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Team EverymanTri 2010 Gore-tex TransRockies run get serious with high altitude training

Posted Jun 20 2010 5:30am
PSGoLite Starting a run at 10,000ft is always a challenge. For the first mile or so the rarefied air saps energy levels as your body craves the oxygen it's being so cruelly denied. I typically find that after the first 10 minutes or so my heart rate settles down and I start to find my rhythm and my heart and lungs stop whining and settle down too.

Today I decided to tackle the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, some 20 miles due west of Boulder for my weekly altitude run. This is one of my favorite playgrounds in both summer and winter, with spectacular 180 degree vistas of the Continental Divide. The area offers incredible hiking, snow shoeing, running and MTB trails.

My goal was to test a few new products on a run up as high as the snow would permit me to go. I was wearing   GoLite Mesa Trail shorts and their Wildwood Trail Run Top. Strapped to my feet were a new pair of Nike Zoom Structure Triax GTX trail shoes, neatly wrapped in a GoreTex layer. I carried a GoLite Dakota Wind Vest in my Camelback - just in case the wind picked up or the weather changed. At these altitudes a a balmy summer day can change to rain and hail in an instant.

I had hardly got down the trail when the snow drifts appeared. The dense forest canopy in the Brainard Lake region of the wilderness area means a slow snow melt every spring, and it can take till mid-July for this trail to be somewhat free of snow and ice. This was however perfect for putting the Gore Tex Nike's to the test. I ran through drifts, post-holed into four-feet thick piles of melting snow, and sloshed through muddy bog for mile after mile as the trail threw up obstacle after obstacle.

The first three miles were mixed, but as soon as I climbed out of the forest up to Lake Isabelle at 11,000 ft, the mud gave way to hard packed snow and huge drifts. The going got tough and I attempted to slither up a few inclines but without crampons I ended up 'skiing' back down in a hurry. All this time the Nike Gore Tex combo kept my feet nice and dry.  Impressive to say the least.


The GoLite gear was awesome too. I have been using some of their products for years, and have to admit to being a fan of the run shorts. The run top, was also very comfy, and its moisture- wicking ability was second to none, even with a Camelback strapped on my back,  I  never felt too sweaty.

So, another successful training run and a great opportunity to test some of the best gear for the Trans Rockies!

Editor's Note:  The Gore-tex TransRockies   run is just 113 miles, over six days and (BTW) over a few biggish mountains. Team EverymanTri will take on the challenge this August with our man Paul Shippey (picture above) and his crazy friend Paul Mandel. This is Paul's second  blog entry as he starts the journey to get ready to run across the Rockies. You keep up with Paul on his most new Trans Rockies blog HERE .

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