just because later he can leverage it to force a misdemeanor plea bargain, fails this ethics test.

And these life-shattering concerns are not just theoretical.  Before even being charged, Katie Brazelton has reportedly already lost her job as a private school teacher in Vail.  I learned from Google that Brazelton was the Development Director for  SOS Outreach, which according to their website is the “country’s largest winter and summer sports-based youth development charity.”  But when I opened the link, no Katie.  SOS erased Brazelton’s sordid presence from their website as soon as Hurlbert threatened to file, as I discovered from this cached copy Google captured just two days before.

Here’s SOS’ description of Katie Brazelton’s achievements and work:

Katie started her work with SOS as a curriculum consultant during the summer of 2009. She has lived in the Vail Valley since 2004 and worked in educational administrative roles at both a private school and the non-profit world.  She received her undergraduate in 1991 in education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and in 2005 completed her Master’s Degree in School Administration. Katie values her time in assisting with the development of programs that provide underprivileged youth with life-long skills and opportunities.

Well, thankfully, Mark Hurlbert stopped Brazelton dead her in her tracks before she continued with any more activities like this.  We can all sleep better at night now.  I don’t know any details about Wendy Lyall, other than everyone seems to like her, she has never committed any crimes, and she’s extremely fit.  And now she’s been charged with a felony.

Interview with Race Organizer Ken Chlouber

Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte promptly responded to my open records act request, and we are the  first to report on the investigation.  It began on March 2, 2010, when  race organizer Ken Chlouber wrote a letter to the Sheriff outlining concerns he’d confirmed from a tip that “two women had lied, cheated and stolen by fraudulently exchanging identities for entry”  into the race.  Chlouber’s letter sets out the

Ken Chlouber - Leadville 100 Race President

possibilities of how the women could have gotten through the identification procedures, and closes with a request for prosecution on theft of services for the $250 in race fees, $225 in awards, plus racer services, including aid stations, security, and a pre-race banquet.

It seems to me that adding in both the race fee and the services provided to racers would be double-counting. On the other hand, Chlouber sounds like he has a better handle on what law might “fit” than Hurlbert. I read the theft of services statute (CRS 18-4-401), and as long as the value of the property taken by “deception” is less than $1,000,  it’s a misdemeanor.

Chlouber writes, “the integrity of the race results was extremely damaged.”  Yet, those results couldn’t be clearer now.  He calls the actions of the two women “disgusting beyond comprehension.”  I’ve seen a lot worse.  Chlouber says, “the two women riders that rightfully should have accepted 2nd and 3rd will never have that moment [on the podium].”  But Chlouber himself devised a solution to this problem by staging a special awards ceremony for them this August.  Undoubtedly they’ll get plenty of spotlight after this debacle.

In short, most if not all the concerns expressed by Chlouber to the Sheriff in March have been rectified.  And the message of deterrence Chlouber wants to send already got delivered loud and clear to the women involved, and to racers throughout the country.

Settlement Discussions Already Underway

Sheriff Holte then passed along the case to the DA in April,  and notably Holte did not recommend charging Brazelton, only Lyall.  Chlouber was adamant in speaking with me that he never wanted jail time for either woman and certainly didn’t want felony charges.   He hadn’t even considered the possibility of a felony “until Hurlbert came out with these charges.” Chlouber also told me it was “overblown” to charge a felony.

According to Chlouber,  negotiations are underway and took place yesterday between DA Hurlbert and the parties.  Chlouber anticipates the case might settle as early as today, and predicted it will settle for something relatively minor,  with no jail time.

What would Chlouber like to see happen?   He wants a written apology to the two displaced racers and a full explanation of the mechanics of how the identity swap occurred.  He wants to know who was up there on the podium receiving the coveted awards, and if it was Lyall,  was Katie sitting in the stands watching?   He wants to know whether Lyall used Brazelton’s I.D., or whether Brazelton entered with her own I.D., and later provided the racer wrist band and bike numbers to Lyall.  He wasn’t completely clear whether he wants a criminal charge.

Update: 5-13- Ken Chlouber would like to see criminal charges dropped if the disclosure and apology conditions are met, and he believes Hurlbert will agree to same.  More details in a comment I posted on Ken Chlouber’s behalf.

Chlouber rejected the suggestion he said some have made for Lyall and Brazelton to appear at the 2010 event ceremony and perform a public mea culpa for the spectators, calling such a spectacle a humiliating “public flogging.”  He also doesn’t want to see heavy fines or “doing something to them worse than what they’ve already done to themselves.”

Laura Victoria’s Verdict

Given the sanctions uniquely available within competitive sports for rules violations, the criminal law is out of place except in rare circumstances, such as a boxer biting off an opponent’s ear.   Chlouber himself has already used his role as race president to rectify most of his concerns.  So I think Chlouber’s remaining concerns are exaggerated, though he seems sincere, even passionate.

But it is precisely the role of the DA to look objectively at the facts,  and divorce himself from the emotion any alleged victim might genuinely feel.   In addition, a  prosecutor needs to do more than scour the criminal code to see if some square peg behavior might “fit” into a round legal hole.  He needs to decide if that “fit” is a just one for all concerned, including the accused and the taxpayers.

Prosecutorial pursuits must be prioritized.  And some pursuits shouldnt be pursued at all.  The remedies sought by Ken Chlouber, combined with what the women have already endured,  should  sufficiently deter future misconduct.   Hurlbert should not pursue any criminal charges, including misdemeanors, against either Wendy Lyall or Katie Brazelton.

Update:  5-12, 11:30 a.m.  After learning Hurlbert has now come up with the ludicrous felony conspiracy charge against Brazelton, all I can say is Hurlbert has exceeded even my expectations for poor judgment.

[Ed: Many readers and bloggers in the mountain bike racing community have expressed major doubts about the seriousness of the alleged conduct of Lyall and Brazelton.  Many don’t like the way  Chlouber runs the event, and believe he’s inconsistent in his concern for rules when big names are involved.  Some question various financial aspects of the event, and some bemoan the graded dirt and lack of singletrack.  Links and comments are here, in an updated article.  Also see the comment I posted based on 5-13 follow-up interview with Ken Chlouber.]

35 responses to “DA Hurlbert Hints Mountain Bike Racers Don’t Deserve Felony or Jail in Leadville 100 Number Swap: UPDATE 5-13 – Race Organizer Chlouber Wants Criminal Charges Dropped, Says Settlement in Works

  1. this is very interesting information…I’m sitting in my local coffee shop right now, chatting with a couple of well know racers, one whom is a National Champion in her discipline. her “freind” is from Leadville and just informed me the Ken Chlouber knows about people twisting entry for friends and “sitting” in for other riders, if he knows them, he is cool with it. As in riders using false addresses and names, etc. This is from a Leadville resident who knows Ken well. I was also informed, that “Roxanne” who is featured in the Race Across the Sky movie documenting the Leadville 100, was issued a FULL refund of her entry fee after being hit by a car and not being able to compete two years ago because she is a good friend of mr. Chloubers. This is all contrary to mr. Chlouber’s current actions against Brazelton and Lyll. This just keeps getting better.

  2. Felony conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation? For a gold pin and belt buckle?
    Has Hurlbert lost his mind? I’m just floored at the lack of compassion or intelligence this dipshit displays. Jesus.

    “disgusting beyond comprehension.” Mr. Chlouber? Your haircut is what’s disgusting beyond comprehension!

  3. WhatBS – I almost spit up my beverage on the computer screen when I read your comment.

    On a more serious note, I am simply floored about what’s going through Hurl’s mind. He’s consistently shown a lack of compassion, judgment, and intelligence. But the pure political stupidity of it is so beyond the pale, I am really starting to wonder if he’s lost it completely.

    His fundraising is so pathetic, you’d think just for self-preservation he would drop this case and get on the phone to his friends and ask for dinero.

    Instead he adds to it. And the Sheriff saw nothihng to charge Katie with. I was stunned when the court clerk told me about the filing this morning. I’m trying to reach Ken now, and would like to ask him some good questions. I have a few ready , but could use some suggestions.

  4. Laura, the only thing that crosses my mind is that Hurlbert is using anything and everything to stay in the public’s eye. I’ve mentioned this before, but someone once said; ‘Any press is good exposure!’, or something like that.

    I feel very badly for both women, but especially for Katie. This is just not right.

  5. Well, Mark Hurlbert’s at it again! Article in Summit Daily on May 12th http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20100512/NEWS/100519939/1005&parentprofile=1055
    Hurlbert says “As district attorney, I’ve had seven-and-a-half years of managing a budget and using taxpayers’ money wisely, cherishing every single penny,” Hurlbert said. “When my opponent talks about fiscal responsibility, it’s one thing to say it, and it’s another thing to have done it for almost eight years.”

    Cherishing EVERY SINGLE PENNY???

    How much has this ridiculous mis-application of a charge cost the taxpayers (felony instead of CRS 18.4.401, theft by deception?? If Hurlbert wanted media attention, he achieved his goal; however, he only opened his mouth to change feet. I hear Hurlbert looked the other way on a MAJOR 18.4.401.1a, theft of real estate with fraduluent deeds. What’s next??

    The sooner this idiotic moron goes into private practice, the safer people of the 5th Judicial District will be.

    Katie Brazelton has allegedly already lost her job, I notice Mark Hurlbert hasn’t lost HIS taxpayer funded government job. YET.

    Vote the fraudulent bum out. Better still, remove him from his deed restricted home with fraudulent deeds, so he’ll experience first hand what he didn’t do for a real victim.

    Vintage Mark Hurlbert, skewed, off kilter abusive prosecutorial tangents.

  6. I have one question for all those that are rationalizing away the fact that these two women have no ethics, morals or ethics.

    If it was your daughter that was knocked off of the podium by these two narcissistic sociopaths — what would you say to her?

    As a former alpine racer and coach, I was sickened by their actions.

    But I am even more appalled by those that “feel so bad for them”……….

    I, for one, could care less how it all works out. Whatever. They deserve whatever they get – felony, misdemeanor, loss of job, career —
    They took action after action after action.

    Blame the DA. Blame Mr. Chlouber. Cry me a river for those “poor two women”.

    And raise your kids to be just like them — and just like you. Maybe they’ll go work for Goldman Sachs and provide us all with “social value”…

    Good luck to us all — cuz we are going to really need it.

    • Marc,

      So do you think if someone parks in a red zone, for example, they “deserve whatever they get” because they chose to park there. If a spouse has an affair, and lies about it, that’s wrong and fraudulent, but should the DA get involved? You said you could care less what hapens to them and they deserve whatever they get. I think in our legal system we set aside certain areas for criminal enforcement and others for civil, private lawsuits. In organized sports, the sport has generally been self governing. Perhaps Mr. Chlouber feels he has a breach of contract claim. Then he can sue for breach of contract. We also have a system that’s based on prioritized enforcement and penalties. I think that’s one of the big complaints with Mark Hurlbert. With him, it’s almost as if the more stupid and petty the offense, the more he goes after it with every taxpayer dollar and weapon at his disposal.

      That’s why I brought up the parking ticket example. Our system is based on more than a simplistic, on-off switch mode. It’s not like, well you broke the law, whatever happens between a $50 fine and life in prison is ok, because you chose to park there.

      I have not rationalized their actions; rather, I looked at the facts almost exclusively from Mr. Chlouber’s account of what happened, and what remedies he was already able to take as a race director. The fact is that he was able to remedy quite a bit, and he wants further cooperation from the two women. Looking at the punishment they have already received, I think it is sufficient, and I think most people do.

      I don’t think most people want to see sports cheating turned into a matter for criminal prosecution. What’s next. Would you support cops hiding in the brush, or going undercover as foursomes at the local club championship to spot possible fraud. And if it’s discovered that the club champion improved his lie or took a mulligan, or turned in an altered score card, instead of losing the trophy and prizes and being reviled at and kicked out of the club, do you want the petty tyrants of the world like Mark Hurlbert to bring criminal charges?

      This law was not designed for these situations. One of the big areas it is designed for though, is to bust illegal aliens using other people’s social security numbers. Law enforcement in the 5th District busts people alll the time and discovers this socially costly fraud. How many of those situations do you think our disaster of a DA pursues? I’ve found one, maybe. One was an arrest, but Hurlbert has refused comment about whether the case was fully prosecuted.

      Plenty of punishment has occurred to Lyall and Brazelton. Now maybe Mark can spend his time on some more pressing matters. — ones that his constituents clearly view as a much higher priority.

    • If it was your daughter that was knocked off of the podium by these two narcissistic sociopaths — what would you say to her?

      If my daughter was competing in the 40-49 division, I’m sure she’ll be mature enough to handle it.

      Barring that, the truth is a good place to start, that some people value winning so much that they don’t care whether it had any meaning.

      I say this while agreeing that is was bad form for Lyall to try to win the race if she was simply competing so her friend didn’t have to lose on the entry fee.

  7. Jacki, Hurlbert may consider himself ‘penny wise’, but I’d think of him as ‘pound foolish’. Thousands in taxpayer dollars already spent on a frivolous lawsuit that hopefully will be thrown out.
    I’ve always thought that a ‘loser pays’ proposition should be enforceable at the DA’s level as well. He brings forth a moronic charge such as this and if they lose, he pays the taxpayers back. Every f*#&ing cent. (Out of his own pocket, not the courts coffers.)
    That way, a mental midget like Hurlbert might think twice before attempting to ruin someones life.

  8. Pingback: Lunch Links | The Agitator

    • I want to thank Radley Balko, Senior Editor of Reason Magazine, for linking us to his must-read blog, The Agitator. For those interested in government over-reach, nanny state issues, the failed war on drugs, and police and prosecutorial abuse, Radley is the guru. He also writes for the prestigious Cato Institute, and comments frequently for John Stossel’s show on the Fox Business network. In short, he does what I’d like to do when I grow up.

      Check out both sites: http://www.reason.com and http://www.theagitator.com

      The commenters at The Agitator are smart and fun.

  9. Marc Peot: “these two women have no ethics, morals or ethics.” Does this mean they have half as many ethics, or double the lack of ethics?
    The person that should have received the gold pin and belt buckle will be honored at this years race and given the items they were cheated out of. The women have been banned from entering the event again. Case closed.
    Actually, I used to work for Merrill, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Small minded people like you read the news and pigeonhole everyone at Goldman as no-gooders. That isn’t the case.

    I’m not going to continue, because you’re just not intelligent enough to understand the situation.

  10. Pingback: More On Leadville 100 Felony Charges | UltraRob's Adventures

  11. Treklover (the bike)

    Wow Marc Poet — I could barely read through your comment…it made me feel just kind of sick…it left me feeling like you are the type of person that would put a dog down because it was just easier.

    I don’t know these woman — but I have been strangely fascinated by this case…

    What I do know is that no one deserves to lose their way to make a living over a bad decision (yes it was a bad decision).

    Also — what i know — I WAS AT the award ceremony last year…let me tell you …no one gave a crap about any presentation…the only thing people were interested in was seeing Lance and Dave (and maybe Rebecca R)…during the actual awards people were talking, going in an out trying to deal with their sweatshirts…and generally not giving a shit…and that was ok…people dont’ do this race for the awards…they do it to finish and the personal achievement of finishing within a certain time. (of note the results are not even posted on the website….so clearly not a huge deal).

    Ken trying to make this like these women intentionally tried to cheat seems way out of line…or that the other women who were all moved back a place have to live with that loss for the rest of their lives is false.

    And you want to talk about ethics and morals…let’s look at Ken…fine about having Landis race in his race when he was under suspension…and also fine telling the media (Denver Post) that Katie begged to get her entry…when that isn’t true…in fact if she didn’t have entry in August none of this would have happened!!!

    i know this probably won’t effect the Leadville 100 race …at least not for a few years…in terms of people wanting to do it…but I would guess that it would effect the smaller races like the Silver Rush and the new 24 hours…I know a number of people now who will not go near anything to do with the Leadville 100.

    • I should have mentioned in my earlier reply to Marc’s comment that calling these two women sociopaths is ludicrous. You want to find some real sociopaths. Run Hurlbert’s name through the Vail Daily and the Summit Daily, and look at some of the scum he’s let run loose with no credible explanation to the public whatsoever. People like Erik Rockne and Dustin Winslow. Call him up and ask him why he cut these deals. He’s more than welcome to comment here about those or any cases.

      After you do that Marc, because I have scoured his record from 2003 to the present, please point out where he showed any real compassion to a victim of a violent crime or ever admitted to a mistake ever. Lots and lots and lots of people have also had their finances devastated and their lives ruined by either over prosecution or cases of complete innocence. Please. I know you won’t find it.

      I would love to see some real sociopaths put away. Here’s one that was Hurlbert’s third in command, Elizabeth Oldham. Hurlbert is in writing that he’d take her back in a heart beat despite her ethics violations. http://wp.me/pzqev-d2

      In part because of his failure to follow the law on legal ethics, and the failure of other DAs and judges to report her to the Office of Attorney Regulation, she is now the head 14th District Attorney. The people of Steamboat Springs sure wish they could undo the disaster she’s been, and she fits the definition of a sociopath perfectly. Lying every minute of the day to anyone and everyone is her stock in trade.


    I spoke with Ken Chlouber earlier today, and he made it clear that if he gets the full explanation about how the breach occurred and the apologies called for in the article, not only is he in favor of dropping all criminal charges, but he believes DA Hurlbert will do so.

    He also brought up a point that people have been asking about. Competing in the race was one thing, but why get up on the podium and accept the awards, etc? I assumed whoever was up there was caught up in the heat of the moment and would either have to get up, or flee the scene of the event ASAP.

    Ken Chlouber pointed out that the awards ceremony was actually held the next day. He feels maybe some nose-thumbing was going on there. He agreed with me this should not change the legal situation, but it does add a new perspective.

    He also wanted to publicize that through the Leadville Trail 100 Legacy Foundation, they are providing $1,000 to all Leadville High School graduates who enroll in either a college or trade school after graduation. They have funds set aside for 50 students so far. Chlouber will be offering five, special “Leadville Legacy” spots in the 2010 event for $2,000 per entry. All of the fee will go towards the scholarship fund.

    This is all good news, and I hope DA Hurlbert picks up the pace for a change and resoves this quickly.

  13. This reminds me of Mark Hurlbert’s prosecution of the resort employee who threw snowballs at a coworker while they were waiting for a shuttle bus.

    Mark Hurlbert’s record makes him appear to be a clown. The lying mountain bike racers will learn and grow up. Will Mark Hurlbert ever grow up?

    Maybe this is Mark Hurlbert’s way of spending the budget increase he got from the county commissioners.

  14. Marc— is that your real name? Wasn’t Ken a college ski racer? Are you Ken? Or one of his Cronies?

  15. Hurlbert is yet again wasting hard earned taxpayer funds on ridiculous persecutions (not prosecutions!) of local taxpayers. He’s an idiot. He is nothing more than a parasite and needs to leave the public domain.The only problem is, I can’t think of a single job that this moron is capable of doing…perhaps HE could be “rehabilitated” in jail while serving a lengthy sentence for prosecutorail abuse or obstruction of justice or wrongful prosecution.

    Here’s a horrendous case involving a close friend. A few years after the Kobe scandal, Hurlbert got involved with the lynching of a local Silverthorne Elementary School music teacher who was falsely accused by a student who was very familiar with the Department of Social Services. Un-known to the teacher, but probably known to the Principal, this student’s family had multiple reports of abuse and neglect which had been investigated by social services. When this student appeared in the Principal’s office and stated that her RIGHT arm had been grabbed by the music teacher, the Principal took it upon herself to photogragh (tamper with) the “evidence”. The student proceeded to roll up the sleeve on her LEFT arm and reveal a “brownish purple” vertical bruise on the inside of her left upper arm. The Principal, against school district policy, not only questioned the accuser but also instructed the school counselor to call and question the accuser’s mother. The mother later admitted lying as to the circumstances surrounding the child’s bruise.

    No other children reported seeing any such behavior in the classroom on the day that the student made her false allegation. Only one other student was questioned that day. That student stated that there had not been any such “grabbing” in the classroom.
    Mark Hurlbert was the DA who decided to pursue misdemeanor child abuse charges against this innocent teacher. Hurlbert REFUSED to have the accusing child assessed by a physician despite knowing the history of neglect in the family. He REFUSED to have the student examined to determine if there were other injuries given that the presented bruise was old and not in the area that was claimed to have been grabbed. This student’s safety was TOTALLY ignored in Hurlbert’s zeal to get a “name” in a high profile case. Did he consider that the student may well be involved in an abusive situation at her home?

    Hurlbert even allowed the Principal, days later, to individually escort “chosen students” to a room to be questioned by Silverthorne police. Interestingly, each of the students gave the exact same opening statement to the police. None of their “stories”, however, jived with each other nor with the false accuser’s allegations. Despite the overwhelming evidence that the allegations were false, Hurlbert pursued the case.

    Within two weeks of the false allegations, the student reportedly made it common knowedge around the school that she had lied and “got the teacher fired”. The student told this to other students; the student and her non-English speaking family planned to move from the county and her teacher organized a going away card signing. HMMMM, seems that certain adults in that school would have been aware of the injustice that had occurred and that the accuser was leaving the scene of her crime. Does anyone doubt that the Principal and Hurlbert were also probably aware that the student had lied? Aware that the falsely accused would not be able to confront his accuser (a fundamental constitutional right)?

    The teacher contacted Tom Tancredo who in turn contacted Hurlbert. Hurlbert must have been enraged as he subsequently pushed the teacher’s lame teacher’s union attorney to accept a despicable plea agreement. The “deal” was flatly declined and the Hurlbert finally dropped the charges when the teacher retained an attorney from the law firm that defended and won the Kobe Bryant case; facts that the lack-luster Summit Daily News (or the Dumbit Daily Snooze), among other facts in this case, convienently “overlooked”. That’s why we need blogs like this.

    The sad reality is that the teacher’s life will be forever changed and that his hopes of adopting a child are all but destroyed due to the filing of the false charges and the subsequent Social Services report, despite the report stating that the charges were unfounded.

    Hurlbert is a career politician who wants to continue living off the funds obtained from honest, dedicated, legal taxpayers. Certainly the people of the 5th Judicial District will recall his deplorable performance as DA, and vote against him for his latest political job search, the Colorado Senate. Vote for his opponent, Tim Leonard. A good and honest man who knows what being a fiscal conservative really means, and who is in favor of stopping government abuse of the constitution.

  16. Can someone tell me how a person in Hurlberts position is critiqued? How does his boss know he’s doing a good, or in this case, a poor job? Does he get a set of steak knives at the 100 convictions level?
    Does he get an attaboy for ruining someones future?

  17. So one mtn biker enters a race then is injured and can not compete in the race. So because the race officials do not allow entries to be transfered or refunded she gives her entry to another mtn biker who competes under her name. This new mtn biker runs the race and wins.
    Now the fact that she competed under a different name does not erase her better ability. She won the race because she was a better athelte than the others not because she had someone elses name. If the race officials want to DQ her for that fine. However no theft of services occured. One entry was purchased and one entry was used. Just because the racer was not the same person does not mean the race was cheated out of providing a service that was not paid for. The winning is beside the point.

    • JB, thanks for your thoughtful comment

      Under a contract law theory, the race promoter I believe would have been entitled to two race fees. I’m going back to law school 1979 on this one, but I believe it’s the famous doctrine of the lost volume seller. In other words, Chlouber per contract would have retained the injured racer’s non-refundble fee plus the new competitor’s entry fee. But of course that begs the question of a criminal prosecution, as in my view, the case should have been handled as a civil law, breach of contract/tort claim, or simply within the rules governing the sport and the event (the racers are banned from future competition, have returned the awards, and are negotiating other settlement terms).

      The other issue is that the racer who subbed in was 36, while her friend was 40, and she placed 2nd in the women’s 40-49. The twist from those who know Colorado mountain bike racing though, is that the injured 40-year old is apparently the stronger cyclist, and Wendy Lyall, who subbed in had a great day. Hopefully, all will end without criminal charges. The problem is Hurlbert moves extremely slowly-and he went to college on a dual downhill and cross-country ski scholarship.

      He competes in men’s 40-49 X-country ski races himself, and I hope he starts employing some of those visualization exercises from sports psychology and pictures making that push out of the starting gate and crossing the finish line. He’s not demonstrated much of this either as DA or as a state Senate candidate.

  18. JB, I understand your point with regard to the monetary issue, but I think there’s a bigger undertone to the story.
    Let’s say you’re competing in this race, after working and training your ass off for months, and you do well; you come in fourth.
    Now I do a little better and come in second. You’re okay with that because you gave it all you had.. that’s all anyone can ask. Then after the race is complete, it’s discovered that I had asked Levi Leipheimer to actually ride the bike for me.
    How would you feel about my placing second? Would you feel cheated? Of course you would.
    I really think Ken had no malice in mind when he spoke to the police. He just didn’t handle it very well.
    The REAL problem in this story is Mark Hurlbert. He, in his overzealous, pathetic little mind, has literally made a mountain out of a molehill. In one fell swoop he has ruined two womens lives.

  19. Entry swapping at the LT100 has been going for years, at least since the late 90s. Even before the race became the behemoth it is now, the need to commit so early to enter and lack of transfers/refunds has led many people to do exactly what these women did.

    The difference is that everyone that I knew of that did it was a male in his 30s or 40s (who make up the vast majority of the field) and not a threat for any sort of age group/class win.

    Even back then when things were mellower, I didn’t understand how people circumvented the ID check. I’m pretty sure I showed my driver’s license the couple of times I did the race.

  20. i sure hope this womens values of lying and cheating to achieve her goals are not being passed onto the children she is in charge of . i dont understand why so many people have no problem with these women lying and cheating .i find it discusting that excuses are being made to defend their actions . it’s his fault , they didnt REALLY hurt anybody , it’s just a bike race. if the prize money was one million dollars i bet all the “leave the poor women alone” supporters would be OUTRAGED. i guess morales and honesty arent valued in CO. you people make me sick !

  21. Adam, your murderous ways with the English language make ME sick! Morales and honesty aren’t valued? I have no idea who Morales is, but honesty is one of my strong suits. So, here you go…
    Your post was one of the most ill-informed, poorly capitalized, off-based pieces of drool I’ve ever read.
    Not one of the people in this, or any other forum, is defending what they did. We’re just saying that the ‘crime’ doesn’t fit the punishment doled out by our illustrious district attorney.
    There is no prize money, hamster dick. Winners receive a gold pin, belt buckle, and applause from the immense crowd that has gathered.

    I sincerely hope they haven’t allowed you to reproduce. You must be from outside CO, and I’m hoping you don’t move here. The collective IQ would drop 3%.
    Now, get out of your mother’s basement and go find a remedial English class somewhere.

  22. So, put yourself in their shoes. You spent over $400 to enter the Leadville 100, train hard and sustain a race canceling injury. (Part of the problem is the non-refundable rule. With so many wanting to enter I am sure they could easily get someone else to take the cancellation rider’s place and refund the money.) Do you say oh well and forget about the money (easy come, easy go) or do you “give” it to a friend? If you think their actions were more sinister than this, I feel sorry for you and your distrust of strangers. Must be a very long life when “paranoia runs deep, into your heart it will creep.”

  23. Bruce: Well said! If Mr. ‘I have very small genitals and must compensate in some way!’ Hurlbert wouldn’t have gotten on his high horse, this story wouldn’t have seen the light of day.
    Hurlbert’s actions have been far more detrimental to the Leadville 100 than anything these two have done. Isn’t it amazing how a little bit of power goes to some peoples heads?

  24. Thanks for researching some of the back story on this. I think I first raced the Leadville 100 in 2001 and have done it 6 times and am entered again this year.

    Chlouber may run things in the wild west mountain way but he has a great heart and has tremendous passion for his races. There’s a reason there’s been a lottery for over 10 years before endurance racing became so popular.

    It may “only” be a bike race and no money for winning but don’t tell that to someone who has spent most of a year training for the event. There are plenty of other sports and hobbies that people are just as passionate about that don’t have prize money. They do it because they love it and it’s a major accomplishment to win or in this case just finish.

    One thing that I haven’t seen posted is the organizer pay a small fee to USA Cycling, the national governing body, for insurance. You have to use up all other medical insurance before it gets used and has high deductibles but is at least something for a serious injury. I believe if someone races without being entered they wouldn’t be covered.

  25. Michael Blechman

    Events such as Leadville are not even close to being honestly conducted. Local favoritism for entry and the phony adresses of Ken’s friends getting entries
    dilute his assine attempt to take the high ground in this idiotic spat. Just STFU and ride yer bike.

  26. Michael Blechman

    JB @ 7:46 above says it all……

  27. WhatBS, you’re reply to adam made me laugh. I too was wondering what ‘discusting’ (perhaps the opposite of ‘cussting’ at someone?) and ‘morales’ were. What you wrote was spot on. Bravo!!!

  28. Pingback: How to Give Yourself a Really Bad Day | Truth and Justice For All

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