Stage 1 (TRR & RUN3): 20.9 miles, 2,550 feet elevation gain
Day one of the Trans Rockies Run 2011. Rosemarie and I have decided to take last years winning times for women’s open and try to beat them each day for this years Trans Rockies Run. Today we succeeded, beating last year's winning time by 11 minutes.
Stage one was 20.92 miles, which we finished in 3:05, one minute behind second place and seven minutes behind first. Rosemarie ran incredibly strong, and had to wait for me for most of the day as I just couldn’t seem to get my second wind. My legs felt like they had each gained about 20 pounds. I seem to remember something similar on leg one last year so I’m not overly concerned, especially because I’m quite happy with our time, which is 11 minutes faster than last year’s winning time on the same stage.
Most of today was sandy... starting with a 7 mile climb off the start, then weaving through the hills behind Buena Vista, with a 5k flat road section at the end that seemed to go on forever. I knew we were behind but as we neared the finish we spotted the 2nd place women’s team. Knowing full well I had absolutely nothing left, I asked Rosemarie if she wanted to try to catch them. We did pick it up but didn’t have enough distance to cover to catch them.
Today was tough for a lot of people and already one person is out with vomiting and diarrhea. I’m just hoping that the same thing doesn’t go around camp as last year, which I managed to avoid until half way through the final stage when it hit me full force.
Tomorrow is the shortest leg, but a brutal climb up to Hope Pass. I’m just hoping I can keep up with Rosemarie tomorrow and we’ll aim to go for a podium finish again.
Sitting around the campfire after awards tonight, catching up with some of the people I haven’t seen from last year, I am reminded why this week is so great. Once again, we are all with our “tribe”, the people who get us. Who understand why we do what we do and why we’re so passionate about it. It’s like the best family reunion ever.
....Minutes after posting this I received an email in my inbox, letting me know that my good friend Tatiana had left her sick body behind to be free to fly. Tatiana is 33, mother of two children, and wife to Dallas Smith, who fought by her side over four years. Tatiana's fight was inspiring to say the least. She never gave up, had grace and poise and passion and so much love. I have only really gotten to know the family in the past year or so, and was able to have her daughter Sofia join us on a couple of our holidays this year. This beautiful little girl, who has lost her mother, is a testament to her parents and the love they poured into her. She absolutely radiates energy everywhere she goes, charms everyone she meets with her beautiful smile and heart.
So while we are all running up Hope pass tomorrow, I will be thinking of Tatiana, who never ever ever gave up hope, not even when the doctors told her she had 12-24 hours to live. When I think it hurts tomorrow, I will think of you Tatiana, fighting from your hospital bed, to live for your family. And about Dallas, her husband, who fought by her side every day. Between the two of you I think you must be the family that says thank you more than anyone I've ever met. While you've left your body, you will be with us forever. You will be missed by so many. You are loved by so many and this love will not stop, it will only be redirected to Sofia and Rand... we are here for them.
I am grateful for each day, for my children, and for my ability to run. I hope you all take a minute to consider all the gifts you have in your lives as well.