Thursday, August 13, 2015: Stage 3 of Transrockies Run: Leadville to Camp Hale
Mileage: 24.5 Miles
Elevation Gain: 2,700 Feet
Food eaten: 3 GU’s, Lay’s potato chips, Fritos, PGJ, 1/2 banana, pieces of watermelon, Shot Blocks, and Honey Stinger Chocolate Waffle. Lots of water and some Pepsi.
Night #2 of sleeping in a tent was a little better. I woke up at 2:50AM instead of 2:15AM! I was hoping to get more sleep since today was the longest stage out of the six days. After a quick breakfast, we headed over to the start, which was on the main street in Leadville (Harrison Avenue). Andrew and I were excited to run on the road for a few miles before heading into the trails! We missed the asphalt!
After 2.5 miles on the road, we headed into the trails on a steep climb. As we climbed, I got a headache and my heart was racing. It was the same headache that I had during the last few miles of Stage 2. Gah! I had to slow down and take the climbs very slowly. Andrew stayed with me the whole time to make sure I was okay. I am glad he stayed with me because there were times that we were the only ones on the trail. There was even a point where we thought we were off course because we did not see anyone in front of us and we did not see a pink pin flag. Luckily, we were on the correct trail and we were so happy to see every pink pin flag in the ground there after!
The downhills really hurt today. I looked like Quasidmodo running down the trail. I also needed to poop for most of the run so running too fast would have caused me to poop my pants. The volunteer at CP3 told me to go in the woods, but I could not do it. I was not comfortable pooping in the woods so I held it until we got to camp. It was quite comical and laughing about it is what got me to the finish.
At the finish, Andrew and I were handed new Nathan hydration packs. Houda announced during the previous briefing that the last fifty finishers would receive Nathan packs. I was not aiming to be one of the last fifty, but the combination of headache and poop caused me to slow down so much that we ended up being one of the last fifty! I threw my Nathan pack to Bill & Tim, who were waiting for us at the finish line, and I ran straight to the porto potty!
Another perk of being one of the last 50 runners was that Houda set aside tents for us so we did not have to walk around looking for an empty tent. Thanks Houda! The “back of the pack” tents were set up on a peninsula so we joked that we had a lake side view. The downside was that there was geese poop on the peninsula and mosquitoes were everywhere.
After a hot shower and snack, we witnessed history as the first ever Beer Mile (not organized by TRR) was held at Transrockies. It was quite entertaining and we all thought that clothing was mandatory for the mile! =)
Camp was set up at Nova Guides in Camp Hale. The best news was that we were going to camp here for 2 nights so we did not have to pack our bags tomorrow morning! Camp Hale was a US Army training facility created in 1942. Soldiers were trained in mountain climbing, skiing, cold weather survival, and other weapons. Yes, we learned some history on this trip as well!
We ended the tough day on trails with taco dinner! We love tacos! Later, we learned that a few years ago, people got sick from eating bad beef at taco night and ran the last 3 stages with diarrhea. I was glad I packed Imodium just in case that happened.
That night we went to bed exhausted, but feeling good for having survived the first half of Transrockies!