Beaver Creek: Team running is a pair pleasure | VailDaily.com

Beaver Creek: Team running is a pair pleasure

Katie Mazzia was the top local finisher in this week's TransRockies Run. She finished third in the women's solo division, a three-day stage race. The TransRockies Run started Sunday in Buena Vista and finished Friday in Beaver Creek, covering 113 miles with more than 18,000 feet in elevatin gain. Randy Wyrick photo

BEAVER CREEK – The TransRockies Run is a two-person team event, unlike other ultramarathons where you’re by yourself fighting through miles and miles of miles and miles.

Pairs have to stay within two minutes of each other. They’ll occasionally resort to a 7-foot rope and the stronger pulls the weaker. Which of the pair is weaker or stronger changes from day to day, sometimes mile to mile, says Max King, who, along with partner Andy Martin, smoked the men’s open division.

“Team running is different,” King said. “You’re only as strong as your weaker runner. That can change from day to day and sometimes mile to mile.”

All kinds of things have to go right for teams to be successful. Last summer, King’s wife Dory gave birth to their son Micah. He and Martin didn’t make it.

Local long distance running legends Katie Mazzia and Anita Ortiz won the women’s open division two years ago. Mazzia tore an ankle tendon right in half last year. Ortiz suffered a knee injury this year and Team Beaver Creek Super Fly was sidelined again.

“The six-day event is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Mazzia said.

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Mazzia finished third this year’s three-day solo division, the first time the TransRockies has offered it.

She’s happy with it, but says she’s misses competing with her partner.

“There’s a spirit of adventure to it,” Mazzia said. “The sponsors take great care of us. They set up camp and break it down for us, they feed us great meals.”

“People come from all over the world for a vacation in the Rockies, and this shows it to them in ways few people ever see.”

King and Martin of Bend. Ore., led from flag to flag. They opened a seven minute lead in the first stage and added more distance every day, winning their second title in three years.

“Two years ago it was close,” King said. “Not this year, and we didn’t want it to be.”

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or rwyrick@vaildaily.com.