Salt of the Earth

One of the best ways to measure the quality of an event is the staff it attracts.  2014 was the 8th edition of TransRockies Run and most of the staff is made up of people who fly and drive in from all over the United States and Canada to work the event for two weeks.

During the event I took the opportunity to talk to staff and I noticed a trend.  Most of the staff takes a two week vacation from their lives to come back year after year to work at TransRockies Run.  In the case of Wade and Joe who come in from Tennessee to be the luggage handlers, they have both worked 7 out of the 8 races.  Wade and Joe became a part of the TransRockies family when they met Race Director Kevin “Houda” McDonald at a mountain biking event put on by TransRockies Events in Canada.  Joe’s wife was racing and Wade and Joe were spectating and wanted to help out.  Sure enough, Houda put their strong muscles to work.  They must have set a standard for their strength because they have both handled bags at TransRockies since.

Wade shared with me that he has considered making a request for another job so he could get a different perspective of the event. This was before Houda got a text message suggesting they hire young and good-looking men to handle bags.  Ladies, I encourage you to stop and break away from your superficial desires, take a breath of fresh mountain air and get to know these two men.  They define the salt of the earth.  Joe, despite a death in the family a week before departure for the race, cared so much about his TransRockies Family, he came to work the race.

As I watch the staff gleefully walk around while working 15 hour days, I thought about the effects the race has on those who work it.  They are the depth of what makes this event special.  We, the participants get to run on beautiful trails and eat delicious food.  These are important aspects of everyone’s decision to click the register button.  But when I stopped for a minute to watch everyone working to make it all come together, I came to realize that without them, there would be no TransRockies.  Over 100 people dedicating 2 weeks of their lives to ensure we all had the experience of a lifetime.  One that we would want to do year after year, share a story of our summer adventure at a class reunion or reminisce with our grand children years into the future.

Share your most memorable staff experience at Transrockies 2014.

Trasie Phan is the Co-Founder and Production Manager of Ultra Racing Network, a media production company providing news and entertainment for the world’s premier Ultra Races. She has participated in the RUN6 Team in 2011, 2012 and 2014. You’ll find her on twiter @trasiephan, the trails in Southern California or reach her by email:

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