Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Santa Fe's First Snow of the Season - 2013

The Sangre de Cristos above town,
Monday September 23, 2013 - courtesy of Luis Sanchez Saturno
After a rather dramatic electrical storm Sunday night, most of northern New Mexico woke up to see our high mountains with a wintry coat of white fluffy cold stuff. It was only a dusting, but excited anticipation for the winter season has begun in garages across the mountain west, where stowed ski gear has sat quietly for months.

The first snowfall Team Dirt saw this year was actually back in August. The peaks above Telluride, CO saw snow on Aug. 10th. No joke.

Webcams at Taos Ski Valley yesterday showed snow over its ski runs and the Wheeler ridge towering to the east. The webcam at Ski Santa Fe is fogged over, because, who knows.  I want to like you Ski Santa Fe but you make it hard sometimes.

A cool photo album of the storm and snowfall across the mountain west can be found here (firsttracksonline).
Al's Run, Taos Ski Valley - 9/23/13
Snow capped Wheeler Peak high country east of Taos - 9/23/13
Telluride, CO looking toward Yankee Boy
and Imogene Passes - August 10, 2013

Related Posts:
    - Santa Fe's First Snow 2012 - Nov. 16th
    - Santa Fe's First Snow 2011 - Sep. 10th
    - Santa Fe's First Snow 2010 - Nov. 10th

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon

Been working on a write-up of last Sunday's Buffalo Thunder Half - but, ahh, slow going. The writing that is, not the racing. To compress the wait folks may want to checkout Will Webber's race profile in Monday's New Mexican.

What's amazing is that last year's course record of 1hr 3min plus was destroyed by the new men's champ Nelson Oyugi. The course is net downhill but 7,000ft of altitude is not an insignificant factor, especially over 13 miles. That is smokin' fast. Like near-world elite fast.

The entertainment arrives when Will describes NM trail running legend Steve Gachupin - delivering general commentary at the finish line to whomever is listening - that Oyugi's performance and record aren't really all that strong. Not compared to the old days anyway.

Aaaaahhhhh, okay.

Coach Gachupin is an all-timer. He's also a a terrific story-teller and regular provider of comedic gold as Will's story can attest. I laughed out loud more than once reading this.

BTH 2013 - Race results here

Related Posts:
  - 2014 Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon
  - A Brief Meeting with Billy Mills (and Steve Gachupin, 2012)
  - Santa Fe's Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon  (2011)

View Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon in a larger map

Saturday, September 14, 2013

RAIN! - New Mexico River Levels Spike Upwards of 30 Times Average Flows

Lots of rain in New Mexico this week. How much? So much I can weed my yard without a trowel. A really cool novelty. Seriously though, it's so much rain that just about every drainage, rivulet, rito, creek, and river were bursting at the seams. Yay rain!

I don't have cool photos to post because my phone doesn't work well in the pouring rain, but I do have some cool graphs of the recorded water flows in the area via storm gauges. The information comes from the USGS water data website for New Mexico. Another great source to follow the storm has been Twitter, tag #nmwx (NM weather).

Here's the Santa Fe River (above the reservoirs). As can be seen the river has been running at a flow of 1.5 cubic feet per second (cfs) this Fall. The historical average for this time of year is 2.5cfs. Well, river discharge rocketed up to 170cfs last night and is at 140cfs as of Saturday morning. Up 100 fold. Think of the Rio Grande flowing through the gorge on the drive up to Taos. Near Embudo there the river has been running at around 250cfs the last several years. The Santa Fe Watershed approached that for a brief period last night.

Here's a view of the Rito Frijoles in Bandelier as a measure of the storm's intensity during the week. The Pajarito Plateau received rain in excess of 4" in places, half the year's average in a two day period. The canyon flashed from less than 1cfs to 1,000cfs. Four times the general flow of the Rio Grande near Embudo. That and the crests in the graph below are why Bandelier was closed yesterday and today.

A couple of images of just what 1,000cfs looks like in one of our little ritos, from the Bandelier Natl Monument Facebook page:

The Rito Frijoles near the visitors' center - Friday morning,  Sep. 13, 2013

The Frijoles wanders into visitor parking and the picnic area - Friday morning, Sep 13, 2013

And here's a view of what the Rio Grande looked like after all the arroyos and ritos and rios emptied their cargo into the mother drainage. From 250cfs to 9,000cfs yesterday near San Felipe. This is below the Cochiti dam. In other words, the pulse of water would have been much higher were not for the catchment below Santa Fe. A section of the Pecos River down near Roswell was gauged in excess of 30,000cfs on Wednesday morning. The highest measured flow on the Pecos since the 1930s. Now that, is no joke people.

Related Posts:
  - Frijoles Canyon in Recovery
  - Bandelier National Monument and Lummis Canyon
  - Santa Fe's Arroyos

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Imogene Pass Trail Run - Results and Updates

This morning's start in Ouray - photo by Cindy Brown
An obligatory post for today's Imogene Pass Trail Run. Ouray to Telluride via mountain pass through the San Juans. 10mi and 5,000ft of climbing to the 13,000ft pass, 7 steep and crazy-scenic miles with 4,000 feet of descent into the town of Telluride.

There's some significant travel time involved in running this, and it always falls on Fiestas week (Que Viva!!), but this race really should be on every trail runner's list. Everything awesome about trail running taken up to eleven.

So, early results coming in. Flagstaff, AZ continues their dominance in this Four Corners epic - 2010 champ Jason Wolfe out of Flagstaff takes the men's overall in 2hr 17min 23sec, avenging last year's runner up finish and adding a new age-group course record. Flagstaff's Sara Wagner nails down her third consecutive title in 2:48:32, fourth in five years. The feed below ought to capture all Twitter traffic tagged with #imogenepassrun, it should filter race reports and uploaded images from those on the course today.

Full results are now posted

Imogene Pass
New Mexico representation in this year's field includes Santa Fe's Maryann Kos and Ben Fresquez,
Albuquerque's Mark Baker.

A run down on last year's top New Mexican finishers at Imogene below:

William Gardner, Abq, 35th O/A, 2hr 55min 26sec; Peter Falk, Abq, 52nd, 3:00:46; Antonio Lopez, Santa Fe, 65th, 3:07:17; Michael Starr, Abq, 73rd, 3:10:11; Tom Callahan, Santa Fe, 79th, 3:11:48.

On the women's side:  Molly Roberts, Abq, 20th O/A, 3:13:08; Katrin Silva, Las Vegas, 23rd, 3:16:19; Aimee Hoyt, Abq, 52nd, 3:29:43; Lindsey Gardner, Abq, 81st, 3:40:20; Elizabeth Lopez, Santa Fe, 82nd, 3:40:22.

Related Posts:
  - La Luz Trail Run - Results and Updates
  - Imogene Registration Opens (and Closes)
  - Imogene Pass 2011 Results

View Imogene Pass Trail Run - 17miles in a larger map

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Boston Marathon Registration - Demand is Going to be Strong

The Boston Athletic Association opens registration for the 2014 Boston Marathon on Monday, September 9th. As in the previous two years, registration will be tiered - runners with qualifying times 20min+ below the age/gender standards will register first over Monday and Tuesday, registration will then open to qualifiers with times 10min+ below the age/gender standards on Wednesday, then to qualifiers with times 5min+ below the standards on Friday. Registration opens for all qualifying times on Monday Sep. 16th, assuming space remains, and will close for all registrants on Friday Sep. 20th.

This tiered registration system gives preference to faster qualifiers and creates a 'natural cut' when the maximum number of runners is reached. This cut can be faster than the official qualifying times, as in 2012 when the fields were capped a little more than two minutes below the qualifying marks. 2013 registration was more leisurely as the field did not fill until early October.
Update:  Seems that 4,000 runners registered on Day 1, with qualifying times 20min better than the standards. That's approx. one-sixth of the available entries for April's race. Uh-oh.
Update 2:  As of Thursday morning the field for time qualifiers is now half full with approx. 10,500 registrants confirmed. Runners World is reporting that 6,000 runners with qualifyng times 10min better than the standards signed up on Wednesday. 
Update 3:  As open enrollment began at 10am on Monday morning, 7,500 qualifiers quickly registered for the approx. 5,000 remaining bibs. Registration will remain open until this Friday for all runners who have met their qualifying times. Registrants will then be seeded fastest to slowest relative to their qualifying standard to determine those remaining 5,000 spots. I'm going to guess that cutoff will be between -3min and -4min. 
 And this year looks to be unique with the tragedy and drama of the 2013 played out over the media for weeks after last year's race. Several prior champions intend to run in a show of solidarity and in defiance of violence, Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit, Amby Burfoot, and on and on. For these reasons the BAA has increased the size of the field by 9,000 runners (36,000 are slated to run) to absorb some of the pent up demand and to allow for those that could not finish last year (some 5,000 runners) to have another go at it. After accounting for charity spots (~9,000) this leaves approx. 23,000 available spots on the starting line.

Just how much demand might there be? Observe the Google traffic from April tabulating individual searches for 'how to qualify for the Boston Marathon' (above). Over five times the usual interest. Did some portion of these folks get out, build their mileage, and nab a qualifying time? How many aged runners who had long sworn off running marathons decided that this year was different? It wouldn't take much to tip the usual stampede toward Boston to a torrent, and if so, the natural time cut that develops during qualifying registration week is going to disappoint some folks who otherwise thought they had done enough to make it to Patriot's Day in Hopkinton.

  - Boston Marathon Fills Up Slower than Predicted
  - Tragedy in Copley Square
  - Tracking New Mexican Runners at Boston
  - Boston!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...