TransRockies run takes athletes from Red Cliff to Vail today
Runners competing in the 120-mile, six-stage TransRockies Run went from Nova Guides to Red Cliff on Thursday in the 14.5 mile stage which contained 2,800 feet of elevation gain. After leaving Nova Guides, runners had to climb uphill on very steep terrain for two miles making this stage a real leg burner. At 8 a.m. the runners and crew that wanted to run left Nova Guides with the traditional AC/DC’s Highway to Hell song blasting while spectators cheered them on.
The route started with a dirt road that allowed for a nice two mile warm up. Just as runners started to warm up, the trail kept going up, and up. After a while, the gradual climb turned into a very steep climb. After the first five-mile climb was done, checkpoint one and panoramic mountain views were in sight.
After taking photos and enjoying the views, runners cruised along the ridge before dropping back down in the woods for a long and fun descent into Red Cliff. Around mile 11, the trail merged with the stream and there was no option to skip between rocks this time to avoid getting wet. Instead, it was full on foot and ankle soak as runners went a mile down the ice-cold stream. The water although cold, was very refreshing and felt good on swollen feet.
Once the stream portion of the run ended, checkpoint two greeted the runners, followed by a nice dry downhill on open dirt road dropping runners right in front of Mango’s Mountain Grill in Red Cliff. From fresh BBQ outside, fish tacos and delicious margaritas, Mango’s knows how to cater to the TransRockies crowd.
Stage Four offered great weather and amazing scenery; only two stages remain as runners keep pushing their way toward Sunday’s finish at Beaver Creek.
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Today’s fifth stage will take the runners from Red Cliff to Vail in the second longest run of the week at 24.1 miles.
The first athletes in today’s Red Cliff to Vail stage are expected to arrive at the finish line at the Vail Athletic Fields at approximately 11 a.m., and finishers will continue to head into town all day until about 5 p.m. At 6 p.m. at the Vail Athletic Fields, there will be a leaders jersey presentation leading up to Sunday’s sixth and final stage. On Sunday, the winner is expected to cross into Beaver Creek village at about 11 a.m., and spectators are welcome and encouraged to cheer on the runners as they finish the 22.4 mile stage from Vail to Beaver Creek.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.