Stage 6 is the final leg of the journey of the 2013 edition of the TransRockies Run. One final push through the mountains surrounding Vail and Avon and then up (and finally down) into the finish line at Beaver Creek. At 8 AM sharp the runners departed Mountain Plaza in Vail for a short stint on the south side of the valley. Crossing over I-70 delivered the field to the North Trail. Two miles down, twenty to go.
The weather this week has been nothing short of perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. This morning, the runners spent the morning hours fully exposed to the overhead sun. As they criss-crossed their way up the North Trail and Buffer Creek, along the hard pack singletrack, the temperatures would continue to rise. By Checkpoint 1, at mile seven, 70 degrees would feel like 90 under the hot sun.
Double track trail led the runners to Checkpoint 2 at mile eleven. From there it was a technical descent down the Buck Creek trail, crossing the creek several times, followed by a short road run into Avon to Checkpoint 3 at mile 18. One last challenging climb up Elkhorn trail on pristine singletrack placed the runners high above the Beaver Creek finish line. At the top, with 1.6 miles to go, they descended down Lost Buck trail and across the Beaver Creek Resort bridge. Exhausted and elated, one-by-one, our Trail Striders finished with arms held high.
True to form, five of the six overall leading RUN6 teams won their sixth stage in a row. Men’s Open duo Michael Smith and Rob Krar, crossed the finish line first with a time of 2:58:29 capturing the overall title by over fifty-eight minutes. Open Women’s team Melanie Bos and Stacey Cleveland posted a time of 3:45:34 to win their division by an impressive 2:11:27. Steve and Rachel Ramirez absolutely dominated the Open Mixed class throughout the six days of racing. They wrapped up their final stage win in a time of 4:17:52 and had the largest combined winning time of any team with a four hour and sixteen minute lead.
The dominance continued in the 80+ team categories. The men’s team composed of Stefan Fromme and Marcus Biehl, went six-for-six completing Stage 6 in 3:37:19. For the week, they finished two hours and fifteen minutes in front of their next closest competitors. Mixed team Cameron Widoff and Kerrie Wlad posted a stage winning time, and sixth overall win, in 3:33:51 placing them fifty-seven minutes and fifty-nine seconds ahead of the 2nd place team. Team Two InknBurn Badass Mommas, Skye Colclough and Ann Ongena, had an almost perfect week taking the victory in five of six stages. They capped off the week winning in 4:56:15, a total of one hour and thirteen minutes ahead of team #2.
2013 marked the first year for the RUN6 Solo. A total of fifty men and women became the first Trail Striders to complete the six day journey on their own. Nadyia Fry seemed to get stronger as the week progressed winning her fourth stage and the overall title in 3:25:16. For the week, she would finish a total of fourty-four minutes and fourty-eight seconds ahead of second place finisher Sara Wagner. Ian Perriman began his RUN6 with a second place finish. Stages 2 through 6 were all wins, garnering him the overall Men’s title and a final stage time of 3:44:50.
Lucky number seven is in the books. Thank you to all our runners for being a part of another exciting and successful event. We hope that your experience was one that will leave you with memories, and friendships, that will last a lifetime. Whether you ran 3 days or 6, your accomplishment is one that you all should be exceptionally proud of. Welcome to the Trail Strider family.