Tuesday, August 14, 2012


We made it! And in one piece! Which is surprising because I pretty much learned to drive standard on the drive to Colorado. I can now say that I am a pretty competent Manual driver and proud of it! Too bad it took me this long.

Our first day we drove 12 hours straight to Idaho- Shauna's first time here! We were going to camp but had the energy to just keep going through the dark and ended up at some random cheap motel. $40- worked for us!

The next day we wanted to shake our legs out so we went for a nice run along a river in some small town. However, it was at 12pm and it was really hot, so we were pretty happy to get back to the car and get going again. We drove another decent day today, however, we were for sure camping this night so we made sure to get our tent set up before dark. We ate dinner at the Olive Garden which was tasty! After checking out an RV park off the highway we settled on a nice camp site in a state park next to the Colorado river. We set our tent up just in time because it started to rain about 5 minutes later!

We went for another shake out run this morning and again had perfect timing as it started raining about 5 minutes after we packed our tent away in the car! We made sure to go running in the morning when the temps were lower. We didn't have much to drive today so we took our time getting to Buena Vista. The drive to Leadville is just so pretty as you twist and turn, winding your way up to 10,500 ft! We made sure to stop off in town as I wanted to pick Peter and I up sweaters from Malanzana. If your ever in Leadville, you have to stop there. They make all their fleeces and what not in store. Shortly after we checked in at the Transrockies package pick-up and we headed off in search of a camp site. We were tipped off about some free camping by the river which is where we ended up. Such a great spot. We set up and headed back for the dinner banquet. There we ran into all our North Van contingent and some familiar faces from races I have done in the past, as well as other La Sportiva teammates. We got briefed on what to expect all week and were sent on our way. It had rained a little while we were eating dinner but once we were in our tent it was very cozy and before long, I was sound asleep.

Race day morning was finally here! Stage 1 here we come! We got up at 6:30, packed up our tent and headed off for breakfast. MMM oatmeal with greek yogurt, raisins ans banana...just like at home. Before long we headed off to the start. We lined up behind Pam Smith and Jenny Capel, who are my teammates with La Sportiva. I ran into Shaun Blanton (run bum) who is always very entertaining. This stage is 20.8 miles and is typically a very hot stage. I remember doing it with Peter in 09' and it was scorching. I could feel the altitude right away and just focused on running easy and steady. We walked the majority of the hills as running them just out my HR into a whole other level. The downs felt great though and the terrain is super fun. A lot more double truck than I would normally enjoy but the views were nice. The last 4 miles are on a flat paved road and seem to go on forever and the road is really exposed so the heat for sure plays a role in how your energy levels.

I am super happy with how we ran, even though at points it felt like a death march. We ended up coming in 2nd in the open womens category behind my teammates and we are super stoked to have  made the podium tonight! Hopefully we can repeat that tomorrow as we go up and over hope pass which is over 12,000ft. Peter and I had a really good run there in 09', so I am really looking forward to it. Ok, time to go and shower and get ready for dinner!

See you in the trails!

1 comment:

Sara said...

Whoo hoo! Good start, Nicola and Shauna. Keep it going!