From Red Cliff you start with almost 8 miles on dirt road climbing moderately to Checkpoint 1. From there you enter singletrack through the forest with several steep climbs and descents until you come to the open meadows on the back of Vail Ski Resort. Once on the ski resort, you traverse the long ridge mostly on road and double track, but with one technical descent where the trail drops through a cliff band. After leaving checkpoint 2 you continue on the ridgeline for a few miles before dropping on to the front of the ski hill, descending towards Vail on a mix of access
roads and single-track. Finally, descend to the finish at the bottom of the “Vista Bahn” chairlift in Vail Village.
Thomas: Rather than explain the day I’m going to give you the five stages of Pepsico Transrockies Run Stage 5.
- Stage 1: Acceptance. Acceptance that you’re going to run 24 miles with 4,100 feet of gain on shredded legs, little sleep and dysentery.
- Stage 2: Denial. “This isn’t going to be so bad. I’ve trained for this. Run the Rockies they said, they said it would be fun.”
- Stage 3: Anger. “Why am I doing this? For PepsiCo? My partner is a mile ahead of me and doesn’t care.”
- Stage 4: Delirium. Listing to one side. Wondering aimlessly. Bizarre conversations. (Talking to random runners about how every pot has a lid. Debating if the woman is the lid or if the man is the lid. Also, someone told Meaghan they would rename a smurf “pretty” for her).
- Stage 5: Super Man complex: I am a living God. I have run 100 miles, no one can stop me. And I will beat the man wearing a Kilt and the guy referring to us as “Team Nathan.”
- Stage 6: Bonus Stage: Everyone is beautiful, everything is good.