Saturday, December 3, 2016

Lobo Cross Country Continues Elite Run at NCAAs

UNM Lobos - Defending NCAA Champions
The UNM Women's Cross Country Team ended their season two weekends past with another top ten national finish (7th place, 310 pts). The team entered the NCAA National Meet as the defending champions, seeded 6th. Their result marks the eighth straight top ten NCAA finish for Coach Joe Franklin's program which goes along with nine straight Conference championships. It's a real treat to have a national class program in our backyard considering the international champions that have come to New Mexico to train since the 80's.

Alice Wright (Jr.) and Calli Thackery (Sr.) achieved All American honors (top 40 finish). Home state athletes included 5th scorer Natasha Bernal (So. - La Cueva HS) and 6th runner Kendall Kelly (So. - Bosque School).

The Team's 2017 season has begun with a promising start, receiving a commitment from one of the top rated high school runners in the country - Footlocker Champion Weini Kelati out of Virginia.

Related Posts:
 - Cross Country 2013: UNM Runs 10th at NCAA
 - US Men Claim Silver at World Cross (2013)
 - New Mexico's Newest Olympic Hopeful (2016)

Friday, November 18, 2016

NorteƱos at the New York City Marathon

Smyth - US Mountain Running Champ
The New York Marathon kinda got lost in the madness that was the World Series and election combo last week.

It was a fine race up front and a fantastic race for American athletes. US finishers took six of the first eleven places on the men's side, including former La Cueva High standout and UNM alum Shadrack Biwott in 5th (2:12:01), and Santa Fe based pro Patrick Smyth in 10th (2:16:34).

Biwott at NYC
Pat ran a minute faster at February's Olympic Marathon Trials, finishing 8th - 3 secs back of 7th place Shadrack Biwott. Seems to be a thing with these two. I'd think Shadrack ought to probably spring for the tab if they ever hang out. For what's its worth I raced Pat back in May and he got the best of me. We squared-up with a few hundred other runners at the Jemez Mountain Trail Run and the dude put me in his wake by an hour+ over a 13mi course. I'm going with a strategy of patience and I think I'll close the gap over another 15yrs when he doesn't see me coming.

On the women's side the Americans fared quite well again with three in the top ten, but I was mostly focused on gold medal triathlete and CPA Gwen Jorgensen in her first attempt at the distance. She faded to 14th overall, 6th American (2:41:01), however I'm going to imagine she had the tax liability on her winnings calc'ed out before crossing the line and that counts for something in my book.

Additional notes and connections: Molly Huddle finished 3rd overall (2:28:13), notable here because she was a college teammate of Smyth's at Notre Dame. Prior to Biwott's 5th place finish, fellow Oregon alum Ken Martin ran to a 2nd place finish in 1989 (2:09:38). Ken lived and trained in Santa Fe in the year(s) leading up to that performance. The best finish at NYC by a New Mexican local was of course Tony Sandoval, (2:12:12) for 6th overall in 1981. Tony passed over both Oregon and Notre Dame to run for Stanford.

Ken Martin in '89 besting Italy's Olympic gold medalist, Bordin
NYC Results - 2016

Related Posts:
 - New York's Incredible High Line Park (2013)
 - NYC Marathon - Race Report (2011)
 - New Mexicans at the Olympic Trials Marathon (2016)

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Santa Fe's First Snow of the Season - 2016

Aspen Vista Trail - Sun. Nov 6
courtesy Eric Peters
The season's first snow arrived on the peaks one weekend past. Last year myself and the family were out of state at a wedding and this year I was in baseball euphoria after the Cubs win, but let's not let a timing issue keep us from adding the new data to the list. 

We've tracked the mountains' first snow fall each year back to 2010. This year's snow fell in the high-country on Sat. and Sun. of our last weather event (Nov 5th and 6th). From the many images of folks up running, biking, and skiing it looked like accumulations of up to 6"- 8" 

The date of this year's first snow is on the later end of our trend the last seven years. Weather reports are predicting a dry El Nino winter and my hope is that these calls are based in nonsense and professional incompetence. 

Moar snow plz. 

Related Posts:
 - Santa Fe's First Snow 2015 - Oct. 21st
 - SFe's First Snow 2014 - Oct. 21st
 SFe's First Snow 2013 - Oct. 12th
 - SFe's First Snow 2012 - Nov. 16th
 - SFe's First Snow 2011 - Sep. 10th
 - SFe's First Snow 2010 - Nov. 10th 

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Santa Fe Trail-Building Projects Lurch Forward

Drilling equipment setting the bracing for the new underpass
Work on the Acequia Trail Underpass began in earnest this weekend. Equipment has been hauled to the site and orange barrels are in place for the start of weekday traffic. This is a major piece of our new urban trail/pedestrian/cycling infrastructure which will surely incite cries of commuter agony for the next six months followed by decades of value, appreciation, and laudatory expressions of foresight and vision from future generations of Santa Feans.

This project and other have been held up all year due to City budget deliberations despite segregated allocation of funds between park and trail bond receipts and the city's general fund. Don't get me going on this topic, point being the new work is rolling now since a lot of the scheduled projects have completed the required planning and public input stages, committee approval, bidding, etc.

Santa Fe Conservation Trust volunteers at work on the new footbridge
at Camino de las Animas
Smaller less visible projects that have been completed in the meantime include a new extension of the Acequia Trail at Harrison Rd and La Cieneguita St;  A new footbridge over the ditch at Camino de las Animas (useful connector east onto Agua Fria and Canyon Rds; old bridge was all peligroso); Engineering and trail work on the unofficial north/south footpath in the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve; and the new work on the far east end of the River Trail - replacing and installing sidewalk along Alameda up to Patrick Smith Park.

The new footpath extension at Santa Fe Canyon Preserve.
Not yet officially completed or opened to public use.
There has also been several additions of bike lanes on city and county roads including Old Santa Fe Trail south of St. John's College through to El Gancho Way; New lanes on Siringo Dr. from St Francis. Dr. to Llano St.

Major projects and additions anticipated for 2017 include the Pen Rd section of the Rail Trail (thru to Alta Vista), and the 15mi El Camino Real Trail along Buckman Rd from the Rio Grande to Caja del Rio Rd west of town. This second project is being managed by BLM and the National Park Service thankfully, removed from dependence on the City and it's various governing committees.

New bike lane off Old Las
Vegas Highway
The Harrison Rd connector
near Rufina; Acequia Trail
Related Posts:
 - Acequia Trail Underpass Groundbreaking/Announcement (Aug '16)
 - Acequia Trail Underpass GreenLit (Aug '15)
 - Arroyo Chamisos Underpass (2012)

Monday, September 5, 2016

New Fall Trail Races - Ultra Santa Fe and Bull of the Woods

There are a couple of new trail races on the schedule this Fall with a lot of potential:
  - The inaugural Ultra Santa Fe at the ski basin (Sep 10th), and
  - The inaugural Bull of the Woods Trail Run up in Taos Ski Valley (Sep 17th).

Ultra Santa Fe - 13mi/50km/50mi, Sep 10, 2016
Santa Fe's first organized ultra at both 50k and 50mi distances. Race directors Peter Olson and Taylor Pardue have done a ton of work and promotion to launch this new race. The courses are terrific (including the first rate maps setup on the race website), starting/finishing at the ski area lodge and descending the network of forest service trails on to Dale Ball in town (great race viewing, cheering, and cow-belling) before circling back up the mountain.

As of this writing there are 66 entries to the ultra distances and another 75 at the half marathon distance. This is going to be the new area test-piece, and the scheduling ties in beautifully to the fall trail racing calendar: it's one week before the Bull of the Woods Trail Run and Buffalo Thunder Half (Sep17), three weeks before Big Tesuque (Oct 2), and five weeks before Pajarito and Duke City (Oct 17).

More details and registration info at the event website here.

SF Reporter write-up - 6/29/16
SF New Mexican write-up - 9/1/16

Bull of the Woods Trail Run - 8mi, Sep 17, 2016
A couple of local trail runners in Taos have managed to get approval at the Northside@Taos Ski Valley trail system to stage an 8 mile high altitude race. The mostly singletrack course runs between 10,000-11,000 feet elevation with magnificent views of Gold Hill, Kachina Peak, and Lobo Peak. The expectation is that in years to come the race will be expanded into offering longer distances, and perhaps a combination run with the Taos Ski Valley Up-&-Over, and potentially part of a Northern New Mexico trail race series!

More details and registration info at the event website here.


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