Our first attempt at the Imogene Pass Run in Colorado proved to be a great success and very frustrating at the same time. We both trained hard for 3 straight months. Marye Jo and I both endured the effects of falls while running on trails at Oak Mountain State Park. I broke a rib and Marye Jo was just scraped up and bruised. We suffered through Alabama heat on three and four hour training runs. We arrived in Telluride on the Monday before the run to acclimatize. We hike up over 11,000 feet one day and 12,200 feet another. We run up Tomboy Road to the Tomboy ruins at 11,500 feet (ran and walked). We drove up and ran up part of Camp Bird Road from Ouray to Lower Camp Bird. We did all this prior to the run. Friday, we took it easy and were ready for the run. Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and all day Friday snow fell above timberline and it rained in town. There were reports of 2 feet of snow over Imogene pass. Form Telluride it appeared there was little accumulation. The race officials decided on Friday that 1,700 runners were not capable of running over the pass in 5" of snow. Of course, most of the runners live in the Rockies and run in the snow all the time. (Five inches is how much snow actually accumulated on top of the pass according to the 47 runners who went over the top into Telluride even though there was no support.) Sunday morning after the race, I ran up Tomboy road to the last switchback below the summit (probably no more than 500 feet below the pass) and there was no snow on the road up to that elevation. By then I was getting Mad!! I did not do all that training and spend that much money to "NOT" run over Imogene Pass. I felt robbed and sent several e-mails to the race director
The race was shortened to 15.25 miles. Instead of going over Imogene pass the course went up Camp Bird Road about 6.5 miles, accords an auxiliary road a mile or so, then back down to Ouray. We ran less than one mile on the really steep part of the course above Lower Camp Bird. The next 4.6 miles to the summit (above the auxiliary road) climbs 3,365 feet. Going over the top of the Pass is the point in the run.
The great success part for Marye Jo and for me was that we both placed. (Not bad for "Flatlanders") Marye Jo won Second place and I came in Third. (Age group of course) I was rather surprised to have beaten 48 runners in my division.
Tomboy road winding up the San Sophia Ridge toward Imagine Pass.
Marye Jo on Tomboy road just above Telluride with ski runs in the background.
The Tomboy ruins are almost visible at timberline on the far left.
(with a telescope)
Marye Jo coming down Camp Bird road about 2 miles above the finish.
Marye Jo finishing the IPR
Marye Jo with her medal for second place in the IPR
Me receiving the third place medal for the IPR
Why the IPR committee felt compelled to change the course. "SNOW" This is a picture taken by one of 47 people that went over the summit to Telluride.