The Team Birdmachine Snowmass post-race report can be summed up in one word: FANTASTIC! We don’t like to brag, but we were awesome! We were able to pull off a win in the women's masters category, overall masters, and came in second overall women’s team - 30th out of 222 teams! The conditions were beautiful but challenging. The first couple of legs were really hot, and even though we all live in Colorado, we were running at 3,000 feet of elevation more than we’re used to. Also competing were three Oiselle Volée teams. We enjoyed running into our other bird-buddies around the camp and watching them fly down the trail. Many of the other women made a point of searching us out in our campsite to say hello and wish us luck. You can truly feel the love with these women!
Some highlights from our weekend:
Friends. We have competed together for 12 years now. We might only see each other once a year, but we can always pick up right where we left off. These women are like my sisters; we know each other like family.
Amazing Oiselle gear. We loved strutting around camp and running those beautiful steep trails in our team gear. It was chilly Thursday night, so we wore our tracksuits down to race headquarters to pick up our race packets. We heard another team whispering “We’re gonna have to step up our game” when we walked by in our matching black jackets. We raced in our Toolbelt Roga shorts and team Go tanks and we are convinced they made us run faster. Let’s not forget to mention the Runner Trucker hats that kept the sun off our faces!
Glamping. After many years of traditional camping at trail races, we decided to go soft and pay for a glamping site. Our personal concierge, Connor, was our favorite! We had a living room, kitchen, space for all of our stuff, and then our favorite, the back porch, where we could sit and cheer on all the runners as they whizzed by. They even provided mimosas on Saturday morning (which we passed on, but thought it was a nice touch)!
Nature. Shooting stars, a colorful hot air balloon takeoff, dive-bombing bats, raccoons, two fox sightings and incredible wildflowers. Seriously…the shooting star at 2:00 a.m. was most incredible! Have you ever seen the stars at 8,000 feet with no city lights? If not, add that to your bucket list.
Crashing. Our team had a total of three falls during our 21 hours out on the trail, but that didn’t slow us down one bit! No major injuries, but some big purple bruises, scrapes, and a couple of trips to the med tent.
Night Legs. The dark didn’t slow us down one bit! Running at night is truly an amazing experience. It can be a bit scary when you can't fully see where you are going, but there is something magical about running in the dark. We all enjoyed our night legs and even managed to run pretty fast. It’s pretty cool to look across the mountain and see the headlights from other runners across the hillside.
Brrrr. Ok, we can't fail to mention the most challenging thing about a trail race at 8,000 feet...the COLD temperatures at night! The race organizers do a great job of keeping the campfires going and even having heat lamps near the start, but it is almost impossible to stay warm in the middle of the night. Some of our team members opted to burrow into their sleeping bags. We had one runner who refused to lie down, claiming that if she did, she'd never get up! This year the cold seemed to be particularly challenging, but the great thing is that when the sun starts coming up the temperatures also start to rise and by the time we finished we were all toasty warm again.
Crew. Our volunteer Jen was most incredible! She sign up for all 3 shifts after Stacy ended up at home with the stomach bug. Jen surprised us Saturday morning with some fresh watermelon, which really hit the spot. Social media guru Laurie did an amazing job shooting videos and pics!
Overall, our Podium Project weekend was spectacular and left us all feeling happy and tired. In the favorite post-run words of our team member Vic, it was “So Fun!”
- Lisa Mansfield, the fearless leader of Birdmachine CO