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Team EverymanTri rebounds at the 2010 Gore-Tex TransRockies race: Stage 4 report

Posted Aug 26 2010 9:00am

MandelRiver Editor's Note: Paul Shippey and Paul Mandel are currently running stage 4 of the epic GORE-TEX® TransRockies running adventure, which traverses the Rocky Mountains from August 22- 27.

The altitude took its toll on many competitors on day two of the grueling run across the Rockies, but it wasn’t  still the start of the most grueling day, the 24-mile Stage 3 from Leadville to Camp Hale, that it really kicked in for Team EverymanTri  athlete -  Paul Mandel.

Mandel started the day with typical AMS symptoms and barely made it out of camp along with the rest of the competitors.  At the top of the first climb of the day on Tennessee Pass (alt 10, 500 ft),  a dizzy Mandel ground to a halt with vomiting and nausea and then had to contend with these symptoms for another 12 miles to the finish in Camp Hale. It was going to be a long day in the saddle!

Team leader Paul Shippey nursed and coaxed the weakened Mandel over some challenging terrain, but in the process the team lost 1.5 hrs in the GC, finally staggering into the finish in 6hrs and 3 min, which dropped the team from 8th to 13th in the 80+ Men’s division.

Mandel was treated by race medics after the finish, and a bottle of oxygen later he felt way better - to the point that he was able to line-up for today’s 14 mile 3000ft climb from Camp Hale to Redcliff.

The best way to describe this race is; that it’s like an army special-forces test. 

Ridge Your legs hurt like hell at the end of each stage and you wonder how you will muster the energy to do it all again the next day, especially when seasoned competitors point out the mountain top ridge you will be cresting the next day.  Imagine running a marathon, then a half, then another marathon, then another half and then another two 20 milers back to back and this is over 12,600ft mountains and through rivers… say no more!

Camp life also means broken sleep, a long trek to the ablutions in the middle of the night, and a high risk of catching one of the stomach bugs floating around, cold nights and more.  Somehow one deals with all this and then the thought of beating yourself up again, to rally for action day after day.At the end of day two, Paul Shippey had to have a hole drilled in his toenail to relieve the pressure from a blister under the nail - just another day in the life of a Gore-Tex TransRockies competitor.

The most amazing part of the race is seeing the times posted by the front runners.  These elite athletes are running a 24 mile trail over 11,000ft in 2:46min.  Super studs! Two days to go, 40-odd miles, and Team EverymanTri is preparing to make it to the finish in Beaver Creek on Friday! It’s all in the mind they say, but in this race the body has a lot to do with it too.

Click HERE to watch the start of the race.

Click HERE for complete stage 4 race results.

Follow on twitter @ everymantri or view latest videos on YouTube .

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