While the world’s elite runners will continue to compete for the next six days across the ocean for Olympic glory, a different set of runners on this side of the Atlantic will be competing in an Olympics of their own — the Under Armour Trans Rockies Run. This six-day, 120-mile (193 kilometre) race takes runners through the Rockie Mountains in Colorado, gaining a total of 20,000 feet of elevation along the way. Today marked the beginning of the race, which will continue until this Friday.
The first leg of their journey is 19.5 miles (31.5 kilometres), and although it starts at a relatively lower elevation (2,300 feet) and lacks the monster climbs of other stages, this first stretch has proven to be one of the toughest thanks to the hot, dry weather. The running surface varies from gravel and rock to sand on a mix of trails, four-wheel-drive roads and forest service roads, making for some occasional uneven footing to add to the challenge. The final eight miles of the route is all downhill, which is just enough to beat up runners’ legs a bit before hitting the trail the following morning for leg two. The rest of the stages are as follows:
Stage 2: 13 miles/21 kilometres, 3,300 feet/1,000m of elevation gain
Stage 3: 25 miles/40 kilometres, 3,000 feet/900m of elevation gain
Stage 4: 15 miles/23 kilometres, 3,600 feet/1,100m elevation gain
Stage 5: 24 miles/39 kilometres, 4,300 feet/1,300m of elevation gain
Stage 6: 22 miles/36 kilometres, 5,300 feet/1,600m of elevation gain
To follow the action and get a behind-the-scenes look at all the action (not to mention get a peak at some incredible views), follow the Under Armour Trans Rockies Run on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. For more information about the race (including how to sign up for next year’s event), check out the event website.