GORE-TEX™ TransRockies™ Run 2008
Stage 2: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes, CO
10 miles/3,098 feet climbing
Runners gazed up at the daunting 12,538’ peak with a bit of apprehension at the starting line in rural Vicksburg, CO. What may seem to some to be a quick 10-mile jaunt for these experienced distance runners will actually be a flat 2-mile lead into a 3,098’climb immediately followed by a 3,570’ descent. After the runners reach the bottom, they’ll still have two miles, a bunch of oversized, shin-deep puddles, a knee-deep river crossing, and a hundred yards of wet river rocks to clamor over before approaching the banner-clad finish. (Stage 2 Profile)
No matter how you slice it, though, it could be worse. The weather is definitely on their side with sunny blue skies opening up to a 67-degree high with no rain in sight. And, an aid station complete with food, hydration, and applause meets the runners at the top of the ascent thanks to two very athletic volunteers and their helpful rented mules. Yes, that’s right, we brought it back old school with tried and true donkeys to help keep our runners nourished and hydrated. Our fearless volunteers, John DiMeo (2007 GORE-TEX™ TransRockies™ Finisher) and Pete Traylor, along with the runners (and the donkeys, of course) will be enjoying some of the best scenery on this year’s course …that is, once they catch their breath.
This stage’s tough terrain favored Team Saab Salomon with Andy Symonds and Tom Ownes who broke the line at 1:31:27, much faster than anticipated even for the running elite. A minute and 20 seconds later Erik Skaggs and Max King of Nike/Rogue Valley Runners came charging through. Nearly a full 10 minutes behind them, winners of yesterday’s stage, Team Salomon, crossed the finish, feeling the burn of the course.
Erin Hutchinson and Keri Nelson of Open Mixed Team GORE-TEX™ La Sportiva came dashing across the finish just minutes after Team Salomon (1:46:20), followed 17 minutes later by the first 80+ Men’s Team The Snowshoe Hares, Carl Bruggeman and Eric Black (2:03:14).
Open Women’s Team, Super Fly Beaver Creek (Anita Ortiz and Katie Mazzia), showed their strength with a time of 2:04:02, just ahead of 80+ Men’s Teams WINDSTOPPER™ Typhoon (Robert Steele and Joe Bob Armstrong) and GORE-TEX™ Gmeamtn (Mark Thurston and Aaron Ells), who came in just moments later. Team Running Times, with Michelle Barton and Adam Chase, caught by last night’s rain storms in tent city, had a tough run today coming in another minute later at 2:07:31. And, Team Vasque Ladies, the front-runners for the 80+ Women’s division yesterday held their position today with a time of 2:27:48.
Though spent from the slope of the course, the runners came in in high spirits loving the views and the trails, which is what they do best, noting that it was well worth the climb. Hopefully they’re ready for their next challenge tomorrow…
Stage 3 Preview
Leadville to Camp Hale
24.3 miles/2,930 feet climbing
Tomorrow’s stage is long and rugged at 24.3 miles. Just 1.9 miles shy of a marathon at elevations from 9200 to 10,945 feet. Though not the hard steady incline of today’s race, this stage will still be brutal both in terrain and duration.
Stage 2 Report by Bonnie Hockin