Thursday, October 1, 2009
TransRockies Race Stage II: Vicksburg to Leadville (via Hope Pass)
12,510' max elevation (holy crap) with river crossings
10Miles: Finish time 3hrs 3min.
It was a chilly morning as we were bussed to the start line. We had just enough time to jump out, run to the restroom, snap a pic, and push through the chute. About two miles down the way we both stopped at the first aid station to strip down to our base layers then begin the climb towards Hope Pass.
Along the way up I realized I had passed a familiar face: ISWIMBIKERUN. (in red)
Wow, I was getting to put a bunch of faces to the blogs I had been following! He was such a trooper! His teammate suffered an injury early on and the two of them still trucked on like champs, finishing each day with a great time and even better attitude.
The trail to Hope Pass turned to scree.
Then cleared up and started the big ascent. Surprisingly, this was very very runnable and fun.
I came across a guy from Florida (Matt) who was looking pretty rough from the altitude. He had trekking poles and was just chugging along. I gave him a little pep talk and did my little nurs-y once over to make sure he wasn't going to fall out on me, then kept running. Later I met Matt's teammate Kyle- both were super cool guys and were our "tent neighbors".
I admit, on my way up Hope Pass, I started to get a little teary. The view was beyond description and my words would not do it justice. It was expansive, beautiful, and humbling. I thought about what an amazing world we live in and how very few actually take advantage of the things outside their little bubble of life. I thought about my past and present failures/accomplishments and the emotions just swelled up in my throat. I wanted so bad to have a family member or good friend right there next to me so I could turn to them and share "my moment". To have someone there to be just as awed as I was. To just stop, sit down in silence, and live in the moment of quietness. Then the tears started to swell thinking about how I was here alone...and then I forced myself to snap back into race mode and keep going. "Suck it up & stop wasting energy" I told myself sternly. I had a mission to accomplish and I wanted to see the top. I had four more days to run after this and, by golly, I was going to finish this beast.
I started to chill a bit at the top but waited for Steph. I knew she would want a picture. We made it!
The mountains seemed to just open up for me and beckon, "Come on, tear this trail up...it is a beautiful flight down!" And so I did just that... as cautious runners picked their way down the trail I opened it up and just let my legs tell me where to go.
The finish line...the skies opened up just a few minutes after we crossed the finish line. It became chilly and drizzly while we waited for our bus into camp. Once in camp we showered, napped, and then took a walk into town for a much needed latte at Provin' Grounds.
We stopped in a way cool gear store called Sawatch Backcountry. We ended up at Tennessee Pass Restaurant and decided to skip dinner at camp to eat here. We ordered a TON of food (Eggplant and goat cheese tapas- to DIE for...seriously). Our waiter was a young kid who's eyes got huge as we ordered. He seemed to look around to see if anyone else was joining us. "Nope, just us" I said with a sweet innocent smile. I think we truly messed this kid up.
Freebies tonight included a Windstopper scarf (as displayed above).