Thursday, August 28, 2014

TransRockies Run6 - Stage 1

Buena Vista, CO to Railroad Bridge (just north of Buena Vista). 
Distance: 20.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 2,672ft

When my alarm went off at 6am, I was focused and ready to go. I showered, got the baggie labeled "day 1", put on the running outfit that was in it and packed my hydration vest with the nutrition I had previously prepared. The hotel in Salida had breakfast available at 6:30, but luckily they were all set up by 6:20. We hit the road and arrived in Buena Vista at 7:05am.

While the TransRockies crew arranged for trucks to drive around town and pick up duffel bags from the hotels, I had to personally drop mine off since I had stayed in Salida the night before. It was fast and easy. I walked from the Heritage Museum over to the start line (roughly a half a mile away). People were slowly showing up and you could just feel everyone's excitement. I found a good place to sit and relax... even stretch a little bit and pulled out the elevation profile for the day to figure out a run strategy.

T-minus 41 minutes until start time! 
As we were getting ready to start, the announcer asked that we seed ourselves based on what we thought our pace would be. There were 3 main starting "corrals" and I placed myself in the middle of the pack. The race started promptly at 8:30am and off we go! The day started with a half a mile paved section as we made our way out of town and across the Arkansas River. Once on the other side, we were immediately on a single track working our way up.

After 2 miles we hit a wider road where we were able to enjoy some better views (well-earned views!) The uphill continued but it was a milder slope and a slow, easy jog made the trick for me. It got slightly steeper close to mile 6 where I was forced to power-hike for a mile before we hit the first aid station at mile 7 after 1500ft of gain. Grabbed a couple potato chips and continued on. All downhill from here!! For a while at least.

One of the last climbs before hitting the aid (behind those big rocky things in the middle)... you can even see some runners if you squint! :) 
After a 4-mile and 1000ft drop, we hit 2 more "biggish" climbs with their respective descents. At the end of the second one I saw the 2nd aid. Pounded some gatorade and continued on a rolling course until aid station 3. I didn't get  much stuff here but I knew the hardest part of the course was about to start.

The weather had been nice this day so far... it was mid to upper 40's at the start with not a cloud in sight. The day slowly warmed and by noon it was already in the mid-80's. While the heat didn't feel so bad up until mile 17, I was about to run the last 4 miles of the course on an exposed dirt road with a slight incline. The second I jumped on this road, I felt it; it was extremely hot and extremely dry. Thankfully there were some tunnels...

Only two of these though... :( 
I walked through these just to cool off a bit. The rest of the 4 miles were slightly uphill and it was getting to EVERYONE. I decided to maintain a slow pace and while it was legitimately a VERY slow jog, I managed to pass a whole bunch of people walking. Sooner than expected I heard the music, then the announcer and then I saw it; the finish line was right around the corner.

I finished Stage One in 4 hours 11 minutes 19 seconds for 13th place. I was stoked since I was aiming for mid-pack (my usual) and shortly after I finished, I realized there were 59 ladies in my category. This was WAY better than mid-pack.

The day didn't end there... I jumped in a shuttle and was taken to our campsite. These people KNOW what they're doing. By the time we got there, they have all the duffel bags lined up in numerical order and 400 tents set up. You just grab your bag and pick a tent. I set up all my camp stuff (air mattress, sleeping bag, etc), grabbed my little "drop-bag" and went over to take a shower. I hung out at the relaxation tent with a beer, met some people and charged my phone and ipod.

Tent City
Dinner started at 4:30pm and I managed to meet up with Marna and Mark (her husband) right before dinner time. It was Greek night! Dinner was delicious!! By 6:00pm, everyone was in the dinner tent and there's an award ceremony to recognize the top 3 in each category followed by a medical briefing and a course briefing for next day. At that point, Houda took over the microphone who made us all laugh with all his stories of the day (and some random announcements!). The evening ended with 2 slideshows of pictures of the day and a short video. I went to bed shortly after 8pm.

Up Next: TransRockies Run6 - Stage 2

No comments:

Post a Comment