TransRockies – Day 0

August 21, 2011

Welcome from Salida, Colorado.

Today was a busy day for Jay and Thor of Team HumpMe. We of course found good beer, but we also trekked the 3 hour drive from Denver to Buena Vista to pre-race check-in and site of Stage 1 start.

The journey started early morning in Denver, but not too early since the wedding party of Jay & Gina (Super-G from here on out) and Heather & Thor partied late into the night the night before at the Colorado Rockies game. The morning started with a run for all four, which was a confidence booster for Team HumpMe since the elevation at a mile high didn’t seem to be nearly the breath-stealer that it was the day before. Acclimatization? Maybe. Maybe slowly. We’ll take it.

After a three hour car ride to the far south west of Denver, where we climbed another 3 to 4 thousand feet, with a high of 10K and maybe higher, on a route surrounded by snow-capped mountains, the wedding party arrived in Buena Vista for pre-race hoopla. Upon check-in, Team HumpMe received lots of swag, including a TransRockies hat and shirt, a Nathan handheld water bottle, and a bunch of other useful stuff. But the one thing Jay found wildly entertaining was the electric shoe driers. We laughed. But they just might come in handy.

Later that evening was the pre-race instructions, where numerous folks chatted about their field. Most interesting was the medical dude and the guys talking about the pain we’re all in for on day one. Best of the meeting was that Team HumpMe hooked up with Bob and Jackie of Tuesday Turtles in Rhode Island. Bob and Jackie are friends of Thor from the mountain race series back in New England. We all like good beer. And so Jay, meeting them for the first time, fell into line. Good people. I know we’ll all have a blast over the days. Bob kicks ass because he’s a very strong runner and takes his trade seriously, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously to not enjoy a few choice ales. Good people. Bob and Jackie, truth be known, might have a good shot at winning the Mixed division. Good luck guys!

Jay and I have been feeling the effects at elevation, that is for sure. We both feel as if we are acclimating, but it is taking time, and we’re both still feeling strangeness every now and then. Like all of a sudden, if you talk too fast — something that happens to Thor a lot — you get out of breath. And you know right away what’s going on. Hopefully we’ll be good tomorrow, on opening day of the race. But we know to drive often and all the signs of what to look for for altitude sickness, something that is very real.

At the race meeting today, we also learned that the weather is supposed to be very good for us, which means that it will likely be very hot by day. Because it is so dry here, a 75 degree day, what is expected tomorrow, feels like 95 degrees in the sun. No kidding.

With all race duties for the night behind them, the wedding party headed back to Salida (race starts in Buena Vista, but due to hotel availability we are staying 25 miles in nearby Salida) for a great dinner at Aruba… or maybe it was Ariba. Either way, it is a kickass, fun pizza place that, take a guess, brews there own beer. The beer was surprisingly good, while the pizza was cheesy. It was also a nice way for Jay and Thor to have a few last laughs with their amazing wives. We are both extremely thankful that they not only put up with our shit but that they also support us in our craziness. Thank you, girls. We love you.

Stage 1 begins tomorrow at 9 AM. 20.3 miles and 2500 feet of climbing. Stay tuned. 🙂

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TransRockies – Denver Arrival

August 20, 2011

Good morning from downtown Denver!

After a long flight, the wedding party of Jay & Gina and Heather & Thor arrived in Denver. Because of travel logistics including a two hour time change, our first order of business was to zip into downtown, check into the hotel, and grab some grub. Grub was found at Rock Bottom Brewery, the first of three brewpubs on the day. More on this later.

After stuffing our bellies full of beer and sandwich, Jay and I (officially known as Team HumpMe & DumpMe) decided to do a 30 minute shake out run to see what the elevation was all about at a mile above sea level. Not even 10 paces into our belly-filled slog, the elevation was more than apparent. I think both Jay and I had that, “What the hell are we getting ourselves into?” moment, and we voiced our thoughts on the altitude but otherwise plodded along. Exactly what we’ll have to do in a few short days (tomorrow, actually).

The elevation makes it seem as if you are breathing through a straw. Our hot groupie chicks noticed the elevation too in just walking around town, especially when there were stairs involved. We’re hopeful that we will adapt quickly.

Later that evening, the wedding party was booked at the Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field. But before we went there, we made what will probably go down in our personal history as a pilgrimage to the Great Divide Brewery. Jay wanted to try Hercules, a hopped up divine concoction of goodness, while Thor was focused on Belgica; however, the bartender talked them and the fine ladies at our sides into Anniversary ale that was wood aged. The beer was to die for.

Continuing their little pub crawl, the party next bellied up bar at Breakenridge Brewery. The beers there were good but, sorry to say, no where near what was had at Great Divide. While at Breakenridge, which by the way is only a stone’s throw away from Coors Field, the party met a bunch of locals who were ever-so-happy to share their knowledge of the city and mountains, and one was even so kind to tell us where to find Cocaine. We said thanks (for the tourist info) but no thanks (for the white powdery stuff). At one point Thor said, “Dude, didn’t I just tell you that we are here to run across the Rockies?” Cocaine? Really? No worries though, these grumpy old men were harmless and fun. They just wanted to chat with two beautiful woman. Can’t say I blame them.

The Rockies game followed. By then we were all well into carbo loading with suds that although we had a blast at the game, and although we laughed hard, sucked wind climbing stairs, inhaled foot-long Brats, who knew there was a game going on. Rumor has it the Rockies were playing the LA Dodgers. There might have been a Grand Slam too. We didn’t see. We were too busy laughing.

Beautiful was the scenery from our upper deck seats, where you can see, for as far as the eye can travel, mountain passes overlapping mountain passes. Jay and I laughed at what Team HumpMe was in for.

More to come… also, check out Facebook for TONS of pictures of our pub crawl through Denver… oh, and the ballgame!


TransRockies – Tracking Info

August 18, 2011

Tracking information for TransRockies Run

Race Info

Team HumpMe & DumpMe: Jay and Thor
Race website: here
Full course description: here (includes daily route maps and elevation)
Course map picture: here
Elevation profile picture: here

Official Race Tracking

Race website: here (results updated as stages unfold)
*Try TransRockies official website if no updates here.

Unofficial Tracking

Team HumpMe (Jay and Thor) will do our best to post daily with lots of pictures. Stay tuned here…

Thor’s blog: here
jnewt’s posterous: here (daily audio blog posting)
Facebook: here

Schedule

Start: Sunday, August 21, 2011
Finish: Friday, August 26, 2011

2011 Stages (mileage, elevation gain)

Stage 1: Buena Vista to Railroad Bridge (20.9 miles, 2550 feet)
Stage 2: Vicksburg to Twin Lakes (13.3 miles, 3250 feet)
Stage 3: Leadville to Nova Guides at Camp Hale (24.2 miles, 2800 feet)
Stage 4: Nova Guides at Camp Hale to Red Cliff (14.1 miles, 2900 feet)
Stage 5: Red Cliff to Vail (23.6 miles, 4200 feet)
Stage 6: Vail to Beaver Creek (23.4 miles, 5100 feet)

Totals

119.5 miles
20,800 feet elevation gain

Summary

Grueling.
Awesome.
Epic.


TransRockies – Reason #14

August 18, 2011

A final reason, if there even needs to be another, this is why I am doing TransRockies…

EPIC. ADVENTURE.

Photo credit: y Kevin Arnold/Courtesy GORE-TEX TransRockies Run.


TransRockies – Reason #13

August 17, 2011

TransRockies’ hopping nightlife…

You try running up and down mountains all day long and doing much more than this. In fact, you’d look forward to exactly this, such as Team HumpMe is!

Photo credit: By Kevin Arnold/Courtesy TransRockies


TransRockies – Reason #12

August 16, 2011

Romping through the Rockies can’t be all about running, and TransRockies seems to get this.

Here is the now-famous Memphis Joe serving up some Margaritas!

Photo credit: By Kevin Arnold/Courtesy TransRockies.


TransRockies – Reason #11

August 16, 2011

When running a fine line never felt so invigorating… Go ahead, jump!

Photo credit: By Kevin Arnold/Courtesy TransRockies.