Thursday, August 23, 2012

Transrockies: The North Face Bendites

Once again, Zach and I decided to team up and take on the 6-day, 120 mile GORE-TEX transrockies race across the Colorado rockies. Last year we tackled the race as an unprepared, undertrained duo not really sure what we were getting ourselves into. We ended up finishing third, but almost killed ourselves in the process. This year we were much more prepared and ready to get revenge. Turns out training and working together pays off! 

Celebrating the win!
We started the trip by flying into Denver and spending a few days with two of my best friends from high school. It was so nice to relax and have some fun before heading out to race. On Sunday afternoon we took the bus up to Buena Vista for the start of the race. Again, we had a couple days to relax and get used to the altitude since most of Transrockies is at or above 10,000ft! It was so much fun to see the town transform and become alive with energy as the runners started to arrive. Hundreds of runners filled the streets, shops, and restaurants in anticipation of the start of the race. 

Buena Vista, CO

This year there was a big crew from Bend, including Zach and I, Jeff and Katie Caba, Jeff Browning, Rod Bien, Max King, Mario Mendoza, and honorable mentions to Sean Meissner (past resident) and Jorge Maravilla (future resident :) It was so much fun to have such a great group of talented individuals and really puts Bend on the map as a mecca for runners!

Bend runners at the front 
Photo: Jonathan McLeod
One of my favorite things about Transrockies is the people. There are so many great people both racing and working at the event! I'm so sad to leave all my runner friends after a week of bonding! It's amazing how running instantly draws us to one another. After a week of running, laughing, and suffering together it's amazing how close everyone becomes. It's truly a special week and the last day is so bittersweet! 

Open Mixed Podium
Photo: Jonathan McLeod
Zach and I had a spectacular week! Each day we got a little bit stronger and increased our lead by a little more. Thanks to our patience (ok, Zach's patience not mine :) and some great competition we were able to push ourselves and throw down some fast times. Some really impressive performances by Dave James & Amy Lane (2nd place) and Geoff Reid & Amy Schneeberg (3rd) really made us work to earn the win. I was so impressed by both teams, both on and off the race course. Truly some great people!

Photo: Chris Hunter

 It was really cool to finish first this year, but the thing I will remember most from the week is all the fun I had. Each day the race course took us across some beautiful scenery up and down mountains with breathtaking views. At the end of the day it really didn't matter if you were first or last, just that you were out there taking it all in. I kept thinking to myself "how cool is it that you are running across the top of a mountain right now?" I would recommend transrockies to any runner looking for a fun adventure in the mountains or an opportunity to attend running camp for adults. I know I'll definitely be back :)
Photo: Chris Hunter
Finishing a great week of running!
Photo: Chris Hunter

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