*Goretex Transrockies Run 2011 – A 120-mile, six-day stage race from Buena Vista to Beaver Creek, CO.  Racers run in teams of two people who must be within 2 minutes of each other for the entire distance.  Distances range from 13 miles to 24 miles each day.*

Dear Teammate,

For six days, we climbed and descended mountains, forded streams, meandered along single track and shuffled on gravel road.  We ate together at aid stations, dinner buffets and coffee houses.  We weathered thunderstorms, rain deluges, freezing temperatures, blazing heat and fierce winds.  We enjoyed post-run soaks in creeks, refreshing our weary legs and washing the dust out of our running clothes.  We shared a tiny tent and had restless sleeps beside one another, waiting restlessly for each morning to come.

Team La Sportiva Gore-Tex Canada Schmoop and Schmoopie

Team La Sportiva Gore-Tex Canada
Schmoop and Schmoopie

First of all, I would like to thank you for choosing me as your teammate.  You could have picked anyone and they all would have jumped at the opportunity.  With a different partner, you could have entered this as a racer, rather than a runner.  But you chose me and I continue to feel honoured by that choice.  You gave me a deeper understanding of what makes you tick; of what drives you to accomplish all that you have.  You shared the beauty of the high alpine and the strain of a multi-day event.  You  showed me that you believe I am capable of  anything.

Thank you for your patience.  We walked when I needed to walk.  We ran when I was ready to run.  We sat down when I had no strength and we flew downhill when I got my second wind.  For 120 miles, the pace was mine – not yours.  Our placing in the results is a reflection of me – not you.  All week long, we heard stories of teams that nattered at each other about pacing and placing, teams who were disappointed in the each other’s attitude or ability, and teams who chose to separate because they didn’t have the same goal in mind.  But not you.  Your patience showed an understanding that I was often out of my comfort zone and that I was trying my best.  And your patience helped me find my own intrinsic strength to get through each new challenge we faced.

Thank you for documenting the good parts and for keeping track of our progress.  When I had low points, you used the time to take video footage of the beauty around us, the melee of the aid station or the antics of our fellow runners.  You kept track of our daily run route and our cumulative mileage.  You even stopped everything mid-run to point out that we had crossed over the 100 mile mark and congratulated me on completing my first 100 miler!

Finish Line!

Finish Line!

We ran side-by-side and step-for-step for 120 miles and we crossed the final finish line, hand-in-hand, rejoicing in the fact that we had completed this race as a team.  But full credit must go to you, dear teammate, because your strength, experience and patience is what led to my success.

I love you.