GORE-TEX™ TransRockies Run 2008
Stage 1: Buena Vista to Vicksburg
12.9 miles/1103 feet climbing
The second-annual GORE-TEX™ TransRockies Run opened to music and excitement in the streets of small town Buena Vista. Just short of 13 miles and a step over 1100 feet of climbing, the first stage represents the shortest, flattest stretch of the race. And, with sunshine and clear skies on this gorgeous 65-degree day, the TransRockies runners had a gentle a warm-up to the 5 days of racing to come.
Buena Vista’s own Mayor Cara Russell welcomed the runners, saying she was “delighted to have the TransRockies Runners here this year.” Energy and anticipation heightened at 9:42am when the MC announced it was time to approach the start chute for check-in and revved up AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell,” well-established last year as the high-energy, pump-it-up song counting down to a gunshot start.
Fully amped, 136 runners in 68 teams took off towards the tree-covered mountains just outside of this quaint country town at 10:00am sharp. Just over an hour later, the first teams were crossing the 10-mile mark next to a rushing river, surrounded by mountains and cheering supporters. Rounding the bends of the gravel road, Men’s Open Team Salomon, looking a bit worn but still running strong, held a lead about 250 yards ahead of Nike/Rogue Valley Runners. One of the Nike/Rogue Valley Runners is Erik Skaggs, who, with his brother Kyle, won last year’s inaugural GORE-TEX™ TransRockies Run.
Team Salomon held their lead across the finish line at 1:23:35, with Nike/Rogue Valley Runners finishing just a minute behind (1:24:41) followed by another Salomon team (Saab Salomon) at 1:26:20.
The first two Open Mixed teams were GORE-TEX teams coming in at 1:40:55 (NW Nike/GORE-TEX) and 1:42:43 (GORE-TEX La Sportiva). Michele Barton and Adam Chase of Team Running Times, a popular duo and winners of last year’s Open Mixed, came in just behind them at 1:43.20.
The first Open Women’s team, Team Super Fly Beaver Creek, crossed at an hour and 42 minutes, 10 minutes before the next Open Women’s team, Rock Creek Outfitters. And, coming in third for Open 80+ was Gore’s own WINDSTOPPER Typhoon, with Robert Steele and Joe Bob Armstrong, only minutes behind The Snowshoe Hares and Team Hawaii at 1:47:11. Rounding out the winners podium was the Women’s 80+ team Vasque Ladies, featuring Pamela Fletcher and Susan Murphy
Around noon, dark clouds started forming over the mountains, reminiscent of the rainstorm story from last night’s opening ceremonies. Hopefully all of the runners sleep well in their tents beneath the stormy skies to get ready for Stage 2 …which won’t be nearly as merciful.
Stage 2 Preview
Vicksburg to Twin Lakes
10 miles/3,098 feet climbing
At only 10 miles, this run from Vicksburg to Twin Lakes looks quick and easy, but the 3,098 foot climb to reach an elevation of 12,538 followed by an equally daunting 3,570 foot descent make this one of the toughest days of the Run.
Stage 1 Report by Bonnie Hockin