I sit here in Buena Vista, Colorado having had one of my best days in recent memory and the second annual Gore-Tex TransRockies Run hasn’t even begun yet!
The day began, with Adam Chase, Ryan Padilla, my TRR teammate Martin Gaffuri, and I leaving Boulder, CO around 10 this morning to head up to Beaver Creek. There we met up with a number of other top runners from around the world who compete for Salomon, one of the sponsors of the TransRockies Run. The Salomon guys are a blast and I look forward to hanging out with them through the race.
After the gorgeous ride from Beaver Creek up and over Tennessee Pass, through Leadville, and into Buena Vista with the Salomon folks, race check in at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum was a breeze. While checking in I got to see the always charming Cynthia Amon from WL Gore, who I’d met a few week earlier at the Outdoor Retailer show, as well as some of the enthusiastic TransRockies staff.
(and, no, that is not Martin and myself)
I arrived with the Salomon crew early enough in Buena Vista that I had plenty of time to chill before the kickoff barbecue. This lull, however, involved what may turn out to be the hardest aspect of the entire TransRockies experience – the bag repack! This year upon check in to the TransRockies Run, the organization provided each two person team with three 65 liter bags into which to put all their week’s gear, including sleep bags. While 100 liters of gear space per person may appear and is, in fact, quite generous, yours truly and many others found this task to be… difficult. Perhaps we were all unaware that we were not heading out for a year’s long expedition to map the furtherest reaches of the Himalayas. Rest assured – that misunderstanding has been corrected.
Finding people I knew (or knew of) proved much easier than repacking. While standing amidst my sea of bags, I saw the likes of top competitors Erik Skaggs (Nike/Rogue Valley Runners – open male) and Keri Nelson (Gore-Tex La Sportiva – open co-ed), as well as bloggers Sat and Jo Sandhu, who came all the way from London, England to race the TransRockies Run.
At the kick-off barbecue, I ran into even more folks I’ve come to know over years, whether in person or over the internet. Below are a group of mostly self-confessed running geeks/trail running bloggers. Of course, I also met lots of people at the dinner whom I’d never met before. Not surprisingly, these folks from all over the world were the intriguing, personable sort that you’d expect at a grueling mountain foot race – these are my kind of people!
Of course, what would a day be without a bit of drama. You see, despite having a few centuries of combined outdoor experience, the group I traveled to Buena Vista with left their bags outside while we went off to dinner. As often happens in the mountains, an evening thunderstorm deluged the area with rain. Needless to say, there’s an awful lot of wet gear spread around the floors and tents Chaffee County tonight. Doh!
Wet gear or not, the TransRockies Run kicks off Monday morning at 10 a.m. MDT. iRunFar has learned that we’ll have internet access following each of the first two stages, so be sure to check back daily to see how Martin, Trail Goat, and the rest of competition at TransRockies Run are holding up!
Check out some TRR prelude posts from around the blogotrail: