Eagle County women run for their cause
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – The TransRockies Run is as much fun as two people can have running 120 miles over mountains and through rivers for six days.
Cheryl Jensen and Angie Bogenrief did it, and they’ve never felt better. They raised more than $22,000 for the Wounded Warriors Project and the Vail Veterans Program, and the money is still coming in. The goal was $10,000. Feel free to add to their cashflow.
The TransRockies Run starts in Buena Vista and heads directly into the backcountry, winding over and around some of Colorado’s most breathtaking mountains. Six days later it ends in Beaver Creek.
In between they run through stuff that would give pause to a bighorn sheep.
“Our motivation was the cause,” Jensen said.
Runners came from all over the world, 12 countries and 30 states.
“For some this was their vacation. For two couples it was their honeymoon,” Bogenrief said.
Some were here to win, others to experience it and reinforce their ability to do anything they set their minds to.
“Cheryl and I had done trail races and both of us had thought about doing this,” Bogenrief said. “But it’s hard to find a partner you’re compatible with, you can run with and camp with for six days.”
Like all the competitors, Bogenrief and Jensen trained for months. Mount Everest climber Ellen Miller put together a training regimen. Emily Kloser was a wealth of information. She ran the first TransRockies race, and knew exactly what they were getting into.
Nutrition matters, of course. So does what you do before and after you run.
For example, Jensen was surprised and a little disappointed to learn that you cannot drink beer after you finish a stage.
“Professional athletes know all this, but it was news to us,” Jensen said.
They started training hard in May and June. They’d already spent the winter hiking and skate skiing, so they were in pretty good shape when they started getting in shape.
Still, it’s a marathon a day for six days, over some of Colorado’s most beautiful and brutal terrain.
“I was born and raised in Colorado, and I got to see a lot of places that I would never have seen any other way,” Bogenrief said.
Bogenrief said the first day was her toughest, hot and long and she wondered how she was going to do this for five more days. Then she went out and did it.
Bogenrief ran the Leadville 100 a few years ago, and said this is harder.
“You’re doing this day after day when already you’re beat up and sore,” Bogenrief said. “In the Leadville 100, you put your head down for 30 hours and keep going.”
They didn’t once wonder what they’d gotten themselves into, at least not while they were racing, Jensen said.
“Eight weeks into the training, maybe, because the training was so big. But that was not an option during the race,” Jensen said.
They had different shirts every day, bearing a different inspirational saying to remind why they were running. Things like, “We run for them.”
On that last day, Jensen and Bogenrief kept a mental slide show running of every face of every Wounded Warrior who has rolled through town for the Vail Veterans Program in the last eight years.
“They believed in us, the people who supported us believed in us. That’s what kept us going,” Jensen said.
The 2011 route was a little tougher and spectacular when it was changed to accommodate the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, which started in downtown Avon about the time TransRockies runners going through town on their way up to Beaver Creek and the finish line.
Bogenrief teaches seventh- and eighth-grade math at the Eagle County Charter Academy.
So, math teacher, how many steps was it?
For Jensen and Bogenrief, it was wonderful and wearying and a wild ride. And once was enough. They now see themselves in more of an advisory role.
“You just put your head down and run a few marathons over six days, and you’re done,” Jensen said. “It was a great experience and I will support anyone who wants to do it.”
“We learned so much,” Bogenrief said. “It was fun and I would advise anyone to do it. We’ll be happy to teach you how.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.