Friday, June 15, 2012

Run the Caldera Trail Marathon - Jemez, NM

Valles Caldera
The 7th annual Valles Caldera Trail Races were run last weekend. The marathon is a race I always have on my calendar but must always sideline due to a myriad of other chores. I watched a bit of last year's race and had intended to writeup a summary and post photos but the Conchas fire swept through the Valles the following week and it no longer seemed appropriate to publish with the course lying  in ashes.

Well, much of what burned in the Valles last year were grasses and undergrowth which have come back, and the races likewise returned for its seventh running. This race is always a bit under the radar but slowly growing. The course is challenging with at least one large climb at steep grade. The footing throughout is solid, it's not a course that emulates the anything goes ethos of a mountain-ultra. Yet, plenty of drama awaits out on the trails of the Valles. Three years ago I was there for the start and watched as the race was delayed for several minutes as brush fire swept through followed by a brigade of Hot Shot fire rangers who gave the ok to start. At the finish a friend told me he'd passed a bear along a section with a creek. All of this sounds like more fun and gonzo-adventure than this race seems to project on the local trail racing scene. I had several friends run in this year's marathon and half marathon and thought I'd give them all, and the race itself, a bit of recognition.

Valles Caldera
The Valle Grande
Matthew Brake won the overall in 3hrs 27min 45s. This is quick, and good enough for one of the top times over the last seven years. James McIntosh edged out Rio Rancho's Neil Blake for second by a hundred yards, 3:46:02. Ultra-runner and fellow writer Jim Breyfogle of Rio Rancho ran fifth, 4:04:46. Nice showing Jim. Espanola's Tony Gallegos ran 6th, 4:11:42. Tony's been running pretty strong this spring/summer. My sometimes training partner James Nunez ran 15th, 4:35:08, and another sometimes training partner Max Mujynya ran 25th, 4:57:46. Clean pair of heels boys.

The women's race was pretty strong up front. Los Alamos' Erica Baron ran to second overall in a time of 3:36:25 which I believe is a course record (p.r., S. Brozik, 3:39:17, 2006). Albuquerque's Jean Herbert edged out Maryann Kos of Santa Fe for 2nd, 3:58:28. The top three women came across the line in 2nd, 5th, and 7th in the overall placings.

Full 2012 Results can be found here (.pdf).

Place Name
Overall A/Grp Time

1 Matthew Brake 1 32 3:27:45
2 James McIntosh 3 50 3:46:02
3 Neil Blake 4 47 3:46:27
4 Reed Soehnel 6 23 3:59:07
5 James Breyfogle 8 30 4:04:46

1 Erica Baron 2 40 3:36:25
2 Jean Herbert 5 56 3:58:28
3 Maryann Kos 7 43 4:02:09
4 Aimee Hoyt 13 39 4:19:38
5 Leesy McCorgary 18 33 4:33:06

In the half marathon the Santa Fe crew claimed two of the top four placings - Joachim Marjon 1st overall, 1hr 31min 22s; and Antonio Lopez ran 4th, 1:44:38. In the women's race, Bridget Herron gets the win in 2:02:36; Santa Fe's Liz Lopez ran 19th, 2:19:15; Los Alamos' Tracy Kneisler ran 25th, 2:28:15; Santa Fe's Arianna Trott ran 27th, 2:29:17; and Abiquiu's Hilary Lorenz ran 28th, 2:29:28. Nice race people. Way to get out and get after it.

Hilary put together a fine race report that can be found here - AdventureArtist

Related Posts:
 - Caldera Marathon Called Off due to Fire (2013)
 - Frijoles Canyon in Recovery

View Valles Caldera Trail Marathon - New Mexico in a larger map

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