Like Stage 2, stage 4 is short and steep, although it tops out a little lower, at 11,700 feet. Starting with a rolling run on gravel roads for about 2 miles, you start climbing on a jeep road, which gradually gets steeper as you work your way up Hornsilver Mountain. Once on top, you are treated to an extended run on the rolling meadows along the ridge with views of Mount of the Holy Cross before starting the descent into the Wearyman Creek drainage. Once you turn left at Wearyman Creek, the creek is running down the middle of the trail. There is no way to avoid getting wet, as this water section goes on for about half a mile. The water is never more than knee deep and is cold, which is refreshing for hot feet.
Thomas: What is Red, White & Blue?
Eric & Courtney: Team RWB is a non-profit organization intended to connect veterans to their community through physical and social activity. They put on events every couple of weeks, mostly fitness based such as yoga or running. The point is to get veterans out of their house and connect them with the community.
Thomas: What got you interested in doing the Transrockies Run?
Eric: I had done Transrockies before and I just think it’s awesome, a beautiful place to run. So I invited Courtney out to do it.
Thomas: Courtney, are you a veteran as well?
Courtney: Yes. I did 9 years active and now I’m in the reserve. I’m currently located in DC.
T: What has been your favorite part of the Transrockies?
E: I think it’s the people – the comradery. Everyone is here with a goal, but we’re all together at the finish line.
T: What type of runner would you recommend run the Transrockies?
E: I think your typical, everyday average runner with some long distance experience could handle the Transrockies.
C: You also have to love the trail. If you don’t love being out here, you’re not going to enjoy it.
T: As far as the people helping put on the event, is there anything in particular you enjoy?
E: I think the nickname of this event is the summer camp for runners. I can’t pinpoint just one thing, but the logistics around the event – the showers, the meals, the tent set-up. They make it easy for us to just to get up and run.
Thomas: How many times have you run Transrockies?
Mary: This is my 4th time running.
T: What keeps you coming back?
M: It’s an event where challenging, but doable. The customer service and the care that you get are second to none.
T: Who would you recommend for this event?
M: Any athlete who wants to go beyond the marathon. Somebody who wants the ultra experience but may be nervous about trying a 50 mile or 100 mile race in one day. Anyone conditioned to run a marathon can manage this, provided they take care of themseleves. They do need to come here fit.
T: What is your favorite part of this trip?
M: Mangos! (laughter). Actually, this is my favorite leg, leg four. Not just because of Mangos, that’s a great finish. But it’s a great steep climb, it’s short and sweet, some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen in my life! And the downhill, which I just love to charge – is so much fun. I just feel like a kid on rollerblades coming down as fast as you can.
I also love the amazing camaraderie, community and support that the athletes give towards each other. Last night’s finisher came in, in over 9 hours. By that time we were all at dinner or sitting outside relaxing. The word spread that the athletes were coming in and everyone got up and cheered them in. Hungry, hungry people left their food on the table, came rushing out to the finish line and cheered them in. It was really an emotional and cool moment.