Thursday, January 24, 2013

Santa Fe's Top Running Trails - Poll

Rockin' the Spur Trail
Alright, so one of the functions I really enjoy about publishing to public access here has been building out a local trail map database (the Trails List Tab at the top of the page). We have a lot of cool stuff around Santa Fe that isn't mapped, isn't signed, isn't really official unless you can link it up with several other secret trail stashes and hidden trailheads. I used to be out there running around having the time of my life then I'd try later to explain to someone a jewel of a trail find or viewpoint that I'd seen and they wouldn't know what or where I was jabbering on about.

Solution - online trail map database.
Bam. That gets me fired up for some reason.

Picacho Peak from the Dorothy Stewart Trail
In any case, looking back on this last year I can see that eleven new trails were added to the listing. They're all first rate in my opinion, some are classics (Atalaya, Chamisa Trail, Wheeler Peak). When added to previous listings the database is now up to forty-two. Upon review of all this I noticed that I didn't have a section for summits and peak-bagging, so I've added one.  

All of this brings me to a topic I've always wondered about - which area trails are the consensus best running trails in town? The best running trails in northern New Mexico? Criteria would include aesthetics, variation, flow, ease of access. I like to climb and bust out hills on a lot of my runs, most people probably don't. Conversely, the Rail Trail is the flatest fastest trail in town but it's an out-and-back and lacks a bit in adventure and inspiration. Maybe people love nothing more than knocking out tempos out there, what do I know?

Arroyo Hondo Open Space
To find an answer to these lofty questions I'm posting a couple polls in the sidebar to the right there (h/t to Mike over at Dry Flies & Fat Tires). We're asking visitors to the Dirt to give us some feedback on what you consider to be the best area running trails with a short distance category and a long run/epic category. I imagine several reader suggestions may not be on the list in which case please write-in any deserving candidates that I left out in the comments below and I'll get them into the polls and try to add them to the database for 2013. I won't tip my hand on which ones are my personal favorites until we have enough votes to declare the collective favorites.

Related Links:
 - Santa Fe Area Trails List

Sunday, January 20, 2013

2013 New Mexico Trail Running Calendar

Break out the cross skis for a few more
months of winter events
Found time to roll-forward the area trail race calendar (2015 calendar here) from last year. Several events on the winter slate have already come and gone including this weekend's Ski Classic up in Chama. 

Dates are still filling in. At least two races have fallen off the calendar: the Cochiti MTB 100 appears to be on an indefinite hold after the fire season of 2011 wiped out that entire area of backcountry; and the race organizers for the Sandia Peak Challenge have wound down that event.

A couple additions to the NM MTB Endurance Series have been added in Chama and Tijeras (though I don't have them up yet). I've added the February screening of the Telluride Mountainfilm Festival. Will the annual screening of the Banff Film Festival be back in Santa Fe this March? Still waiting on word for that since their old sponsor Sangre de Cristo Mountain Works is no longer around. Last year it was partially screened as a fundraiser for the Santa Fe Conservation Trust so I imagine it will be back.

Another additions is the Mt. Taylor 50K which may have had the most positive word of mouth for a new(ish) event last year. I'm not active in ultras but a solid race is a solid race, so I'll have that up on the calendar shortly.

As always, if you have a race or event to suggest, send over an email, or list it below in the comments.

Related Posts:
 - 2015 Calendar Update
 - New Mexico Cup Winter Race Series
 - Highdesertdirt turns three

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic - '12

A sweet time-lapse video from Jason Halladay of Saturday's Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic up at the Norski Trails. The year's first race.

Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic Race Time Lapse from Jason Halladay on Vimeo.

I really like how the shadows move across scene along with the music. Makes me want to learn how to timelapse stuff. Obscured in the blur of movement - Santa Fe's Hadji Corona claimed the mens overall in 34min 17sec, Albuquerque's Amber Young stood atop the womens overall at 38:17. Complete results can be found here

The race is one component of this January's New Mexico Cup Series. The next race(s) is this weekend's 40th Annual Chama Chile Ski Classic - multiple ski, snowshoe, and combined racing spanning Saturday and Sunday. At minimum it's a helluva good excuse to make the drive to Chama for a beer and steak at the High Country Saloon. Wicked fun. 

View Norski Trail in a larger map

Sunday, January 13, 2013

First Run with the Little Man

Making every effort to snap out of the holiday funk this morning. Haunted by ghost-boxes of family-sized cookies and chocolate, backlogs of work and study, infant care, a chest cold, and waking in darkness only to return home in darkness: All the regular winter excuses that inevitably bring on the blahs.

Fortunately this is not my first rodeo. Far-sighted father that I am, I'd located and purchased the requisite B.O.B. running stroller sometime back in December so that the Pistol and I could make tracks when needed. Today was that day. My man's first five miler, out to grandma and grandpa's on the city bike trails, Mini-Dirt snug in his infant warming-sack. Recovery with infant formula a cold IPA and tickling.

Vern Gosdin - This Aint My First Rodeo

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The New Mexico Cup Winter Race Series

Snowshoe racing above Santa Fe - Norski trail
The first race of the new year is scheduled for this Saturday, Jan 12 - the Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic - a 6km looped course up at Norski Trail. We usually have decent weather on race day and it can be nice catching up with friends and faces that you haven't seen since the Fall.

Together with Geoff and Ellen Goins up at Enchanted Forest (Red River), Clay Moseley and the SWNSKI crew up on the Mesa (Los Alamos), Kris Peterson and the Striders (Santa Fe), and Mary Ann DeBoer of the Chama Chile Ski Classic up in Chama, northern New Mexico's big winter events have been tethered together as the the New Mexico Cup Winter Race Series. Racers will receive points for top three age-group finishes or an overall win at these three winter events - the Santa Fe Snow Shoe Classic, the Chama Chile Ski Classic, and the Low O2 Cup Challenge. Accumulated points at the end of January will be tallied to determine the overall Cup Champions and Age Group Winners in three disciplines - nordic, snowshoe, and combined. The award ceremony is to-be-determined although it's probable that it could be at the Enchanted Forest following the final Cup event on January 27th. Point details and Cup scoring rules can be found here

Nordic and snow fairies in Chama
Ski track in Chama
 The idea behind the Cup Series was to build participation and word of mouth for the winter racing scene similar to a summer triathlon series. Geoff and Ellen pushed the idea forward to the race directors then Clay and SWNSKI cobbled the prizes together. The Sandia Snowshoe Race was to be included in the series but for a schedule overlap, so it will likely be included for next season. All of these Cup Series races provide a nice lead up to the Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon in early February, the winter's oldest and most prestigious event. If anything, the Series provides a compelling reason to travel to Chama or Enchanted Forest (or to Santa Fe!) for a weekend of snow and hi-fiving. It's worth it, these weekends are fun.

For the full calendar of New Mexico trail racing and outdoor events - see the tab above.
  - Santa Fe Snowshoe Classic - Race Report
  - Chama Chile Ski Classic - Race Report
  - Enchanted Forest, NM 


Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Years in the Sierras

Squaw Valley's Olympic Rings
End of year generally means that I'm roaming a warehouse somewhere counting inventory. Living the dream sons! Ah, but for the second straight year the warehouse on my schedule was located near Tahoe, CA, so my off-days became a snowy wonderland of awesome. 

Set up base camp in Truckee where more than three feet of snow fell earlier in the week. I literally clicked into my nordic setup and skied off the porch and into the woods on several evenings. That, is living the dream.

Turns on the downhill slopes of Squaw Valley on New Years Day with the Desert Babe, where I snapped the sweet photo to your left there. 

This brings me around to a bit of trivia that I have dutifully researched: The US has hosted the Winter Olympics four times since their inception in 1924. Squaw Valley hosted in 1960. Without looking it up - who can tell me where and when were the other three US-hosted Winter Olympiads?

Leave your best guess in the comments. I'll add the answer Friday evening although I'm sure curiosity will get the better of the guesser well before then.

Sunset at Squaw

Sunrise in the Sierras


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