Thursday, March 11, 2010

TransRockies Race Stage III: Leadville to Camp Hale (Red Cliff)

24.2 miles/2930 ft climbing
Finish time: 5hrs 38min

The previous night at our "pep talk" we were warned that we would be entering sheep territory. This is important "need-to-know" info as these sheep would be protected by very large, very protective sheep dogs. We were told to use the phrase "Go Back To Your Sheep" if any of the dogs came to investigate us. There were ruptures of uncontrolled giggling as we all practiced yelling it at each other with a large pointer finger stuck in the air.

The morning started out chilly but we dressed in layers knowing it would warm up before long. Today Steph and I decided that no matter what, we were going to have fun all day long.

We ended up having to cross two main "highways" where friendly (and hunky) State Patrol Officers assisted us across safely to the trail on the other side. The first one let me kiss him innocently on the cheek. *I promised not to post any pics of either officer*. I asked the second one if I could get a pic of him carrying me piggy-back across the road, however after realizing his gun would be in the way, he decided to just pick me up with my arms around his neck. It was all in good humor and in a responsible fashion (i.e. no cars were anywhere in the vicinity, etc). These two guys totally cheered our morning up and we giggled like schoolgirls about it the rest of the run.

I need to take a quick moment to thank graciously the volunteers of this production. They were all so amazing, helpful, and accomodating with a smile (one lady overheard Stephanie wishing outloud that she had an almond joy. Today, we came across the same aid station lady and she magically produced a bag of almond joys while stating she had been waiting specifically for Steph to arrive!). I was so impressed with them that when a small handful of stupid runners decided to run their mouths instead of their legs in an unimpressive temper tantrum I wanted to kick them in the balls. Seriously.

One guy whined and bitched at the female volunteer at one of the aid stations because the station was running low on salt tabs. They were waiting for another jeepload of supplies to arrive as their first jeep broke down. It took everything I had not to drop kick this older man. Did he really need a thirty-something girl telling his forty to 50ish self how to behave? When I saw the aid station lady start to hang her head and apologize, I finally lost it and ran my mouth before I even knew what was just escaped.

I reminded him tersely that we were all adults and experienced runners. Due to the nature of this race and its very potential risks, I told him he'd have to be a downright dumb-ass incompetent twit to not bring his own supplies even if at a minimum. I did take advantage of the magnificient spread at the aid stations, however, I did not RELY on them as my sole source of life sustaining nutrition. Expectations were that we each took care of ourselves and supplimented our own packs as needed.

Anyways, three stream crossings later, we arrived at the aid station bearing mini beach balls and our friendly volunteer "Nipple John". Stephanie asked if we could have one of the beach balls to which the volunteers said, "yes!". While we were snacking, however, Stephanie realized it was going to be a bit difficult to run holding a beach ball. With a spurt of down right silliness, I grabbed Steph's beach ball with mine and stuffed them in my shirt. Eh hem....
Everyone started cheering and laughing (John got a revenge pic of him grabbing my "boobs") so Steph stuffed two down her shirt as well.

And, we were off.....
Yes, ma'am, we ran the rest of that darn day with big 'ol boobies that Dolly herself would've been proud of. 4.1 miles of booby madness!
As I hurled myself chest first down a fast hill I saw ISWIMBIKERUN up ahead and hollered at him and his partner "Watch out guys! I'm top heavy!" which emitted great belly laughs from all.

The last mile or so was on road as we headed into Camp Hale. Stephanie and I got great amusement as cars and bicyclists passed us. Their faces would change from looks of wonder and awe at a pair of great runners coming into the finish line to that of amazement and finally humor as they noticed our enhancements. I think one guy almost fell off his motorcycle. It was a great day and our spirits were light.

At the finish line we did a large booby-bump to the announcement of our names. The cameraman video taped us quite a bit (which we saw evidence of that night at the pep talk/video report of the day). Stephanie was caught on camera saying, "I'm not quite sure what happened up there but I think my husband is going to be pretty happy!"

After extracting our inflatables from our chests' we slowly and painfully walked to the post-race tent for some food. I set my eyes on a large jar of peanut butter with jelly. It was as if the heavens opened up and sang praise for pb&j. It was the best damned sandwhich I had ever tasted, hands down.

We soaked in the lake for awhile to ease the stiffness in our bodies. I was a little concerned and apprehensive about stepping into the murky bottomed lake for fear of leeches. My NorthEastern raised butt had swam in plenty of leech infested waters and I wasn't having any of that. No bueno.
I got a bit teased for thinking these glacier-fed waters could house leeches...uh. oh yeah....

I did get to finally meet Devon and Jason from Outside PR (the ones who allowed me to demo some of Sugoi, Headsweat, Gu, etc products) and they were even cooler in person! Devon actually ran the next stage with one of our runner friends as he had lost his partner and didn't want to be prohibited from running sans teammate.

One very long hot shower later, a massage, a heapfull of tasty lasagna, and a bout of hoola-hooping on the lawn....Stephanie and I were very happy campers. Kyle and Matt set up camp right next to us and we got a little late-afternoon naps. We awoke when Kyle had to show everyone the ant he had just pulled out of his ear. I guess the little guy wanted a little nap too....poor fella.

As we waited for the nighttime pep-talk roundup to start, we got cozy in the lodge with some steaming coffee and a protein brownie. Tonight's free treasure was a windstopper ear warming wrap. Super cool!

Oh! AND I won a powder blue Gore jacket from the Gore-tex Weather Van!!! How cool is THAT!?

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