Yesterday I spilled the beans on my last-minute trip to Transrockies as a part of my year-long adventure to see and run my bucket list trails and roads.  It’s a little more of a reality now that I’m over 1,000 miles from home, acclimating to the altitude, and buying some last minute supplies.

On Monday I’ll head to Buena Vista, Colorado where I’ll begin the 3 (or 6) day stage race through the Rocky Mountains.  So, some clarification on where and how long I’ll be running.  Transrockies is a 6-day team event.  Teams of 2 run 120 miles total over a 6 day period, about 20 miles per day and running from campsite to campsite between Buena Vista and Beaver Creek.  It’s mostly trails with a TON of elevation gain and descent.  I’ve been crushing on this race for months, ever since the ladies over at Strava gave me the low down.

All spring/summer, I’ve asked around, looking for a partner and wondered if there was any possibility to make this dream a reality, but I didn’t really get my act together in time.  I called up the organizers of the race and pleaded to be allowed to enter solo if I brought a support person with me.  They agreed to let me sign up for the 3-day Solo run (60 miles over 3 days), and then add on to a poor, unsuspecting team when I get there if I’m still feeling up to doing 6 days in the mountains.  A few more clicks through the photos and I was sold.

2011 TransRockies Photos- borrowed from the Transrockies Facebook Page

I won’t lie and say I don’t have butterflies and anxiety about what next week will bring.  I haven’t camped in years, my body is still recovering from the 52.4, I rarely run at such high altitude, and I don’t have a team…yet.  On paper, my odds don’t look great.  But on the flip side, my heart is eager to explore the mountains and see Vail, Leadville, Beaver Creek… I’m not running for time, so if it turns into a beautiful and long run-hike, that’s ok with me (even better for getting snap-happy with my camera).  I’m bringing along Taylor, one of my favorite people in the world, to share the experience with.  I know my body well enough to back off if I’m actually at risk for injury or other health issues.  And if this tribe of endurance athletes is anything like the community I know and love back in the Bay Area, then I have no doubt I’ll meet some incredible athletes to share the last 3 days with.

For those of you who are huge nerds like me, here’s a little more info on what will go down beginning next Tuesday:

Tuesday: Run from Buena Vista to Railroad Bridge.  21 Miles, eat, sleep at camp.
Wednesday: Run from Vicksburg to Twin Lakes. 13.4 Miles. More camping, more eating.
Thursday: Run from Leadville to Nova Guides. 24.4 Miles.  Eat, try not to get eaten by a bear in my sleep.
Friday: Run from Nova Guides to Red Cliff. 14.2 Miles. Dinner and snuggling up with Taylor in our mini tent.
Saturday: Run from Red Cliff to Vail.  23.3 Miles.  Last night in the tent, probably celebratory marshmallow eating.
Sunday: Run from Vail to Beaver Creek. 23.7 Miles.  Final banquet and drive to Denver to fly home.

Map of 6 Stages- Borrowed from TransRockies Facebook Page

Right now my emotions are rapidly toggling between terrified and excited.  I’m sure it’ll be a balance of both all week.  I’ll keep blogging from the mountains to report back on how cute the goats are and show off photos of the trails and my hand-crafted wildflower crowns.  Before I leave, has anyone run Transrockies or a stage race before?  Any tips / words of wisdom?