Getting your body moving on third day of the TransRockies Run can be a struggle. The legs, feet and toes take a beating on the 3000 foot descent from Stage Two’s Hope Pass. Emotionally the day can be challenging as well as it marks the final day of running for the RUN3 athletes. They know that the conclusion of their journey is only hours away and the celebration can begin. As for the RUN6 contingent, at the end of the day their challenge will only be 50% complete. For them, mental fortitude becomes paramount.
After another hardy breakfast prepared by the legendary Gourmet Cowboy, our Trail Striders set out from the main drag in Leadville at 8am. With 24.1 miles on the schedule, and 2800 feet of elevation gain ahead of them, they would start out with a 2 mile run through Leadville and head north on Highway 24 before beginning the first climb of the day. Three miles and 900 feet of climbing over rocky doubletrack would place them 2 miles from Checkpoint 1 and, for many, in the middle of a group of decidedly unhappy wasps. Runner after runner would descend into Checkpoint 1 with stingers in need of removal. Just another day on the trail!
One thing runners love to avoid, especially when traveling long distances, is water. Wet feet create the perfect conditions for blisters and blisters make running painful. The seven miles from Checkpoint 2 to Checkpoint 3 featured multiple creek crossings. These creeks aren’t wide and they don’t flow very fast, but they’re always ‘fun’ to navigate. Some runners cross gracefully, others slip and trip their way through. Some break into a full sprint, others tiptoe gingerly across any available stone. Whatever the technique, the runners made their way through the water and over Tennessee Pass to Checkpoint 3 at mile 14.
The 7 miles from Checkpoint 2 to Checkpoint 3 offer up some of the most beautiful trail of all 6 Stages. The jaunt down Colorado Trail lead the runners through a mixture of tight and twisty singletrack, through thick forest, and eventually to wide open fields with seemingly never ending views. At mile 21, the final checkpoint of the day waited, with camp for the next two nights visible in the distance.
For the RUN3 contingent, the finish line at Camp Hale/Nova Guides was one of pure elation. With 58 miles under their belts the party would now begin! Chessa Adsit-Morris cemented her place atop the Women’s Open podium winning her second stage in 3:56:56 and the overall title in a combined 9:22:20. Fujio Miyachi swept the Men’s Open field going three-for-three. He would win today’s stage in 3:36:42 and the overall in 8:22:53.
Team Two InknBurn Badass Mommas, Skye Colclough and Ann Ongena, bounced back from a second place Stage 2 finish to notch their second win of the week in the 80+ Women’s division. Their time of 4:40:55 placed them seven minutes ahead of Kim Kortz and Megan Anderson and widened their overall lead to 28:59.
A change at the top took place in the RUN6 Women’s division. Unlike Stages 1 and 2, RUN6 Women’s leader Sara Wagner was unable to hold off Nadyia Fry. Fry claimed her first win in 3:26:57, and took the overall lead, with a gap of 10:35. Ian Perriman repeated his Stage 2 performance with a win in 3:44:26 and moved into the overall lead ahead of Mike Chandler.
The conclusion of day 3 means we bid a heartfelt goodbye to the RUN3 athletes. Congrats on an amazing effort and we hope to see you next year! In their absence, the good times will keep on rolling! Stage 4 from Nova Guides – Camp Hale to Red Cliff promises to please with great views on top of Hornsilver Mountain along with some finish line fish tacos and margaritas at the legendary Mango’s Pub.