The Colorado fresh air and altitude paired with the camaraderie and energy of the ultra-community makes TransRockies ultra-Run a bucket list event for so many runners. Yoann Stuck is no stranger to the highest level competition, but coming from Lyon, France, means that it’s an extra special treat to come race in thin air of Colorado. Coming a few weeks before Stuck’s pinnacle race of the year, the Courmayeur Champex Chamonix (CCC) in Italy, in September, made it even better training. Stuck raced the event with a partner last year, but was excited to be back racing solo for the six day event this year. “The people that make up TransRockies are great, the energy they create is amazing,” said Stuck, “but I most look forward to a beer at the end of the day with my wife”.
For Yoann, this is a family event. His wife, Estelle is running in the 3-day portion, so that she can also take the final days to cheer on her husband and welcome him at the finish line.
Race day for Yoann starts early with an espresso, and finishes up in the same way, “I have just one espresso before the start, but 3-4 post race, you know, to help calm me down.” Coming into the event, Stuck was feeling prepared with legs.
“For me Stage 1 is the stage of preparation, I have to pace myself so that I can perform well throughout all 6 stages” said Stuck.
For the opening stage, the runners take on only 2500ft of elevation gain. What seems like a huge number for most runners is actually quite mild, with stages later in the week cresting over 5000 feet of climbing.
“When I’m running, I tell myself, ‘open your eyes and race’. Meaning that I take in the moment, I give gratitude for my health, for the trails, for the scenery and also the camaraderie around me. Running in the US has always been a dream of mine because I love the spirit of the US.
Yoann raced the event wearing the GORE RUNNING WEAR® Fusion Tank and Short. This combination is a lightweight set up that fits perfectly with the high temperatures he experienced in Colorado. Although the mountains are notorious for their thunderstorms, a fast runner like Yoann was finished before the clouds started building. That didn’t stop him packing the ONE GORE-TEX® ACTIVE RUN JACKET on every stage, just to be safe.
Stuck came away from the 2017 Trans-Rockies Run in second place overall, an amazing feat for an athlete arriving from sea level just days before. The race ended up being a battle of progress versus patience, with cramping early in the event creating some challenges that Yoann had to work through. For Yoann, the event proved to be a perfect training platform, and now looks to the events in Italy in September to cap his season off in style.