Sunday, 19 July 2009

Running in the Rockies

One month ago I left my day job to work for myself again after three years of full-time employment. This day, a Thursday, was also my 33rd birthday. On the Monday, the first email I opened was from a PR friend in the US. I'd written for Gordon in late-2004 at Primal Quest and I've maintained contact over the years. His email read, "Now that you're solo, why don't you come up to Colorado in August and cover (or compete in?) the Gore-Tex TransRockies Run?". This was the first sign, of many, that I'd made the right decision to go on my own again because I would never have been able to jump at this opportunity working full-time for an employer.

And so it is that I leave SA on 19 August to fly to the Gore-Tex TransRockies Run, which starts on Sunday, 23 August and ends on Friday, 28 August. Just as Cape Odyssey is to Cape Epic, so is the Gore-Tex TransRockies Run to the well-known TransRockies staged mountain bike race. This will be the third edition of the run.

Like the mountain bike race, the run is full-service with catering and tented camps provided. It is also a paired race; I don't yet know who my teammate will be - I'll be assigned a partner, which is quite exciting. This is a bit like jetting off to the US for a 6-day long high-altitude blind-date.

As for the race itself...

Elevation: most of the race is run at 8,000' - 11,000', that's 2,440m - 3,350m above sea level. It's a good thing then that I live at high altitude - at home in Joburg I'm at about 1700m (airport runway is 1710m - of interest). In India we went from 1,800m to 3,600m on the first stage and stayed high for two days. I felt no ill effects of the altitude (some people had cracking headaches, nausea and zero appetite) so I'm sure I'll be A-ok in Colorado.

Terrain: There's a mix of trail and other surface. The breakdown as as follows:

  • Dirt and Gravel Roads - 37%
  • Non-Motorized Single and Double Trails - 33%
  • 4-Wheel Drive and Motorized Trails - 18%
  • Paved Roads and Pathways - 12%

Stages: There are 6 stages; the first two finish at venues that are different to the next day's start, so we will be shuttled to the camp after we complete the stage. The first stage is a new addition to the race, which was a 5-day race in its previous two years.

Distance: Total distance is 113 miles; that's 180km.
  • Stage 1: 32km with 830m accumulative ascent and 730m of descent. Low point, 2,415m; high point, 2,845m.

  • Stage 2: 16km with 945m ascent and 1,090m descent. Low point, 2,805m; high point, 3,820m.
  • Stage 3: 38.4km with 895m ascent and 1,170m descent. Low point, 2,805m; high point, 3,335m.
  • Stage 4: 22.4km with 920m ascent and 1,090m descent. Low point, 2,635m; high point, 3,555m.
  • Stage 5: 36.8km with 1,345m ascent and 1,485m descent. Low point, 2,495m; high point, 3,590m.
  • Stage 6: 33.6km with 1,410m ascent and 1,440m descent. Low point, 2,260m; high point, 3,205m.

I love writing. I love reporting. I love travelling. I love running. For me, TransRockies is all of these.

1 comment:

SemaA said...

Luck you. Enjoy the adventure.