Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon - 2013

The 4th running of the Santa Fe Half is just a few short days away. A fine time to recap the prior year's race, particularly when a timely race report never made it to completion the year before. Previously the Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, the race has shifted its marketing to highlight our lovely town and the more recognizable name of Santa Fe. Solid decision, the miles need to be run just the same.

Last year was my first view of the course. Started out from town on a perfect fall morning for running - a bit overcast, cool, with rain the night before. I ran with Leigland and friends Dan and his wife Cheyenne who had traveled up from Alamogordo. The gun sent us off, starting with two miles of climbing on Old Taos Highway. We ran these fairly leisurely and I think they split at 8min30 then 8min even. Chatted with folks we knew as we worked through the field. Mile 3 started the descent into the Rio Grande valley which went at 6min flat. My watch might as well have just flashed 'DANGER!'. The old run-like-hell-early-and-control-massive-damage-at-the-end strategy was being penciled into the day's schedule.

At the start - bag check
Cruised down into Tesuque Village at about mile 5, stopped for a photo of the outstanding surprise of Bellydancers, then out past the Pueblo and Camel Rock Casino at about mile 7. The grade flattens out quite a bit at this point and the field had thinned into lonely areas of no-man's-land. I was also now carrying a piano on my back. A runner with a cop mustache and a state police shirt passed me. This impressed me and I told him so. Also, the guy was probably carrying so I wanted to be sure I was on his good side.

Fabulous Mile5 Bellydancers
Miles slowed to 6min50s. Sounds fast-ish but the down-slope was a significant aid. A steady moving runner came up on me and I was fortunate to latch on which then carried me through to mile 11. My man blew-up at this point and disappeared (*poof*), but I was near enough to the runner just up the road that I pressed to catch him and we ran it in together from there. Turns out he was a top age-grouper out of Socorro (John Leeper), finishing 2nd in the 55-59 age group just behind the legendary Senovio Torres. My chip time actually edged Torres even though he finished a good 30sec ahead of me. Good company to be in.

The 12th mile was a faded 7min10s but I might have closed the final mile in around 6min45s. Finshing time just north of 90min. An unexpectedly fun and enjoyable morning. High fives all around, except from my quads which were understandably upset. The race organizers have put together a really solid event that I hope will continue to grow.

BTH 2013 - Race results here
Photo album courtesy of Max Mujynya - here (

My crew at the finish - Dan and Leigland
Finishers list
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