Sunday, September 4, 2011

September 4, 2011 – TransRockies Stage 6 – Finish it up!

Course Description:  Well the course designers didn’t make it any easier on the last day.  It’s a 24mile day that starts out with 3miles of Road Running taking you into 3 fairly tough climbs totaling 5,100ft of total elevation gain.  The finish is about 1mile after the last climb down a forest service road.

What Happened:  Mike and I were prepared to run a solid day.. recovered and relaxed.. but focused.  The mood at camp the last night was very subdued.  All of the teams that we had been battling over the past few days had now let their guards down (including Mike & I) and talked a bit more.  It was good to see that even though the competition was fierce all week, we could all let it go and enjoy each other’s company.

Despite the relaxed nature of camp, the next morning we had to finish the race.  Stage 6 started out just as all the other stages.  Very Steady.  We were clipping along at 6min – 6:20min/mile pace til the first climb.  At that point, Mike and I had about 30sec on the field and decided to work the climb.  By the time we were at the top, we began to relax a bit and kept it mellow on the downhill.

Starting the next climb, both Team Bend and Team Salomon had closed the gap significantly and by the time we hit the 2nd Aid Station, Team Bend was no more than 20sec behind.  They were working it pretty hard.

In response, Mike & I put our foot on the gas.  We kept it going til we got to the final climb.  At this point, my mind almost “shutdown”.  We were dragging up the last climb. Definitely our slowest running all week.. but mentally it was tough to push, because I kept thinking, “It’s over.”

Well, we slowly got up the last climb, and booked it down the last 1.5miles into the finish.  Approaching the finish line, it started to sink in…. We just WON TRANSROCKIES!!!!.. Crossing the finish line Mike & I exchanged hi-fives, hugs, etc..

Mike was an AMAZING partner.  He is an amazing runner.. but more importantly, an amazing person.  There were a lot of moments I felt like I was just “along for the ride” as he drove us to victory.

The competition at the event this year was unbelievable.  It was a dog-fight all week.. .but a real blast.  I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. 

The support from all the Flagstaff Runners (+25people) and Flagstaff Volunteers was out of this world.  When things were going well, they were there with hugs.  When things weren’t going so well, they were there with open-hands to help pull us up.  I knew Flagstaff had an amazing running community, but after this years TransRockies, I have a whole new appreciation for this town and it’s athletes.  AWESOME!..

The support from Flagstaff went beyond the folks at the race.  The well wishes we received from the folks not at the event was equally impressive and equally appreciated.

Thanks to everyone for the calls, emails, texts, etc.  Each bit of encouragement played a huge part in our success and was VERY appreciated.  Thanks!!!

The BIGGEST THANKS to my Wife & 3 Boys for their understanding and flexibility.  Love you guys!!

Mike and I "Finishing It Up"

Celebrating the Good Times!!

Interview at the end of Stage 6:


  1. Congrats, great six days of racing!

  2. nice recap of the race! you and mike are total beasts!
    whatever you do, don't let out the 'secret' to feeling extra fresh for days 4 and 5 ;)