We’re running with the Kenyans & Tarahumaras this week-end

As Susan has mentioned in previous posts, we are traveling to New Mexico this weekend to run the Santa Fe Half Marathon.

The race this year is predicted to have approximately 1,500 people running.   So why are Kenyan and Tarahumara runners choosing to run this race?    Many Kenyan athletes train in Santa Fe to reap the benefits of high altitude training, so this is a perfect tune up run for them.   The race starts at 7,000 feet and climbs to 7,332 within the first two miles.  Here is a great article explaining why many athletes chose to train at altitude.

Last years winner, Nelson Oyugi of Kenya, set a course record at 1:02:23; a 4:45 pace per mile.  The women’s winner was Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton of Kenya; she ran a 1:09:16.  Both the winners train year-round in Santa Fe.


The other top finishers were as follows:


2. MacDonald Ondara, Kenya, 1:03:30

3. Yonas Mebrahtu, Etritrea, 1:04:18

4. Laenche Mokono, Kenya, 1:04:24


2. Sarah Kiptoo, Kenya, 1:12:04

3. Atalelech Asfaw, Ethiopia, 1:14:19

4. Everlyne Lagat, Kenya, 1:16:26

The Tarahumaras are coming in support of the charity the Santa Fe Half Marathon Supports, Global Running Culture.   Santiago Gonzales and Pedro Lino are two world class ultra-distance runners who will be running this year.    Speed is not what these runners are known for, it is their endurance ability.   Pedro recently won a trail run lasting 2 days.   One of my favorite running books, Born to Run, gives an amazing account of these runners.    Check out the minimalist shoes they wear…


So what are my expectations for myself at this race?  Just enjoy the run, the scenery and the experience.    For those of you who haven’t been out to New Mexico, you can see for miles.  Our views will include incredible mountain ranges, the Santa Fe Opera House and the Rio Grande Valley.  Seriously, it is this beautiful.


There will be some races in the near future that I am going to try to PR or hit a certain goal, but with the altitude and having no acclimatization period this will not be one.  I hope to get some pictures during the race and can’t wait to write my race re-cap for this one, it is going to be epic!

What are your weekend running plans?

What has your favorite destination race been? 




  1. I hope you have so much fun at the race!! I’ll be doing a long run for Chicago training:)

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