2015 Transrockies Run Stage 2: Hope Pass!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015: Stage 2 of Transrockies Run: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes

Mileage: 13.3 Miles

Elevation Gain: 3,200 Feet

Food eaten: 3 GU’s, Lay’s potato chips, 1/2 banana, pieces of watermelon, and Honey Stinger Honey Waffle.  Lots of water and some Pepsi.

Time: 4:43:40

We set our alarms to wake up at 5AM, but I did not need an alarm because I woke up at 2:15AM and never went back to sleep.  Sleeping in a sleeping bag on top of a sleeping pad was not as comfortable as expected.  So I laid there, trying to be quiet and not wake Andrew up.  At 5AM, I heard other alarms going off so I started to get ready!  We quickly packed all of our stuff back into the black duffel bags and Andrew carried them over to the pick up area.  Then we went to breakfast before taking a shuttle to the start.

Beautiful sunrise at Camp Arrowhead!
Lots of black duffel bags!
Our super cool and old school shuttle bus to the start!

Usually, I eat a banana, a cinnamon raisin bagel, and some gatorade for breakfast before a marathon.  At TRR, they served a full breakfast buffet (scrambled eggs, sausage, potatoes, silver dollar pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, fruit, yogurt, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, OJ, bread, and bagels).  I LOVE breakfast so it was very difficult for me to decide what to eat before the run.  I know scrambled eggs do not agree with some of my friends, but I had never eaten scrambled eggs before a run so I decided to try it!  What’s the worst that could happen?  I ate scrambled eggs, potatoes, 2 sausage links, and 1 pancake.  I drank water instead of my usual tea with breakfast.  Andrew stayed away from the scrambled eggs, but had 5 sausage links and potatoes!

Start of Stage 2!
The boys at the start!
Matching with our Brooklyn 1/2 shirts!  It was a cold morning so I started with my jacket on.

Today, we were running part of the Leadville 100 course.  We started on a gravel forest service road and hit CP1 1.7 miles in at the trailhead.  The checkpoint was so early because there was no good spot in the next few miles for a checkpoint.  After CP1, we entered a steep singletrack trail and climbed for 2.5 miles to the summit of Hope Pass, which is over 12,500 feet!!  It was so steep that one mile took us about 40 minutes to hike (rest breaks included).  Runners in the Leadville 100 run over Hope Pass twice!

Single file all the way to the top!
Andrew was right behind me and ready to catch me if I fell backwards!
Probably should not have been taking selfies along the dangerous steep climb up the mountain! =P
Somewhere in the middle of the trail where the soft dirt track became all rocks!
The trail eventually opened up so we could see the top of the mountain!

Throughout the climb, I paid a lot of attention to my breathing pattern and to my heart rate.  I did not need a heart rate monitor to let me know that my heart was beating too fast.  I could feel it.  We took a lot of rest breaks to let our heart rates go down and to take in the views.

So happy to reach the top of Hope Pass!
The top of Hope Pass!

Going down the other side of Hope Pass was easier on the heart, but it was scary because you could easily slip and fall down the side of the mountain.  That probably would have been faster, but more painful!

Nice sign before heading down the mountain!
Amazing views as we headed down the mountain!

Once we got down from the top of the mountain, we hit a singletrack trail alongside the Twin Lakes Reservoir.  This relatively flat section should have been much easier than the mountain, but I started to have a headache.  Damn altitude!  Bill and Tim had gone ahead because Tim was hungry and needed to get to the finish!  Andrew and I ran with Jeff all the way to the finish.  We ran as much as we could and walked a lot, but that lake seemed to go on forever!  At one point, I looked at my watch and could not believe that we had been out there for almost as long as Day 1!  We were so happy to see the finish line and crossed hand in hand with Jeff!

Our Super 8 friend, Katie, captured our finish! Look at the clouds rolling in!

We grabbed snacks at the finish line and then took a shuttle to our camp in Leadville.  After settling in and showering, we got 30 minute massages before dinner.  There were massage therapists daily and you could sign up for 30 minute slots (for a fee) whenever you wanted.  I had my massage therapist work on my shoulders, back, glutes, and quads since those were most sore after 2 days.  It was nice to have this service, but we did not think it was necessary every day.  We used the Stick or Roll Recovery on the days that we did not have massages.

Dinner was at the National Mining Hall of Fame and Museum so we did not have to eat in a tent tonight!  Dinner buffet consisted of penne pasta, grilled chicken, choice of marinara sauce and pesto sauce, vegetable lasagna, salad, and ice cream!  It was delicious!  We were the first ones at dinner because I wanted to walk around Leadville before the stores closed at 5pm.  Most of the stores were closed before 5 though!

First ones at dinner!
Andrew standing in front of the oldest saloon in town! Established in 1879!

After a short shopping trip, we headed back for round #2 of dinner as TRR staff gave the medical and course briefing for Stage 3.  Stage 3 was going to be a long day so we went to bed early after prepping our Nathan packs.  I hoped that I would sleep more than 4 hours in night #2 of camping.

Good night Leadville!

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