Saturday, October 30, 2010

The North Face Speaker Series - Karina Hollekim

Made it to Wednesday night's North Face Speaker Series at the Armory.  It featured professional skier and BASE-jumper Karina Hollekim of Banff Film Festival fame.  She talked about her career as an adrenaline junkie, how it almost ended very badly for her on a blown jump, and how she made it through a three-and-a-half year recovery learning to walk again and just recently, skiing.

Last year was the first year the Speaker Series was brought through town, when climbers Conrad Anker and Jimmy Chin shared photos and video of a recent Himalayan climb with thanks to sponsors Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works, Outside Magazine, The North Face, and Gore-Tex.  If you missed that presentation then you missed out, because it was badass.

This year's presentation was interesting because Ms. Hollekim's Banff role, for those who might have seen it a couple years ago, ended with a failed parachute and near fatal injuries.  What would this person do now that their career and lifestyle are effectively no longer an option?  She's still around obviously, and doesn't otherwise appear to have recently been consigned by doctors to a wheelchair for the rest of her life.  A pretty remarkable story, and it was disorienting to watch short video presentations of the person standing before us casually stepping off cliffs the size of El Cap.  The event had a really good turnout too with the auditorium about 3/4 full. A big thanks to Sangre de Cristo and Outside for bringing this to town once again.

Parts of the presentation showed some incredible skiing footage from the steeps of Scandinavia or somewhere.  Well, it got me pretty psyched about the winter.  Not coincidentally, I received a friendly e-mail yesterday with a link to the new Pow-cam up at Crested Butte which was showing loads of fresh snow.  26" since Monday apparently.  I'll need to update this post with a relevant photo since it was a sight to behold.  Time to strap on the freaking boards already.

Update:  At left is a screen-shot of Crested Butte's snow conditions as of last Thursday night.  Apparently, Wolf Creek opened part of its mountain for the weekend because of the snowfall, with $31 adult tickets through early season. Crested Butte opens 11/19 11/24.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Santa Fe Rail Trail - Trestle Loop

Trestle Loop -
Santa Fe Rail Trail
Terrain:  Urban bike trail, hardpack, and sections of sand
Distance:  5 mi roundtrip


Getting colder around here, and the Sangres are showing snow up near their peaks.  For this reason I imagine, I didn't see a soul out on the Rail Trail last night.  It was beautiful nonetheless.

Urban poetry - 'We let the others Follow'

Rail crossing with sunset
Rail trestle

Arroyo Hondo valley
Chamisa, hills, and sky
Adjacent Trails:
  -  Arroyo Hondo Open Space
  -  La Tierra Trails
  -  Spur Trail Out-and-Back

View Rail Trestle Loop in a larger map

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Dale Ball Buster - Santa Fe, NM

Batman - followed by Herman and Chad Thompson
Sunday morning's Dale Ball Buster rumbled through the trails east of town free of incident.  The route circled the north Dale Ball Loop, then south on the east Dale Ball leg to the reservoirs, then up the north side of Picacho, up-and-over both Picacho and Atalaya mtns, and descending down to the St. John's arroyo. Distance of about 12.5 miles, the front group finished in about 2hr 15min although I don't know how hard they were hammering considering the cookie and gatorade stop along the way. 

Katie and Steve provide some last minute logistics
The New Balance crew was there with demo models - Gretel, Steve, & Craig

A cross-section of our somewhat costumed field
Thanks again to Steve and Katie for putting on the run and hosting the after-party.  Altogether we had a few missing faces but otherwise a regular who's-who of the local distance community.  The weather cooperated just long enough for the crowd to mill about and scarf down burgers and dogs provided by the Striders.  Prizes were given out by Wild Earth Guardians.

Our camera crapped-out at the finish line so with the exception of photos from the bbq, here's what we've got.

 - Photo Album 1 - K. Brennan
 - Hadji Corona has a large photo album up here 
 - Jacob has a run report over at the Santa Fe Trail Runner here.

Related Posts:
  - Big Tesuque Trail Run - Race Report (10/2)
  - Pajarito Trail Fest - Jaguar XC Races
  - Pike's Peak Ascent - Race Report

View Dale Ball Buster - Santa Fe, NM in a larger map

Friday, October 22, 2010

Moonlight Run - Santa Fe Foothills

Every recent evening run has become a night run. This week there's a moon and light and it's easy to spook-out on thoughts of Halloween and the ghosts of northern NM.

I cannot run past the Folk Art Museum in October without thinking that La Llorona is roaming the bosque for her children around the next bend of the arroyo. This definitely makes the run that much more awesome.

Wed. p.m. - Zia Rd. trailhead to the St. John's turnaround - 10mi.r/t
Footing: Almost entirely sand
Traffic:  Zero (of the living kind)
Lighting:  Full moon, handlight for creepy Halloween bridge underpasses
Spooky apparitions:  Far too many to count

Related Posts:
  - Dorothy Stewart Ridgeline Trail
  - Las Campanas - Cycling
  - Rail Trestle Loop

Abbreviated map below - Arroyo Chamiso Eight Miler

View Arroyo Chamiso Eight Miler - Trail in a larger map

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Museum Hill and Dale Ball Trail - On the Bike

An abdomen injury has kept me off the running trails of late - but as fortune would have it, running trails make great biking trails.  Daylight is a bit scarce after work, so I've been racing up Museum Hill way, past St. John's, and up and around the west Dale Ball loop.  The route has single-track, speed, solitude, and gorgeous sunsets.  And yes, all of this comes standard on any run, bike, or hike in NM, but it's something that really never gets old.

Museum Hill
When running this way I usually take the Arroyo Chamiso east towards Atalaya.  Arroyos are a lot less fun on two wheels so I rode east up Zia to the relatively new trailhead at Calle de Leon, (left on Conejo from E. Zia Rd.). From here there's a great network of footpaths and single-track that wind around and through the arroyo just south of the Museums.  Lots of cactus-sabotage on the narrow sections of these trails - not as noticeable or dangerous when on foot.   Rock some bike-control and you can admire the pinks and purples of an evening sky in the foothills free of incident.

 Continue east towards St. Johns or cut north when the paths thin out, and climb up to Santa Fe Trail on a path behind the NM state lands building.  Up Camino Cruz Blanca to the west Dale Ball loop which is just as awesome on wheels as on foot.  Fantastic single-track, no cactus.

The sky from Camino Cabra
Round trip from the RailTrail trailhead at Zia Rd. is about 14mi and takes just over an hour if you're hammering.  Variations include the Dorothy Stewart trail, Atalaya mtn., or the Barbaria Rd. linkup.  Finish with a Sierra Nevada and playoff baseball game. 

Sweet-ass ride.

A click-able map of the Museum Hill trailhead below.

View Museum Hill Foot Trails - Santa Fe in a larger map

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oct. Events Calendar - Duke City Marathon

- Yesterday was the Duke City Marathon in Abq.  In addition to the marathon there was a half-marathon, marathon relay, and 5K.  There were about 350 marathon runners,  ~1,200 in the half, and about the same in the 5K.  I know Jacob over at the Santa Fe Trail Runner had been training for the race, the Striders had at least one all-female relay team, and Chris Chavez and Vin Kelley were adding to their 20yr+ participation streaks.

Update:  Santa Fe area finishers included, first time marathoner Amanda Cola running 2nd overall in a time of 3:24:53; Maryann Kos finished 4th overall in 3:26:46; Vin Kelley ran 3:16:35 despite a major spill at Big Tesuque two weeks prior; Tony Gallegos ran 3:22:37; Vince Hesch ran to a PR of 3:22:43 - bold running sir; Jacob Waltz ran 3:29:33 in his premier at the distance; Chris Chavez completed his 27th consecutive Duke City Marathon in 3:31:16;  Ted Freedman was an age group winner in the half-marathon in 1:35:27; Tracy Kneisler ran to a PR in 1:56:19 (8th AG); and Julia Kinney crossed in 1:57:07 (5th AG).

- Monday 10/18 is the first day for qualifiers to sign up for the 2011 Boston Marathon.  The 2009 race filled up in January, one of the first times the April race had ever filled up.  Last year's race filled up in November.  I'm thinking this year's event will be full in about 10days less than eight hours

- Sangre de Cristo Mountain Sports is sponsoring a North Face speaker series event with Norwegian skiier/basejumper Karina Hollekim, Wed. 10/27, 7pm at the SF Armory for the Arts.  Tickets are either free, $8, or $20 for the reception. 

- The Santa Fe Film Festival is happening this week around town, one featured film that caught my eye, The Athlete, is about the life of Olympic marathon champ Abebe Bikila. Showing will be Sat. morning 10/23, 10am at the CCA. 

- Over at the Second St. Brewery they've got Oktoberfest special brews on tap (Altbier, Schwarzbier, and Oktoberfest Lager), as well as other German themed specials throughout the month.

- Lastly, we haven't had much snow just yet, but I hear the Santa Fe Ski Swap is tentatively set for Nov 12-14th at the Genoveva Chavez Center.  Discounted Ski Santa Fe season passes are available until Nov. 15th.

Related Posts:
   - Chicago Marathon - Local Results
   - Athens and NYC Marathons
   - Duke City Marathon Race Report - SF Trail Runner
   - Duke City Race Report - Brian Pilgrim (Abq)

View Duke City Marathon - Albuquerque, NM in a larger map

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekend Results - Pajarito Trail Fest, Jaguar XC Races, the Chicago Marathon

A quick look back at the weekend.  We here at HighDesertDirt inexplicably missed the action at the Pajarito Trail Fest, but all the more reason to mark it on the calendar for next year.  Competition in the 10km and 15mi trail racing was stiff, but the Sunday run-bike-run trail duathlon had us tuning up the bike then regretting our no-show.

A review of Sat. podium finishers reads:
10km:   1) Hans Hanson, 50:38  2) Jesse Taylor, 53:49  3) Colin Hemez, 57:22    W1) Amy Lee, 1:04:45  W2) Marta Becvarik, 1:08:22  W3) Kim Katko, 1:10:59

Simpson closes in 4th
15mi:  1) Bill Crooks, 2:09:44  2) Daryl Dagel, 2:16:44  3) David Coblentz, 2:17:56     W1) Ruthanne Hamrick, 2:29:51  2) Sheila Van Cuyk, 2:38:52  3) Lynn Bjorklund, 2:43:36 (Lynn gets extra recognition for being a badass.  She still holds the women's course record in the Pikes Peak Marathon, 4:15:18, 1981).

My Santa Fe training pals blasted the course in 4th, Dave Simpson, 2:19:27, and 7th, Todd Schroeder 2:23:58 (both pictured at left).  Way to give 'em hell fellas -  I owe you two gentlemen a beer. 

A review of Sun. podium finishers reads:
Trail Duathlon:  1) Peter Doane, 1:17:13  2) Mike Slattery, 1:17:42  3) Clay Moseley, 1:17:54   W1) Cara Howell, 1:35:07  W2) Kim Katko, 1:43:03  W3) Jessica Kisiel, 1:45:38

Full results and photos of the weekend can be found here.
A first-hand race report from the Athena Diaries can be found here.

Schroeder right behind

Closer to Santa Fe, we had the 2nd Annual Jaguar Cross Country Races held in conjunction with the Jaguar Prep Invitational.  In the All-Comers 5K we saw area coaches and assistant coaches battling it out with local racing talent.  Not including the winner and runner-up, the field included a multiple sub-4 minute miler and La Luz champion (D. Maas), an IronMan and international triathlete (L. Sponagle), a 2:30 marathoner and multiple BigT champion (M. Ehrmantraut), a local track/xc/coaching legend (S. Gonzales), and a 2010 Boston marathon runner (M. Dobesh). Not a big surprise then that winner Elijah Wolfe recorded a new Open course record of 16min 57sec.

Podium finishers were:
1) Elijah Wolfe, 16:57  2) Leif Seed, 17:18  3) Sal Gonzales, 17:40
W1) Tanya Collins, 20:19  2) Liz Sponagle, 23:02  3)Shirley Van Slooten, 23:43

Race registration for this sweet local race was $5.  Top three men and women took home gift cards to the Running Hub which was a nice score from such an informal showdown, but it matched the talent of the field.  Grade school winners took home water bottles from the Running Hub, Cliff bars, chocolate, and other goodies.

The grade school division went off like a rocket!, and thankfully we lost zero competitors out on the course. The first four runners came in together.  The last half of the field was awash in drunken sailors weaving wildly in and out of the flagged race route (we're looking at you Helen Desmond).  Winners were as follows: 1) Dominic Roybal, 6:02  2) Beckett Maestas, 6:07  3) Tevin Flowers, 6:10.  G1) Judith Allison, 6:57  2) Hayden Colfax, 7:08  3) T'kyea Romero, 7:09

Full results can be found here or here.


CHICAGO MARATHON - New Mexico Finishers
Lastly, we had several locals racing in Chicago on Sunday, at least five of which were racing under the Elite Development Program.  Albuquerque's Jesse Armijo was the top finisher in 2:26:16 (42nd); Santa Fe's Ben Fletcher was close behind in 2:28:18 (61st); Jacquelyn Gallegos, 2:50:16 (W55); Kris Houghton and Erica Baron both scratched from the race after strong starts.  Other top local finishers included Antonio Lopez, 2:49:10; Liz Jaramillo Lopez, 3:25:50; Myles Fitzgerald, 3:34:46; Harry Barnes, 3:48:23; Khawlah Munshi, 4:18:08; and Katy Fitzgerald, 4:18:18. 

Whoa, nearly forgot about the SFHS Demons.  Not the cross squad, but the football team:  A mercy-rule victory over Espanola Valley at Ivan Head on Friday night, 50-0.  That this actually happened is a testament to the adage that all things are possible.  If one were to look back over twenty years and tally all games in which the Demons either put up 50pts or held the opposing team to zero, this may be the only one.  Demons for the win baby.

Related Posts:
   - Big Tesuque Trail Run - Race Report (10/2)
   - Pike's Peak Ascent - Race Report 
   - 2011 Trail Racing Calendar

Friday, October 8, 2010

Big Tesuque Trail Run Report - Oct 2nd, 2010

Saturday’s run at Big Tesuque was fantastic as usual.  We had a large field, great weather, and were surrounded by a great Fall turn of golden aspens (if one were to look up).  5.8miles to the towers and I was ready to rock this thing.  Just a great morning to get out on the trail.

 The climb went reasonably well although my quads locked up before my lungs burned out.  Felt pretty light on my feet but not all that swift.  Mike and Eric drifted away pretty early, then at around 1.5miles Rachel Early out of Abq. cruised by without making a sound.  I figured I was carrying at least 60lbs more than her to the top, so the math wasn’t going to work in my favor - I would not be seeing Rachel again until the finish.  Clark Fox came by at about 2.5miles, huffing and hacking and making a giant ruckus.  I was fairly certain Clark would come back to me over the next couple miles, but the guy’s ruckus was steady and unbending, and after a bit he was gone.  Too bad, so sad, and my focus turned to those towers.   

Race director Peter Fant had told us at the start that he’d moved the turn-around back a ways so we’d have to run around the towers.  I’d thought he was joking but he really wasn’t.  Coming up around the nasty switchback at the top of the chairlift, I found the turnaround was 100m further up the road than in years past – right up to the edge of the mountain which falls away into the Pecos Wilderness.  By my watch I made it to the aid-table in 57min 36sec.  Mike later told me he thought he’d made it to the mountain edge in less than 50min. He also told me he ran with just one sock. 

The race down is a 36min dash where you generally strain for any sign of the guy (or gal in this case) that might be just ahead at the next switchback.  Spying someone to chase down kind of narrows your focus and keeps the turnover high.  I never saw a soul so I had to descend with the paranoia of someone running behind me just out of hearing range.  I heard random clapping for this guy all the way down, then thinking I’d picked up speed and put some distance on him only to hear the little-bit-too-close clapping again and again.  I’d learned not to look over my shoulder on this downhill, or even up at the familiar faces still on their way to the top or you risk laying out on the stones and rock.  Not advisable. Vinny might have been our lone casualty this year, he went down in the last mile or two and scraped himself up pretty good.  Said he had to have his knee drained at the hospital later on, but he still made it to the party later that night and I personally saw him wrecking a plate of about five different desserts.  Good on ya’ Vin.

 On to the line, and I came through the finish a bit faster than last year.  I would guess the extended turn-around added about 60-80sec to the race, so not a really big deal.  My chaser was Andres Santiago out of Flagstaff, AZ.  Good guy.  He told me he was frustrated that he kept pushing and couldn’t close the gap on me, and I told him I was racing on fear, and we both got a laugh.

The race timing system gave out with the field up on the course so there was a delay in getting the times and placings together for the award ceremony.  The burritos from Posa’s kept most of us busy until then.
Mike taking it home in a cool 85min
Glazed and imprinted pottery bowls from Paseo Pottery were handed out to the overall, masters, and age-group winners.  I got in on some of the announcing and awarding, and Peter and Jim Westmoreland handed out a few pint glasses and hats from last year. Another fine race, and other than Vinny’s knee we all seemed to make out alright.

Jacob over at Santa Fe Trail Runner put up a great race report earlier this week.  A nice tune-up for Duke City especially since he didn’t smash himself on the descent.

My bros Lucas and Aaron stomping down a quick 12miler in the hills.
David over at picked up the race as well, and did a fine write-up on the goings on.
Max, of course, took hundreds of fantastic photos on his way up.  They can be found along with the race results at the Striders website. I used several of them here as well.

Pre-carnage, pre-cake Vin
Update:  Misty Davis of Albuquerque put together another nice race report of the morning, posted originally at  Ms. Davis deftly weaves a tale of her morning's heroism and bravado while bagging on the race front-runners with their gaunt and stoic features. Well done Misty, this is the kind of writing we here at HDD can get behind.        

Brown taking command
Andres Santiago chasing me to certain doom
Mariam receiving an addition to her collection


Place First Last Gen. Age Time
1 Mike Ehrmantraut M 42 1:25:40
2 Rachel Earley F 27 1:31:28
3 Clark Fox M 48 1:32:21
4 Eric Peters M 41 1:33:53
5 Kevin Brennan M 34 1:34:17
6 Andres Santiago M 37 1:34:41
7 David Simpson M 40 1:36:23
8 Michelle Born F 22 1:36:47
9 Marvin Fernando Jr.  M 34 1:40:16
10 Hadji Corona M 33 1:41:10
11 Jacob Waltz M 38 1:41:17
12 Kristiaan Rawlings M 27 1:41:28
13 Bill Carey M 52 1:41:49
14 Vinnie Kelley M 59 1:42:18
15 Chris Chavez M 51 1:43:11
16 Philippe Muller M 51 1:43:44
17 Steve Barrett M 37 1:44:02
18 Bryan Press M 42 1:44:59
19 Tanya Collins F 25 1:45:35
20 Vincent Hesch M 47 1:46:39


Place First Last Gen. Age Time Overall
1 Rachel Earley F 27 1:31:28 2
2 Michelle Born F 22 1:36:47 8
3 Tanya Collins F 25 1:45:35 19
4 Kerri Cotlle F 35 1:50:03 25
5 Therese Trujillo F 35 1:50:27 27
6 Robin Dressel F 46 1:51:34 29
7 Ruthanne Hamrick F 45 1:52:32 32
8 Sheila Van Cuyk F 40 1:53:28 33
9 Amanda Arthur-Stanley F 32 1:55:37 38
10 Maria Prentice F 35 1:56:47 40

       Full 2010 results here

View Big Tesuque Trail - Aspen Vista Trail in a larger map

Related Posts:
  - Pikes Peak Ascent - Race Report
  - Pajarito Trail Fest - Jaguar XC Races
  - Area Trail Records
  - 2011 Trail Racing Calendar 

Related Links:
  - Big Tesuque Race Report - Santa Fe Trail Runner

Thursday, October 7, 2010

La Tierra Trails - Santa Fe

la tierra santa fe
The Sangres with colored aspens
Got out to the trails north of town this week. Lovely singletrack without the climbing required up in the hills (Dale Ball, Dorothy Stewart, Little Tesuque, Atalaya...). 

Saw a couple cyclists and quite a few rabbits and crows. Otherwise I had it all to myself, as usual.  I'd get out here more if I didn't have the southside trails so close to my front door.  

Big Tesuque results and photos are up.  As are a couple race reports (Santa Fe Trail Runner, Endurance Buzz).  I'll add my own in the next couple days.

la tierra single track
Winding single track

Looking south, the sandias at dusk

A click-able map of preferred area trailheads (below)

View La Tierra Trails in a larger map

Related Posts:
  - Moonlight Run  - SF Foothills
  - Cycling Las Campanas
  - Big Tesuque - Race Report

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pajarito Trail Fest - Oct 9/10

A fun weekend is planned up in Los Alamos this week with the Pajarito Trail Fest.  Expanded from last year's 15mi and 10km races, this year's event includes a Sunday duathlon, and a point system to crown champions for those who double-up over both days. 

I didn't compete last year but remember they gave out some sweet ski hats.  Registration through at the link above, or on race day until 8:30am.

Friday, October 1, 2010


High in the Indian Peaks, CO
Been reading too many local trail blogs and wondering why i don't start one of my own.  Sometimes it seems disrespectful to an awesome trail or an awesome day out if it's just kept to oneself rather than passed around and shared.  Here's hoping that will be less of a problem from here on out.


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