Buses depart for stage 2 start in Vicksburg at 6:45 AM. The bus ride is approx. 30 minutes. Starting from Vicksburg, not far from the turnaround of the Leadville Trail 100, you start climbing gently on gravel Forest Service Road. The first Checkpoint is at only 1.7 miles at the Sheep Gulch Trailhead, where you enter the singletrack and start climbing steeply for about 2.5 miles to the summit of Hope tunity. The trail is steep and technical until the aid station at Hope Pass 12,500 feet. After this, you descend down to Twin Lakes. The trail is again steep and technical on the way down and then descends more gradually down to the altitude of the lakeshore at about 9,200 feet. From there it is a beautiful rolling singletrack trail on the south shore of the lake, and through the historic village of Interlaken. The last few minutes are on dirt road to the finish. The stage finishes at Twin Lakes Reservoir and buses and vans take you to camp in Leadville, about 20 minutes driving time.The Leadville camp is located approx. 3 blocks from Hwy 24 on 6th Street at Leiter Field. Historic Leadville offers plentiful shops and restaurants.
Interview with Newton Elite Kara Henry and Ibex Pro Climber Joe Mills
After the race, we headed over to Mountain High Pies to grab a slice of pizza and an interview with Newton Elite Kara Henry and Ibex sponsored climber Joe Mills. Here’s their take on the day, and the race, overall.
How many training runs have you done this summer to prepare?
Kara: The longest run I’ve done was 17 miles, about 2 weeks ago. I ran the JFK 50 miler in fall of 2013 and placed third. I’ve had back to back injures ever since, so I haven’t been able to train as much as I would have liked.
Joe: Running is not my first sport. I usually run, ideally, 30 miles a week. I’ve been running a lot this summer.
How did you get sponsored by Ibex?
Joe: I had a friend who photographed for them. I modeled some of their clothing and then from there came the sponsorship. I never pursued sponsors.
Why did you guys decide to run the Transrockies?
Joe: Ibex asked if I wanted to run and I said hell yeah. I asked Kara who also said hell yeah. If she hadn’t said yes, I would have run solo.
So far, what’s your favorite thing about the race?
You don’t have to worry about anything. They set up your tent, feed you, everything is taken care of. The pampering.
Any unusual chaffing?
Kara: No, usually I’m all torn up, but everything has been fine so far.
Any goals for this race?
We want to make the podium… just for 1 day.
What is your favorite day so far?
Today. Today was much better than yesterday.
Can you give us an overview of the day?
Joe: It was good. Climbing up Hope Pass was chill, it wasn’t too steep. Don’t blow your wad on the climb.
Kara: It was great. I would say take it easy on the uphill.
Joe, if you podium, will there be more running races?
I’ve never raced before. I’m not sure yet.
What shoes have you worn?
Joe: Day 1 – Newton Fate, Day 2 – Newton Motion III
Kara: Day 1 – Newton Fate, Newton Day 2 – Fate