8/20/17 – TRR Stage 6!

We made it! Stage 6 was 22 or so miles and about 4,400 feet of climbing. For the week we did 124 miles and 20,000+ feet of climbing! For now I’ll just say it was quite the experience, and we are both thankful that we were able to do it.

WE WILL NOT BE DOING ANYTHING LIKE THAT AGAIN ANYTIME SOON! It was very hard and we are glad to be done.

We finished 2nd in our category each day and 2nd overall in our category for the whole race. Meaning we now have lots of medals as we got a new one each day.

I will use this opportunity to remind you all that you can always do more than you think you can! Hopefully I’ll see some of you tomorrow.

Reporting from home, me

8/19/17 – Day 5

We made it through day 5! Today’s stage took us from Red Cliff to Vail.

The first part of the stage was on a backcountry dirt road. After 8 miles we finally made it to some of the best single track trails we have ever run on. These trails are essentially way in the back of Vail ski area.

The most perfect trails through the forest
More amazing trails

At about mile 14 we made it to the back bowls of Vail. It was really cool to see the area without snow. It’s quite beautiful with tons of wild flowers.

After a bit of running on the ski area access road across the top of Vail we began a long descent down to Vail Village. 24 miles after we started we were finally done and glad of it.

Tonight we are roughing it in a tent on the Ford athletic fields. We have discovered that we are really soft when it comes to camping and that we definitely prefer to sleep indoors. One stage to go.

Reporting from a tent in Vail, Colorado, your tired trainer.

Looking back towards Mt of the Holy Cross
Beautiful views as we approach Vail’s back bowls
Time for another selfie!

8/18/17 – TRR Stage 4

We made it another day! Today’s stage was on the shorter side at 14 miles and most of the climbing was in the first 6 miles.

We left from Nova Guides and headed out on gravel roads for about 2 miles before beginning the day’s big climb.

The hardest part of the climb was near the top where one segment of the climb gained a bit over 700 feet in 0.7 miles. It was the steepest climb we have done thus far.

The top with beautiful views

After clearing the top we had a bit of flat followed by a long downhill. Near the end of this downhill trail, about the last mile or so, the trail runs through a creek that is flowing rapidly down the hill.

There is no way to avoid getting wet so one just has to get down the creek section as best one can with frozen wet feet. The cold water was nice for about 2 minutes before feet were frozen and numb.

We finished strong into Red Cliff and were looking forward to getting back to the cabin.

Reporting from said cabin, me.

8/17/17 – TRR Stage 3!

Good afternoon all. Today I am writing from a most beautiful cabin at Nova Guides somewhere past Red Cliff, Colorado. Technically I think we are in Camp Hale, which as some of you will know, is where the famed 10th Mountain division of the US Army originally trained for high alpine activities during WWII. It certainly is a pretty spot to train for war.

There are still some old ammo depots and bunker type places lying around the area, but they are more of an interesting attraction than distraction.

Our run today started in a very cold Leadville. If you’d happened to have been driving through Leadville this morning you would have seen all of us runners running along Main Street and out to the highway that leads to Tennessee Pass.

Eventually we turned onto a jeep road and began the biggest climb of the day. It wasn’t too bad, but it certainly got the heart pumping. After about 5 miles we began a descent to mile 8 on more jeep roads.

After some running along a disused paved road we turned onto another jeep road and began another climb. This climb was not particularly steep, but it was a little long. The climb led us to the ski resort called Ski Cooper (no relation to Copper Mountain, much to some tourists’ dismay).

We made a brief stop at the aid station located at Ski Cooper and headed out to finish the last 10 miles of the stage. It was at this point that M pulled out her phone to take pictures as the views were nice. Discovering that her phone was turned off, M turned it on to find that rarest of backcountry beasts, cell service. She also discovered a text message response from the world’s greatest crew chief, sister Sarah! Sarah was responding to M’s earlier request for Larkburger for dinner.

M immediately called Sarah and confirmed that yes, we would like a delivery of burgers and fries for dinner this evening!

After this positive update, our pace picked up a bit because we knew that not only would we be staying in a warm cabin, but we would also be having an awesome dinner.

The last part of the stage was mostly single track with some rolling hills. The trails in this section were very nice trails running through a lovely forest.

After a 3 mile gravel road finish, we were finally done with the day’s 24 miles.

Fortunately we were able to check into our cabin earlier than expected. It was quite a luxury to take a shower in our own bathroom.

Of course it was even nicer when Sarah showed up with our Larkburger order! We had a great dinner with Sarah and we can’t thank her enough for the help she’s given us these last 2 races.

Hoping you all are well and reporting from a cabin nicer than our house, me.

8/16/17 – Hope Pass

We made it again today. As I said yesterday, today’s run was much more our style. We started in Vicksburg and had about 2 miles of flat, dirt road before beginning the climb up Hope Pass. There were about 3 miles of steep uphill and then around 4-5 miles of downhill. The route finished with a few miles of rolling terrain. Our total for the day was around 13 miles.

We made it to the top!

Hope Pass was beautiful and reminded M and I both more of a European climb than a Colorado climb because of the steepness. It was quite cold at the top so we didn’t linger long before making our way down to the finish at Twin Lakes.

Reporting from a tent in Leadville…

8/15/17 – TRR Day 1

These emails will probably be few and far between due to lack of interweb and the fatigue of the author. Here is a brief update on our first day.

Stage 1 of 6 began in Buena Vista. We ran on a combination of fire roads, dirt roads and single track trail. The weather could not have been better as there were blue skies and the temperature was at most about 70 degrees. The stage was 21 miles long with not much climbing.

M and I both ran well and felt good at the end of the stage.

Tomorrow’s stage is a little more to our liking as it simply goes straight up Hope Pass and then down the other side and is only about 14 miles long. We start in an old mining town called Vicksburg and finish around the Twin Lakes area just outside Leadville.

Reporting from a small cabin in the Arrowhead Point Campground, this is your trainer saying, “Goodnight”.