Stage 6: Vail to Beaver Creek- 22.2 miles, 5,100 feet elevation

Trans Rockies Run Day 6: Started at Vail and ended at Beaver Creek – 22.2 miles, 5,100 feet elevation gain.  Stage 6 Map is here This was the hardest stage without a doubt.  Needless to say after running 100 miles I was looking forward to this being over.  I just had 22 miles and 5,100′ of elevation to get through.  The day started in the rain and ended up extremely hot.  After a long climb and descent, the last 2 miles featured another 1,500′ climb and quick descent into Beaver Creek where a condo and hot shower were waiting.  Race results are here

Stage 6 - Start

Stage 6 – Start

Stage 6 - From the Trail

Stage 6 – From the Trail

Stage 6 - From the Trail

Stage 6 – From the Trail

Stage 6 - From the Trail

Stage 6 – From the Trail

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Stage 5: Red Cliff to Vail – 23.6 miles, 4,100 feet elevation

Trans Rockies Run Day 5: Started at Red Cliff and ended at Vail – 23.6 miles, 4,10 feet elevation gain.  Stage 5 Map is here  This was the second to last stage and probably the second hardest stage.  It was long and had a ton of elevation.  It started with a gradual 12 mile climb, up along the top of Vail Mountain and down into the town of Vail.  The last 5 miles I clicked off a bunch of sub 7 minute miles with a friend of mine in hot pursuit.  I caught up with an old college friend in Vail we went out for a few beers.

Stage 5 - Start

Stage 5 – Start

Stage 5 - From the Trail

Stage 5 – From the Trail

Stage 5 - Topping out at Vail elevation 11,220'

Stage 5 – Topping out at Vail elevation 11,220′

Stage 5 - From the Trail

Stage 5 – From the Trail

Stage 5 - From the Trail

Stage 5 – From the Trail

Stage 5 - Tents

Stage 5 – Tents

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Stage 4: Nova Guides at Camp Hale to Red Cliff – 14.2 miles, 2,900 feet elevation

Trans Rockies Run Day 4: Started at Nova Guides at Camp Hale and ended at Red Cliff – 14.2 miles, 2,900 feet elevation gain.  Stage 4 Map is here  This was probably my favorite stage.  It started with an extremely steep 6 mile climb(no switchbacks like the ascent to Hope Pass) up to an elevation of 11,700′, a run along a ridge with amazing views of Mount of the Holy Cross and a steep 6 mile descent that ended with a 1/2 mile run through a freezing creek.

Stage 4 - From the Trail

Stage 4 – From the Trail

Stage 4 - From the Trail

Stage 4 – From the Trail

Stage 4 - Rainbow over Camp

Stage 4 – Rainbow over Camp

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Stage 3: Leadville to Nova Guides at Camp Hale – 24.2 miles, 2,700 feet elevation

Trans Rockies Run Day 3: Started at Leadville and ended at Camp Hale – 24.2 miles, 2,700 feet elevation gain.  Stage 3 Map is here.  Last night was the highest we will sleep during the race, Leadville is the United States highest town at over 10,000′. It was a cold wake-up today due to the elevation and today was the longest stage of the race.

Stage 3 - Start

Stage 3 – Start

I was on my own today as my partner pulled out, affected by the elevation.  I am now running in the unclassified solo category which has about 10 other people that don’t fit into other classifications (partner dropped out, was running the 3 day, switched to the 6 day, etc.)

Today’s course had 2 big climbs and then a long, steep descent to the finish.  I’m still not used to the Colorado sun, it is much harsher than what I am used to and no amount of sunscreen seems to protect your skin from it’s rays.  Today, there wasn’t a whole lot of coverage and the sun takes it toll after a few hours and really saps your energy.

Stage 3 - From the Trail

Stage 3 – From the Trail

I had a good run, finishing sooner than I anticipated putting me in 2nd place in my new category.  We spent the night at Camp Hale, in a beautiful valley, tomorrow offering a very steep ascent and descent a lot like day 2.

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Stage 2: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes – 13.4 miles, 3,200 feet elevation

Trans Rockies Run Day 2: Started at Vicksburg and ended at Twin Lakes- 13.4 miles, 3,200 feet elevation gain.  Stage 2 Map Weather was good for running but the race officials made it very clear they wanted us up and over 12,900′ Hope pass before the threat of afternoon thunderstorms set in.

This stage started with  a 1.5 mile run along a road and then straight up a trail for 2.5 miles to the top of Hope Pass, our highest point of the race.  This climb offered incredible views, we stopped for a few minutes at the top, and then proceeded to run down another 2.5 miles before 5 flatish miles along the Twin Lakes outside of Leadville.

Tonight we are camping in Leadville at about 10,000′.  Tomorrow is a long stage at about 23 miles at high elevation. .

Stage 2 - From the Trail

Stage 2 – From the Trail

Stage 2 - From the Trail

Stage 2 – From the Trail

Stage 2 - From the Trail

Stage 2 – From the Trail

12,539' elevation

12,539′ elevation

Stage 2 - From the Trail

Stage 2 – From the Trail

Stage 2 - From the Trail

Stage 2 – From the Trail

Stage 2 - Tents

Stage 2 – Tents

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Stage 1: Buena Vista to Railroad Bridge – 20.8 miles, 2,500 feet elevation

Not finding a whole lot of wi-fi here in the mountains so I’m not able to upload photos from my camera yet, that will have to wait until we get to Vail.

Trans Rockies Run Day 1: Started at Buena Vista and ended at Railroad Bridge – 20.8 miles, 2,500 feet elevation gain.  Stage 1 Map is here Weather was 80+ degrees, hot and sunny.  We checked out of our hotel, checked our bags with the race folks and headed for the starting line.  The start was on the edge of Buena Vista and started climbing immediately.  We are in a huge valley with incredible rock formations and long views.  Fortunately it rained the night before which made for much better footing. Had it not rained it would have been very dusty and sandy.  We were on pace for about a 4 hour day but the heat and sun took its toll on us and we finished around 4:40.  All in all I felt pretty good and didn’t feel the effects of the elevation like I thought I would.

After a shower, a huge meal and medical and course briefing , we went to bed.

Stage 1 Start

Stage 1 Start

Stage 1 - From the Trail

Stage 1 – From the Trail

Stage 1 - From the Trail

Stage 1 – From the Trail

Stage 1 - From the Trail

Stage 1 – From the Trail

Stage 1 - From the Trail

Stage 1 – From the Trail

Stage 1 Tents

Stage 1 Tents

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Stage 0: Getting to Buena Vista Colorado

I left Portland Sunday morning at 5:15 am so I could swing by my running partner’s house on the way to Boston Logan Airport.   After an easy  4 hour flight, we met up with about 75 other runners for the 3 hour trip to Buena Vista, Co.  It was long day of travel so we had dinner and went to bed early.

Buena Vista

Buena Vista

Monday we got up and went for a 4 mile warm up run to attempt to acclimate to the 8,000′ of elevation and although the air was noticeably thinner, it felt pretty good.  Buena Vista is in a valley, surrounded by the Collegiate peaks and it gave us a pretty good idea what we were in store for, as many of the surrounding mountains are over 14,000′.

Views from our Morning Run

Views from our Morning Run

Views from our Morning Run

Views from our Morning Run

After our run we went over to the Buena Vista Heritage Museum for registration.  After picking up our HUGE bags in which the race staff will transport our gear, we went back to the hotel to pack.

Tom and Mike at Registration

Tom and Mike at Registration

At 6 pm we headed over to the opening Ceremonies for an introduction and medical and trail briefings.  The sky was extremely threatening and the Race officials sped up the meeting considerably in order to get us out of there before the skies opened up.

All Runners at Opening Ceremony

All Runners at Opening Ceremony

During dinner after the opening ceremony, an intense thunderstorm came through, flooding the streets and dumping marble sized hail for 30 minutes.  Based on the forecast, I doubt that is the last time we will see weather like that this week.  The race kicks off at 8:30 am tomorrow with a 21 mile, 2,500′ day so we are back at the hotel hydrating, packing and getting ready to run!

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Mt. Washington Road Race

Last weekend was my 6th Mt Washington Road Race.  Although not my best time, I felt pretty good for the whole race and was happy with my overall fitness level.  This race is probably the hardest race I have ever done, psychologically as the 7.8 mile course is uphill the whole way, VERY uphill.  It is hard to know how hard to push and what to save for the top as there is no real way to train for it.  The weather was the best it has ever been for me at this race with temps in the 50’s at the top and bluebird skies, you could see for 100’s of miles in all directions.

What made this year a bit different was in a addition to running the race, uphill we decided to run back down.  I have never run down a steep 7.8 mile hill so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The run down was effortless although my quads started to hurt pretty bad at the 3 mile mark and I knew I was going to be seriously sore the following day.  It was a lot of fun as well as good training for TRR.  It was also far faster than driving down as we left the summit before cars were allowed to leave and the first 2 cars just passed us just as we reached the bottom.  I woke up Sunday morning and my legs were as sore as they had ever been, not surprising after that downhill.

MT Washington Results

MT Washington Results

Next Up: Falmouth Five and Dime 10 mile trail race this weekend.  My fitness is starting to be where I need/want it to be, about 6 weeks until TRR.

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Pineland 50k

All things considered, I had a good race.  The weather was around 80 degrees and sunny and 31 hilly miles is a long way to run in these conditions.  I came in at 5:14 right about where I expected to (results are here).  Best surprise of the day was the last 6 miles were my fastest of the day.  I don’t remember this ever happening before in race of this distance. This is a great sign for things to come and the big runs coming up this summer.  Picture below was takes at the finish, surprisingly I don’t look too beat up…

Pineland Farms 50k finish

Pineland Farms 50k finish

Next up – Mt Washington Road Race – June 20th.

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Eastern States 20 Miler, Boston Marathon, Pineland 50K

This is my first post in a long time, partially because of a lack of training over the winter.  This winter was seriously rough in Maine and many Sunday’s I looked out the window and decided not to run long after observing freezing temps and blowing snow.  My Boston training was almost non existent with the exception of running Eastern States 3 weeks prior.  The Pineland Farms 50k is this Sunday and I’m looking forward to it, as it is one of my favorite races.  After Pineland comes my 6th Mt Washington Road race, to up the effort, we are going to run down after the race, it’s going to be  a quad killer!

Eastern States 20 Miler – This was my longest run since the 2014 Boston Marathon and it felt like it.  I was way off last years pace, I was just glad to finish without injury.

Boston Marathon – It was FREEZING!  I was in no condition to run this but I earned it when I qualified and wasn’t going to pass it up.  Another race I was glad to finish without injury.  I don’t ever remember wanting a race to be over as badly as this one, the conditions were awful and I was not in Boston Marathon shape, made for a long slow trudge, glad to be done.

Pineland Farms 50k – Eastern States and Boston were both good training runs in preparation for the Pineland 50k.  On top of these 2 races I have logged a good amount of training miles.  For the first time this year, dare I say I’m ready for this one.

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