Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Little Tesuque Trail - Santa Fe

Little Tesuque Creek - dry and sad
A week ago Saturday I made time to drive up to the Little Tesuque Trail. The 'trailhead' is up Artist/Hyde Park Rd, just past Ten Thousand Waves on the other side of Nun's Corner. Between forest closures, and injuries, and laziness preventing me from driving to get in a run, I just hadn't been up there all year which is a damn shame because it's one of my favorite two or three runs in town. As is usually the case, the hilly profile and near constant climbing keeps most people away which is a fine quality of a good trail.

The first section rolls down alongside Little Tesuque Creek. The pathetic little creek bed was dry as a bone even after the heavy rains from the day before. I'd never seen it dry before and I stopped to take a photo because it seemed so extraordinary. After a pleasant warm up, the trail climbs a shelf to the left with some fun rollers and runnable switchbacks. I find this section to be especially fun in snow.

There is a plan in operation right now to run a connector trail from North Dale Ball down to this point. The Santa Fe Conservation Trust recently secured the necessary property easements and have all the planning in place. If I remember correctly it will be named the La Piedra connector (updated here), tying together the Dale Ball Trail network with the Winsor Trail system, which will be sweeeeeet.

In the event of gun fire, the correct route is left
Alright, for sake of disclosure I should point out that just past this point in the trail there also happens to be a gun shooting range. Should you forget, you will see a bright yellow sign that says 'Gun Range'. I've only been out here twice when the range was active but it's good form to be alert through here. Folks from Bishop's Lodge set up on the south ridge and shoot north across the canyon. Should you hear gunshots as you approach, you need to stay high to your left (on the Yellow-Dot), which will take you up and around the range. It sucks when this happens because the better running is through the kill zone - down the Yellow-Dot switchbacks, back into the canyon, and across to a shelf on the north side which meanders through Lodge property before climbing back into the hills. Fun stuff, but more fun if you don't get shot. [Update:  As of June 30, 2013, this section of trail is now gated at the junction with La Piedra Trail. My best guess for access would be to run the loop in reverse - counterclockwise - or consider a linkup involving La Piedra.]

Above Bishop's Lodge you hop on the Green-Dot heading east. There used to be a great Red-Dot loop that climbed the ridge just to the west with views of the Jemez and Espanola Valley. Somebody recently built a road up that ridge and the trail is mostly retired now. Fortunately the trail has been replaced by the nearby Orange-Dot trail which is a great add-on to the Little Tesuque loop. All of these Dot Trails are built and maintained by the Lodge for guests and horse riding, so yield to horses should you see any. As far as I know the trails are unmapped. They get torn up in places by the horses, but they also wouldn't exist without the horses and the work of the crew at the Lodge, and they seem nice enough to let dirtbags like myself run around on them so God bless 'em.

Green Dot Trail, from the top of Bauer Rd.
Approaching tempest wall. All freaking hands on deck!
Beauty at the moment of darkness

Green-Dot/Blue-Dot will take you east to the summit of some large hills. Steep climbing for 1.5mi. On this day I ran into a lightning storm typhoon on my way up Green-Dot. I don't care for lightning but I had no good options from where I was at so I just carried on up the hill which quickly became a fast flowing creek. First the trail was a creek, but then everything became a creek. In places there were sheets of water cascading down the hill to my left or right, across the trail, and continuing down the side. A few times my trail-creek merged with an adjoining trail-creek at a confluence, which made for lots of fun splashing through the ford. Shin deep footfalls in some places and the sound of water everywhere. Suck on that you dry bastard summer.

5min later - Trail becomes creek
The descent off the summit is Julian's Loop to the east. Stay left at the crossroads for an incredible descent north towards Winsor. A mile in, there is an easy-to-miss right turn marked with cairns that takes you east up more winding singletrack, and eventually down to another green canyon floor (you'll know you missed the turn if the trail drops further and further west, eventually meeting up with Winsor). Quad busting switchbacks jump the ridge here (connecting with the Sidewinder Trail coming down from Chamisa), and will drop you back at your truck after a gorgeous mile descent. My best guess is the loop is a tough 7mi (75min), adding a mile with the Orange-Dot detour.

Fording creeks down into the Winsor watershed
A mighty confluence - camera dying
Back at Little Tesuque Creek I found a raging torrent of brown muddy water. Crazy flood where 75min ago there was only dust and rock. My camera-phone was no longer working because it was dripping wet, so no cool photos. Back on Hyde Park Rd, there was actual rock-fall tumbling into the road from the wet hillsides. Yikes.

Beautiful wife, plus beer, plus culture
This story ends with me racing down the mountain to make an Opera date. No one in the opera party was the wiser that I had just endured my own brief battle with a tempest and biblical floods, except maybe the Desert Babe who glanced disapprovingly at my mud-spattered legs as I snuck in through the garage. Recovery beers thirty minutes later at the opera tailgater. Slacks, sport coat, and dress shoes neatly concealing fresh branch-lashes, scrapes, and sand still hiding in my toes.

Related Links
- Acequia Trail Underpass - Queued Up
- Santa Fe's Arroyo Systems
- Chamisa Trail

View Little Tesuque Loop in a larger map

Friday, August 26, 2011

Santa Fe's Rotich Racing in Daegu this Evening

Caroline and the Kenyan banner
Santa Fe's Caroline Rotich is on the start list for this evening's World Marathon Championship in Daegu, South Korea, (9am local starting time in Korea, 6pm MDT). Caroline is competing for team Kenya with hopes that a good performance may give her an edge to be named to next year's Olympic team. She has been running strong over the last year and may be taking a bit of a gamble running Worlds over a fall major like New York or Berlin where she could cash in a bit from her 9th at NYC last fall, and a 4th at Boston in April. Then again, it's possible she could torch Daegu since many of the top athletes will not be there due to commitments at Chicago, NYC, and Berlin. Team USA includes Boulder's ageless Colleen de Reuck, Tera Moody, Zoila Gomez, Kathy Newberry, and Alisa McKaig. None are expected to contend for a top ten finish. Cheers to home town gal Caroline, clean pair of heels and a bit of good fortune to her this evening. 

The live race feed and archived race video will be available on for what looks like $3.99. 

Updated:  Tough night/morning for Caroline. I don't know how the first half of the race went for her but the finish was less than optimal, crossing the line in 29th in 2hr37min. Her teammates swept the podium places up front. American Tera Moody had a fine showing in 17th, 2hr32min. Full results here.

Paula RADCLIFFEGBRLondon - 13 Apr 2003
Paula RADCLIFFEGBRHelsinki - 14 Aug 2005
Mary Jepkosgei KEITANYKENLondon - 17 Apr 2011

Time BehindSplit Time
1578Edna Ngeringwony KIPLAGATKEN2:28:43

2575Priscah JEPTOOKEN2:29:00
3572Sharon Jemutai CHEROPKEN2:29:14SB+00:317:33
4340Bezunesh BEKELEETH2:29:21
5534Yukiko AKABAJPN2:29:35
6250Xiaolin ZHUCHN2:29:58
7829Isabellah ANDERSSONSWE2:30:13
8240Jiali WANGCHN2:30:25
9718Marisa BARROSPOR2:30:29
10547Remi NAKAZATOJPN2:30:52
11218Rong CHENCHN2:31:11
12349Aberu KEBEDEETH2:31:22
13581Irene Jerotich KOSGEIKEN2:31:29SB+02:468:04
14339Atsede BAYSAETH2:31:37
15223Chaofeng JIACHN2:31:58
16880Tetyana GAMERA-SHMYRKOUKR2:31:58
17963Tera MOODYUSA2:32:04SB+03:217:58
18552Yoshimi OZAKIJPN2:32:31
19549Azusa NOJIRIJPN2:33:42
20182Lishan DULABRN2:33:47
21876Olena BURKOVSKAUKR2:34:21
22542Mai ITOJPN2:35:16
23778Margarita PLAKSINARUS2:35:39
24403Susan PARTRIDGEGBR2:35:57
25634Diana LOBACEVSKELTU2:36:05SB+07:227:54
26241Xuequin WANGCHN2:36:10
27271Lisa Christina STUBLICCRO2:36:41
28608Sung-eun KIMKOR2:37:05SB+08:228:00
29587Caroline ROTICHKEN2:37:07SB+08:249:10
30966Kathy NEWBERRYUSA2:37:28SB+08:458:27
31737René KALMERRSA2:38:16
32960Alisa MCKAIGUSA2:38:23SB+09:408:57
33881Tetyana HOLOVCHENKOUKR2:39:25SB+10:429:09
34611Sook-Jung LEEKOR2:40:23
35594Yun-hee CHUNGKOR2:42:28
36859Bahar DOGANTUR2:42:56
37742Annerien VAN SCHALKWYKRSA2:43:59SB+15:168:46
38932Colleen DE REUCKUSA2:44:35SB+15:529:51
39653Luvsanlundeg OTGONBAYARMGL2:45:58
40943Zoila GÓMEZUSA2:46:44SB+18:016:36
41697Judith TORIBIOPER2:47:21
42385Alyson DIXONGBR2:50:51

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Pikes Peak Ascent Results - 2011

Big weekend in Manitou Springs. Results are in for today's Ascent, won by Mario Macias of Alamosa in 2:08:59. Albuquerque/Colorado Spring's Simon Gutierrez ran to a third place finish in 2hr18m. Crazy fast for any runner let alone the master's champion. The first New Mexican finisher I'm seeing is Andrew Hahn of Albuquerque in 113th, 3hr14m; Santa Fe's Matt Scarborough came through in 384th, 3hr49m; Meredith Schoenfeld finished 433rd, 3hr53m; and Chris Chavez came in at 587th, 4hr6m.

Live results for Sunday's Pikes Peak Marathon can be followed here:  "Almost Live" In-Progress Results

I'm heading out for a run in the hills, but was at Indian Market this morning and noticed this art market themed graffiti in an alley off Water St. A stylized native character with a paint can in hand, an horno billowing smoke, and an image I can't make out with an arrow head and dripping water. Decent street art and murals always get me fired up.

Related Post:   Pikes Peak Ascent - 2010 Race Report



Place Name
Sex Age Time City St
1 Mario Macias M 29 2:08:57 Alamosa, CO
2 Tommy Manning M 35 2:15:43 Colorado Spgs CO
3 Simon Gutierrez M 45 2:18:15 Colorado Spgs CO
4 Jason Delaney M 31 2:20:03 Golden, CO
5 Josh Eberly M 30 2:22:26 Gunnison, CO
6 Rickey Gates M 30 2:22:58 Woody Creek CO
7 Peter Maksimow M 32 2:27:24 Manitou Spring CO
8 Jean Pellissier M 39 2:30:03 Saint Vincent ITA
9 Alex Nichols M 26 2:32:04 Colorado Spgs CO
10 Mark Mayall M 39 2:33:00 Maynard, MA
11 Oscar Roig M 38 2:33:52 Lleida, ESP
12 Kim Dobson F 27 2:34:07 Aurora, CO
13 Chris Grauch M 38 2:34:40 Boulder, CO
14 Oscar Casal Mir M 32 2:35:25
15 Xavier Martinez M 37 2:36:57 Lleida, ESP
16 Andy Ames M 48 2:37:45 Boulder, CO
17 Mike Kloser M 51 2:38:56 Vail, CO
18 Johannes Rudolph M 46 2:40:25 Boulder, CO
19 Marc Casal Mir M 28 2:41:55
20 Craig Howie M 34 2:42:33 Longmont, CO
21 Martin Mudry M 24 2:42:35 University Hght OH
22 Kraig Koski M 45 2:43:20 Longmont, CO
23 Brad Mitchell M 41 2:47:42 Hailey, ID
24 Stephen Boedicker M 24 2:47:51 Louisville, KY
25 Cynthia Arnold F 27 2:48:21 Glenwood Spgs CO


113 Andrew Hahn M 38 3:14:42 Albuquerque, NM
227 Brad Poole M 41 3:32:39 Albuquerque, NM
244 Gary Toya M 44 3:35:19 Jemez Pueblo NM
284 Molly Roberts F 43 3:38:55 Albuquerque, NM
287 Paul Regalado M 29 3:39:16 Alto, NM
303 Mark Crowley M 55 3:41:54 Albuquerque, NM
329 Jeff Moore M 41 3:44:34 Albuquerque, NM
335 Paul Yourick M 52 3:45:06 Albuquerque, NM
342 Bryan Press M 43 3:45:57 Albuquerque, NM
365 Jan Tarr F 54 3:47:32 Socorro, NM
384 Matthew Scarborough M 26 3:49:09 Santa Fe NM
413 Julie Lawrance F 49 3:51:50 Albuquerque, NM
433 Meredith Schoenfeld F 34 3:53:21 Santa Fe NM
464 Nathan Moody M 35 3:56:06 Los Alamos NM
479 Aimee Hoyt F 39 3:57:24 Placitas, NM
480 Lisa Duncan F 30 3:57:26 Rio Rancho NM
587 Chris Chavez M 52 4:06:47 Santa Fe NM
624 Russell Gysberg M 49 4:09:02 Albuquerque, NM
722 Andrea Feucht F 37 4:17:53 Cedar Crest NM
732 Kathleen Kamieniecki F 48 4:19:13 Albuquerque, NM
815 Bruce Carlsten M 53 4:25:27 Los Alamos NM
840 Frederic Moras M 52 4:27:28 Ruidoso, NM
869 Jay Fenberg M 64 4:29:17 Cloudcroft, NM
872 Miki Matsuo F 41 4:29:25 Albuquerque, NM
954 Eric Schmierer M 39 4:37:32 Los Alamos NM
1114 Kristy Ott-Meyer F 53 4:52:30 Albuquerque, NM
1135 Kevin Flusche M 39 4:55:11 Ruidoso, NM
1145 Susan Sanchez F 41 4:56:37 Albuquerque, NM
1148 Frederick Maas M 66 4:57:04 Santa Fe NM
1162 James Gurule M 40 4:57:42 Penasco, NM
1186 Kelsi Felson F 21 4:58:45 Santa Fe NM
1232 Erin Houchen-Farshchi F 36 5:04:42 Los Alamos NM
1252 Lynn Umbreit F 57 5:06:49 Albuquerque, NM
1296 Annelise Torgerson F 42 5:10:20 Los Alamos NM
1320 Ruth Lopez F 51 5:14:29 Albuquerque, NM
1341 Arthur Lopez M 45 5:17:31 Albuquerque, NM
1342 Stephanie Lopez F 41 5:17:32 Albuquerque, NM
1357 Carrie Haag F 61 5:19:57 Santa Fe NM
1370 Joseph Whiteman M 71 5:21:59 Las Vegas NM
1453 Brandy Benton F 39 5:32:56 Las Vegas NM
1528 Stephanie Poole F 37 5:47:29 Albuquerque, NM
1679 Burton Broxterman M 76 6:18:04 Albuquerque, NM
1690 Bruce Petrie M 63 6:22:18 Carlsbad, NM

Thursday, August 18, 2011

New Trails Around Town - Santa Fe

A happy tree pardoned from the plowman's blade
City Parks and Rec. has begun cutting a new bike path on the east side of St. Francis within close proximity to Casa Dirt. The new trail section is an addition to the Santa Fe's growing urban bike path system, so it will be paved over at some point when they finish up. For the last four weeks, and the foreseeable future, it has been an awesome new mile of dirt trail that just showed up over night. Several times a week I leave the house, run out some first tracks, and then the following day the earth-movers change everything up, grade the track, remove some more rocks, and I get back out there for some more first tracks the following day. I'm going to have 50-60 miles run out before the trail officially opens. Like the goodwill gesture of champagne on the bow of a new ship, there will be hundreds of shoe imprints christening the new trail beneath its future coat of blacktop.

By Spring the trail builders ought to have a connector in place tunneling beneath St. Francis to the Zia Rd. trailhead and bike path on the west side of St. Francis. This will also be great because crossing through the adjacent intersection es un poco peligro buey.

Early trail cut by Zia - looking north

Early trail cut by Siringo - looking north
Early trail cut near St. Michael's Dr. - heading north
The Groundhog Day of first tracks
Using the new trail has also given me a break from my usual loops, circuits, and out-and-backs which is pretty nice. I can launch out to the hospital then northeast to Museum Hill rather than the tough but familiar trot up the wash of Arroyo Chamiso. Museum Hill has a sweet new trail winding through the arroyo system to its north side, part of a planned new botanical garden or something. Connect these two new trail sections with the older Museum Hill footpaths on the southside and what you have is a stellar new 7-8mi loop just in time for the coming Fall. New trails and link-ups are really awesome. High five.

View Museum Hill Loop (8mi) - Santa Fe in a larger map

Related Posts:
  - Museum Hill Footpaths
  - Arroyo Chamiso to the Foothills

Monday, August 15, 2011

Fall Racing Has Arrived - Santa Fe

Last week I'd wanted to post a few upcoming races. I procrastinated and now two of those races have come and gone. I figure I'll post them anyway along with race reports.

1.  So the Taos Up-and-Over 10K Trail Run was run Saturday. Kind of a new race, in its third year and really tough. The race is a good lead in to the major Fall trail events including Pikes Peak, Imogene, and Big Tesuque. Waltz was up there repping Santa Fe, and bettered his previous year finish with a fifth overall placing (his race report). Nicely done sir.

(Update 8/22) Looks like my pal Herman ran the race as well, finishing 18th, 10min back of Jacob. Herman tells me he ran off course at mile 4, had to climb back up to the junction, and ended up five places back. That pretty much bites on a course as tough as that one. 

  2.  Sunday was the inaugural running of the Pecos Giddy-Up. The folks out there put on a half-marathon, 10K, and 5K. I was excited about the half but apparently not excited enough to properly set my alarm. Race report follows below.

  3.  Coming up this weekend, Sat. Aug 20th is the 37th Annual Los Alamos Triathlon. I thought maybe I'd sneak into this since I didn't run the Santa Fe Triathlon in July, but it's not going to happen for me, (this might as well be my mantra for this summer's racing season).

  4.  The Old Santa Fe Trail Run 10K/5K is scheduled for Labor Day Weekend, Mon. Sep. 5th Sun. Sep. 4th. A nice, heavily attended run starting and finishing at the State Capitol Bldg here in Santa Fe. The course runs out and back on Old Santa Fe Trail and is not a trail run. I may run this if I'm in town. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be in town though.

   5.  The inaugural Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, 10K/5K  is scheduled for Sun. Sep. 18th. This race ought to be great, a legitimate destination event right here in town. Top area runner Antonio Lopez, Joseph Karnes ('96 Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier, and former Big Sur Marathon board member), and Pojoaque's Abraham Kosgei, have put this race together with a large budget, corporate sponsors, cash awards, billboard advertising, and the works. How can you not jump into this race just to say you ran the first year? I need this half-marathon as a tune-up for November so I'm in. Sign-up is $50 through 8/30. $60 afterward to race day.

   6.  The 26th Annual Big Tesuque Trail Run is Sat. Oct. 1st. This race is awesome and is Santa Fe's home trail running course. I will be there rocking face, re-telling unsubstantiated tales of glory, and re-living questionable brushes with death. This year my goal will be not to get beat down by 48yr old dudes from Los Alamos.

  7.  Lastly, Pajarito Trail Fest in Los Alamos. I don't know whether this race is planned to be on this year or not with the surrounding fire damage from Los Conchas. But if it's a go it is scheduled for the 8th and 9th of October.

Alright, regarding the above mentioned Pecos Giddy-Up:  I had planned to run the half, but woke up about thirty minutes late (or like an hour late). In a huff, I drove out there and managed to *just* get myself into the 10K. I actually missed the start by a couple minutes and watched everyone run by as I pinned my bib onto my shorts. Then, because I primarily wanted to know what kind of shape I'm in, I ran 300m back to the starting line, clicked the timer on my watch, and one-eighty-ed back onto the course to chase everyone down. I've been running tempos on the track so the speed and turnover over the first couple miles felt not-too-bad. Usually these things hurt like hell. I caught all but the top four guys by the turn-around at 5K. I had to involuntarily cut the turn-around short by about 20m because of a couple pissed off Pecos dogs that had determined that that extra 20m was to be invite only. 

The pace up till then felt hard but controlled and I eventually caught my friend Chris Chavez and chatted with him about next week's Pikes Peak Marathon. Chris is a regular on both the Sat. Pikes Ascent and the Sun. PPMarathon - which means he is a stone-cold badass. I was telling Chris that I don't know how he completes that annual double without getting hurt, let alone on the marathon descent itself. That thing is treacherous. As I was saying this I put my foot through the loop of my other set of shoelaces and abruptly disappeared from the conversation (poof!), eating pavement on a perfectly level, paved road. Well I recovered from that hiccup, fixed my damn laces, and then eventually hammered home the last mile for a 40min 5sec finish. That's five seconds short of my first sub 40min 10K in probably 10 years, (plus or minus 40meters).

What grated on me was that because I slept-in I was going to have to get out and put in another 12miles later in the afternoon to get in the equivalent of my Sunday long run. Thankfully Nunez agreed to swing by the house and tow me along for part of his long run. I don't know if a weird double like that is a smart or acceptable way to get in your weekly long run, but I can tell you that it made me reeeeally sore.

And with that, my current block of marathon training is in full effect.

Weekly training mileage:
61mi, with 3 workouts (including the 10K), 3 doubles, 1 rest day, and a long run of 12mi.

Previous week's mileage was;  69mi, with 2 workouts, 2 doubles, long runs of 12mi and 17mi.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

La Luz Trail Run - 2011 Results

The official results are yet to be posted. If it's anything like the past few years it could be a couple days. I do know that unofficially, Kris Houghton ran to a third straight win (and second straight title). Rachael Cuellar claimed her seventh course title over a very tough field, denying Erica Baron a third-straight victory  (Baron did not start the race), and leaving Magdalena Donahue empty handed in a search for her first La Luz title.

The comments section is open for any other race details or stories from the day. I'll add updates and times as they come in.

>>>Results are posted. Some surprises and some fast aggregate times. The womens' defending champ did not line up to start the race. Cuellar got separation by the start of the trail portion (1.2mi) and ran away with her seventh title. Seventy+ runners snuck in under 2hrs. Better than 1hr 43min was needed for a top 20 position. A total of 343 finishers made it to the crest at or before cut-off. Terrific race.

Full results hereLa Luz Trail Run - 2011 Results

Update (8/16):   Seems the Dukes Track Club out of Albuquerque cleaned up, nabbing 4 of the top 5 overall placings broken up by 2009 runner-up and NMSU runner Ryan Fenton who ran as a bandit. Pre-race contender Jesse Armijo had to run conservatively after learning he'd be running on the national half-marathon team later this month.

I should add that a friend of mine and long time NM runner mentioned to me just the other day that his PR on the course back in 1985 was 1hr 23min, about two minutes quicker than this year's winning time. Waquie won it that year in 1hr 15min, my friend tells me his time was good for 20th place. That's messed up.
Place First Last Gen. Age Time
1 Kristopher Houghton M 30 1:25:16
2 Andrew Gisler M 25 1:28:53
3 Loren Wohletz M 26 1:30:30
4 Jesse Armijo M 28 1:32:25
5 Rachael Cuellar F 29 1:34:31
6 Brent Broome M 31 1:34:53
7 Troy Madalena M 18 1:35:35
8 Vincent Sheehan M 53 1:36:00
9 Jason Taylor M 38 1:36:40
10 Joshua Coon M 26 1:37:24
11 Aaron Padilla M 26 1:38:57
12 Daryl Dagel M 37 1:39:07
13 Chris Ellefson M 21 1:40:14
14 Michael Carey M 36 1:41:36
15 Grant Soehnel M 28 1:41:51
16 Miguel Sandoval M 27 1:42:10
17 Dustin Hillerson M 26 1:42:17
18 Christopher Keleher M 43 1:42:31
19 Trevor Manzanares M 23 1:42:45
20 James McIntosh M 49 1:42:54

Place First Last Gen. Age Time Overall
1 Rachael Cuellar F 29 1:34:31 5
2 Magdalena Donahue F 29 1:43:38 24
3 Molly Krehlik F 26 1:47:08 33
4 Linsey Sandoval F 27 1:57:18 58
5 Bree Morrison F 31 1:58:08 63
6 Valerie Compton F 55 1:59:09 69
7 Marisa Sandoval F 24 1:59:13 70
8 Whitney Dreier F 27 2:00:27 76
9 Julie Dunston F 32 2:00:28 77
10 M.L. Rauch F 46 2:01:10 81

Related Posts2011 La Luz Trail Run - Preview
                         NM Trail Run Calendar

View La Luz Trail Run - Albuquerque, NM in a larger map

Saturday, August 6, 2011

La Luz Trail Run - 2011 Preview

The portal to 2hrs of agony disguised as scenic vista
Tomorrow is the 46th running of the La Luz Trail Run, the oldest and most storied trail race in the state. It's going to be a real barn-burner with a stellar field scheduled to break from the line at the 7am start. Both men's and women's defending champions are in the field, as well as both an Olympic marathon trials qualifier and a six-time champion on the women's side. Last year's mens runner-up and third place finishers are running.

The women's race is crazy competitive so I'll list this one first. Erica Baron is the two time defending champ. She also won in 2003 with a best time of 1hr30min, is a multiple winner at Pikes Peak and ran in the 2004 Olympic Marathon Trials in St Louis. Baron's on the start sheet along with Magdalena Donahue, runner up in 2009. Donahue ran a 2hr44min Olympic Trials qualifier earlier this year and is gunning for her first win on Sandia's west face. After a year absence champion Rachael Cuellar is on the start sheet looking to add to her record 6 titles. The sortable entry list at makes it easy to spot the other top runners in this year's field including: Christie Aschwanden (CO), a past La Luz runner-up and third place finisher; Molly Krehlik (Abq), 2011 Jemez Mountain 50K champ; and Whitney Dreier of Santa Fe, (waddup!) the 2011 Valles Caldera marathon runner-up.

On the men's side we have last year's champion and un-official two time winner Kris Houghton. Houghton bandited and won in 2009 which may have led to a change in race sign-up from a manual lottery to the online system being used this year. He's also a 2:22 marathoner/adventurer/ultra guy/all around bad-ass. Following him up the trail for the second straight year is Santa Fe's Marc Esposito, last year's runner-up and 2010 Valles Caldera runner-up. Marc and Kris chase antelope in their spare time and put together do-it-yourself ultras from Albuquerque to Chimayo. These two are pals, but Espo is going to have to bring it to steal a third second title from Kris (but what would be his third straight win). Also in the mix is Houghton's Abq training partner Jesse Armijo, a 2:24 guy and top-20 national XC guy who I'd thought had finished third overall last year. Anyway, Armijo can move and will be up front with the leaders. Other top ten runners include:  Loren Woheltz (Los Alamos), perennial top ten finisher and 2010 Valles Caldera champ; Peter Doane (Abq), 2008 runner-up; Daryl Dagel (Abq); fellow outdoors blogger Jason Halladay (Los Alamos); and Santa Fe's Matt Dreier (waddup!).

A notable change in this year's race registration is that it has finally moved online. La Luz used to be a real benchmark in trail running circles and just did not adjust well when the popularity of the sport took off. It's nice to see it finally getting with the times a bit, and it's nice to see a field as stacked as this year's is. 

Race report and results here >>  La Luz Trail Run - 2011 Results

Recent years' results:
  -  2010 La Luz Trail Results
  -  2009 La Luz Trail Results
  -  2008 La Luz Trail Results

 List of Previous La Luz Champions

View La Luz Trail Run - Albuquerque, NM in a larger map


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...