By Colleen Cooke
By Colleen Cooke
It finally happened – I came into money on the trails of Colorado today during stage one. (See, mom and dad, I knew all the time I have spent running simply HAD to bring me money). Unfortunately, this money won’t pay my mortgage as “Money” is a nickname for Monroe — one of the members of the Salomon team this year. I ran with him for awhile, as well as one of the teams from HerbaLife , both super nice Californian teams that I have I feeling I may keep seeing in route. Further down the road I met two Texans who were playing it smart and taking it slower today, as apparently there aren’t any big mountains in that big state.
I share these brief interludes of my run to share the variety of cool runners I managed to meet within seven miles of my first day. I can hardly wait for our 20+ mile stages! Oh, the stories I hope to share (but sorry kids — there are some codes about “what happens on the trail stays on the trail”… so I may have to get written permission first before blurting those out).
So the deceiving Stage One is now part of history, but the cool carved-out tunnels and the brilliant river we ran next to for most of the day are etched in my memory. It was the absolute perfect Colorado running day… blue skies with some passing cloud coverage and one sweet route to begin our journey of the Colorado Rockies. Though we remained “low” (just over 8,000 feet) today, it was all a gradual uphill with the occasional “speed bump” that challenged the legs just enough to prep us for tomorrows climb up and over Hope Pass.
The coolest, and I mean COOLEST part of the day was chatting it up with all the other runners while standing in the FREEZING river soaking our legs and discussing the events of the day. Some braved it all the way up to their waists while others opted for knee-height only. Picture any of your favorite mountain river scenes and then plunk about 20 runners into it standing there smiling, laughing, and getting to know one another. (OK, I just got that flutter in my heart that I spoke of yesterday about “falling in love” and totally admit I also got a little teary recalling this moment. It was just so TransRockies).
Another very genuine feature of TransRockies is there is no hierarchy of runners. We ALL run the same route, we ALL eat the same meals, we ALL sleep in tents, and we ALL soak in the river together. We just do it all at a different pace. But that’s just it — we’re all soaking in the river with the fast people (aka the “cool kids”). There was no chest-bumping or bragging going on, just a real friendly camaraderie and a sincere respect for everyone – the fast AND those of us who are more “speed-challenged.” In no other sport I have participated in have I seen such warmth and support of one another. TransRockies truly is a unique and wonderful event, and I’m looking forward to watching this family reunion grow. Time to go consume more calories and put my feet up. Read on!