GORE-TEX™ TransRockies Run 2008
Stage 3: Leadville to Camp Hale
24.3 miles/2,930 feet climbing
Energy ramped back up this morning. Palpable excitement and the buzz of the day’s race were in the air. The runners were in their element. This run, this just-short-of-a-marathon-10,000’-above-sea-level trail run, was exactly what these ambitious trekkers were hungry for.
Runners avoided the start-line shade this chilly, August morning, preferring instead to stretch on the sunny sidewalks lining Main Street. And Honkey Tonk music, showing the country flavor of Colorado, kept them be-boping through their daily stretches before the countdown began.
The prompt 8am gun-shot start set the runners off by police escort down the busiest street in this one-horse town, with a population less than 3,000. And the category leaders, with their colored leader T-Shirts from the winner ceremonies the night before, led the way.
First runners to cross the line? Team Nike/Rogue Valley Runners, who had held strong at 2nd place for Stages 1 and 2, exploded across the finish at just over 3 hours today (3:04:05). That’s an average of about 7½ minutes per mile …on rocky terrain at over 10,000 feet. Team Saab Salomon burst through a minute and twelve seconds later. And, new to the podium, Team Heathens, with Duncan Marsden and Mark Steinle crossed at 3:18:20. This effectively took Team Salomon out of the finalist running for tonight’s festivities, but Team Heathens has their work cut out for them if they want to catch up to them in terms of total race time.
The top 3 placing teams across all divisions came in under 5 hours and 5 minutes, a testament to the running ability represented at this event. Super Fly Beaver Creek still leads the pack for the Open Women. GORE-TEX® La Sportiva continues their reign in Open mixed. The Snowshoe Hares are living up to their name with 1st place for 80+ Mens followed closely by two Gore Teams. And, Vasque Ladies, maintain their title for 80+ Women, coming in minutes before Bakers Breakfast Cookies and Achilles Heals.
The mid- and end-finishers are equally as impressive. With cut-off times at each aid station, a 9-hour cut-off for today’s race overall, and the same distance to cover as the elite athletes mentioned above, these runners, hikers, and fast trail walkers are facing their biggest challenge yet. And we’re pulling for them the whole way!
Finishing with a flourish, all the runners are sure to enjoy the footbaths, massages, lounge chairs, refreshing ponds, mountainous vistas at every turn, and another delicious dinner, compliments of aptly-named ‘Gourmet Cowboy’. After this and the daily awards ceremony (complete with photo montages and video highlights), runners and volunteers will turn in to Tent City (a spread of about 75 tents that are taken down, moved, and reconstructed daily by our ever-helpful volunteers). And, with no television, no internet, and no cell phone reception reaching Camp Hale the runners will sleep soundly with the knowledge that they truly are in the middle of the mountains. And that they truly are on a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Stage 4 Preview
Camp Hale to Red Cliff
14.2 miles/3,009 feet climbing
Stage 3 was said to be one of the favorites of the 2008 GORE-TEX™ TransRockies™ Run so far. And there’s more to come. Tomorrow’s stage is 14 miles long with 3,009 feet climbing, Friday’s is 23 miles and over 4400 feet climbing, and they finish on Saturday with 21 miles and over 4,600 feet of climbing. They’re half-way through …with over 2 full marathon lengths to go. Stay tuned!
Stage 3 Report by Bonnie Hockin