Stage 6 features a 20.9 mile route from Vail to Beaver Creek with 4900 feet of elevation gain.This route runs from the start in Vail Village on pavement, uses an overpass to cross the interstate, and shortly enters the single track of Vail’s North Trail. From there, it’s a steady climb up the Buffer Creek Trail and Red and White Mountain. Then a long descent down the shaded Buck Creek will bring you into Avon before the final climb into Beaver Creek, and a short downhill into the finish line.
Thomas: Wow. What a great event. During this last stage I was pretty broken, with a twisted ankle and shredded legs, but there was no way I was going to quit with only 20.9 miles to go. So we set off up yet another mountain. It was a bittersweet feeling. You are so close to completing your goal, but you know you will miss the epic views you can only get to see on foot. The Rockies are beautiful. At this point, you have made new friends that you will hopefully run with again, but now you have to say goodbye. Each day of the event offered a different challenge. Everyday felt like a victory as you finished each stage. Pepsico was a great sponsor, but I will admit I missed Cynthia Amon from GORE handing out the GORE-TEX® swag. She set the bar high for sponsor goodies.
Everything appeared to go smoothly from a logistics perspective. The TransRockies event is a well oiled machine. Aaron and his team create the backdrop for a once in a lifetime experience.
So many people to thank, here are a few: Tessa Dubois, Kelly Blake, Matt Hart, Kara Henry, Joe Mills, Mary Haskins, Eric Iacobucci, Courtney Boyce, Aaron Maas, Newton Running, Patagonia, Leki, Caleb Masland, Pepsico, and all the runners and support crews at the event.
Meaghan: Thomas said it well, Stage 6 was bittersweet. Knowing we were almost to the end of the Transrockies Run was relieving, exciting and sad all at the same time. The aches and pains I had accumulated over the past few days seemed to disappear with the knowledge that it would all be over soon. By day 6 you’re used to the morning routine. You know it’s going to be cold when you wake up, painful through the first few miles, and you know you can get through it. Another 20 miles? No problem. Like every stage of the Transrockies, the views were incredible. Something about knowing they are only viewable on foot, made them that much more amazing.
If you’ve read any of our posts this week, you’ve probably seen a theme. Whenever we ask someone what their favorite part of the event is – we get a similar answer: the people. I have to agree; the people make this event amazing. The athletes running, the staff, the volunteers, and the families cheering alongside create a community and camaraderie that I feel blessed to have been a part of. One of the most emotional moments of the Transrockies was seeing my parents waiting at the finish line, hands up, cheering with pride. That particular moment, the feeling of accomplishment and excitement will remain with me forever. Running the Transrockies is an experience that I will never forget. This race should be on every runner’s bucket list.