The 2012 edition of the GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run started its 6 day march to Beaver Creek from beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado. This year saw the start line move several blocks to the quaint neighborhood of South Main. Three hundred and sixty plus Trail Striders lined up and hit the trails at 9:00 AM sharp.
The GORE-TEX™ TransRockies Run isn’t just a race it’s a celebration of trail running and the outdoors. It’s a 3 or 6 day trek through the Rockies with people from all over the world who love to go further, and higher, than their pavement pounding counterparts. One of the most appealing things about the GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run is how it brings so many different groups of people together. Runners of all ages, speeds, shapes and sizes come together to experience a race like no other. Over the week, friendships will be made that will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
This morning, as the starter’s pistol sounded, those 360 hardy souls from 16 countries from Australia to Ireland took to the trail to test their minds and bodies and ‘Find out what’s inside…outside’.
The runners were greeted by yet another glorious Colorado summer morning. There were faint hopes that rain from the previous day would bring cloud cover and cooler temperatures. As the runners hit the trail, and began their first long climb of the week, it was evident that the day would be warm, but not scorching, as in years past. With day one underway, our Trail Striders began to tick off the 20,000 feet of elevation gain that lay before them over the next 6 days.
As in past years, a strong elite field assembled to mount their assault on the 6 day version of the event. These teams would use this first day to test their competition and see who came ready to race. Team Run Flagstaff, past winners Michael Smith and Rob Krar, established themselves as the dominant force in the Open Men’s category with solid 2:15:20 and 13 minute win over 2nd place Team Salomon runners Jorge Maravilla and Mario Mendoza. In similar fashion the ladies of Ooh la La Sportiva, Pam Smith and Jenny Capel, racked up their first podium placing of the week with a 3:13:26.
Last year Zach Violett and Stephanie Howe of The North Face Bendites placed third overall in the Open Mixed. Today they took one step toward an overall title with a first place finish in 2:47:57 over Team Sam members Amy Schneeberg and Geoff Reid. With over a 7 minute lead, the other teams will have some work to do but anything can happen over the next 5 days.
The TransRockies Run also has three age-group categories which annually see strong competition. Congratulations go to Stage 1 Winners La Sportiva Trails Masters (Bernie Boettcher and Andy Ames 80+Men), the Caba-nators (Katie and Jeff Caba 80+ Mixed) and Valeire Lacarriere and Marielle Chabaud of Team Resilience (80+ Women Division). Stay tuned for more coverage as these teams look to test each other through the six stages.
Along with the teams racing in the 6 day GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run, the event also includes a solo 3-day race called RUN3. These runners will cover the first 3 days of the 6 day event and, often, in impressive time. 2010 6-day champion Max King looked to send a message to the rest of the Open Men’s field posting the fastest run of the day with a swift 2:11:08. Alicia Shay made her GORE-TEX® TransRockies Run debut in style clocking a time of 2:38:06 and an 11 minute win over Trail Runner Magazine’s Gina Lucrezi.
Stage one is down and only 5 to go! Stage 2, Vicksburg to Twin Lakes, has the runners traversing 13.3 miles over 12,540 foot Hope Pass. Shorter distance but significantly more elevation gain than Stage 1, this stage will challenge the lungs but reward the athletes with breathtaking views.