Buena Vista is located south of Leadville on Colorado Route 24. The scenic town is a recreation haven, most popular for spectacular white water rafting. Expect the weather to be wonderfully mild and pleasant. In this first leg of the race, runners will be cover 12 miles and climb 2,700” to Vicksburg.
Stage 2: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes (shuttle to Leadville)
At the end of the first stage, runners will find themselves in Vicksburg, an old silver mining town that is regarded as one of Colorado’s legendary ghost towns. After a night’s slumber with spirits of the mining past, runners will travel 10 miles in stage two and climb 4,500’. This stage ends in Twin Lakes with a shuttle to the tent village in Leadville.
Stage 3: Leadville to Camp Hale
Once in Leadville, runners will be challenging their altitude acclimation. Leadville is Colorado’s highest incorporated city at 10,430’. Leadville is also a historic silver mining town that was once Colorado’s second largest city. Again, the weather should be fabulous. After a sky-high night’s sleep, runners will travel 24 miles and climb 3,300’ to Camp Hale.
Stage 4: Camp Hale to Red Cliff
A night in Camp Hale is a very historic one. Located in the Eagle River Valley, Camp Hale was a major mountain warfare-training center for the US Armed Forces. Starting in 1942, Camp Hale was a site for training in mountain climbing, skiing, mountain fighting techniques, and cold weather survival. At its peak, Camp Hale’s facilities included mess halls, barracks, a hospital, a chapel, a fire station, a post office, a bank, a stockade, a guardhouse, stables, corrals, 2,700-seat theater, and a giant field house. After years of conventional and secretive military use, Camp Hale was decommissioned, dismantled, and turned over to the US Forest Service in 1965. Runners will leave this historic site and head towards Red Cliff, covering the shortest leg of 14 miles and climbing 3,009.
Stage 5: Red Cliff to Vail
The previous stage’s short leg was a mild preparation for this leg – the longest stage covering 23 miles and 5,000’ of climbing. After the grueling day, runners will find themselves in Vail, home to one of North America’s most popular skiing destinations. The snow may have melted, but the scenery of Vail is still spectacular. Tired runners may find renewal in Vail Village where Alpine-inspired pedestrian streets are lined with shops, markets, restaurants, and bars (just in case a strong cocktail is needed).
Stage 6: Vail to Beaver Creek
The last stage of the run is by no means an easy one. Runners will travel 21 miles and climb 4,623’. It may be a long final day, but once in Beaver Creek runners will be celebrating their accomplishment, surrounded by the beauty of this classy Colorado ski destination.