Yesterday marked the fifth stage of the TransRockies Run where runners traveled from Red Cliff to Vail covering 24.1 miles and 4,100 feet elevation gain. The route was long and hilly, but runners were rewarded with breathtaking views of Colorado’s rocky peaks. Battling achy muscles and mental challenges, runners continued to show dedication in every step and mile towards Beaver Creek where they will cross the final finish arch of the 2016 TransRockies Run today!
The morning of stage five started early and chilly! With shuttles heading to Red Cliff at 6:45 a.m. runners were up at the break of dawn ready for breakfast and caffeine.
Around 7:45 a.m. Highway to Hell starting blaring as the runners took off their puffies and sweatpants to head to the start. At 8 a.m., runners were off!
Within the first few miles, runners started up a long, gradual incline, which continued for eight miles and covered a total of 2,500 feet of vert. Chatter was soft but teamwork was high as everyone worked together to trek up this long climb. At last, checkpoint one was in site giving the runners some fuel and GU energy as they headed up in Vail resort.
From checkpoint one, runners entered the wooded singletrack, which, not surprisingly kept going up. Runners weaved in-and-out of trees for a bit on rolling terrain and eventually popped out at 11,700 feet on top of Vail Mountain. The wide-open space was covered in green grass and blooming wildflowers, causing runners to stop and enjoy the moment. The open section of trail continued climbing up switchbacks on the backside of Vail Mountain and onward to checkpoint two.
At checkpoint two, runners were done with most of the hard climbing of the day and awaited their long descent into Vail Village, passing checkpoint three with five miles to go. With eagerness to finish, the pace picked up and runners began to knock off mile after mile. With achy quads, the five-mile descent was not as pleasant as one would think but the runners put pain in the back of their minds and charged forward. Weaving in and out of trees, chairlifts, mountain bikers and hikers, runners started to see Vail Village in the distance, and as they get closer the finishing arch was in sight!
With temperatures high in the 70s and a sky of full sun, runners made their way through the arch and directly to the ice-cold creek to soak their hardworking legs. The rest of the afternoon was filled with napping, foam rolling, eating and relaxing with new and old friends.
Stage five complete and runners are currently making the last 22 mile trek to Beaver Creek where shiny new swag and bling await!
To view yesterday’s results, click here!