Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon
Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon( 2 reviews )
Mary LeeCleveland, Ohio, United States
This year's big travel half marathon was to a new state for me - New Mexico! First of all, Santa Fe, New Mexico, is a BEAUTIFUL place! I spent a week in Santa Fe and very much enjoyed my entire time there.
Now for the race! The expo was held by a small museum, which was free to enter. There was amazing artwork and info about the history of the Pueblo people in the region. The expo itself was small and outside. Everyone was super nice and welcoming! The race shirt was a wonderful design and that really soft t-shirt material that I love to wear just "around". I even bought a second Run New Mexico shirt.
The altitude here is no joke. I had no clue how high it was until after I was registered! I think the race peaks out at 7,300 feet. Yep. That is about 2K above Denver even! So the day before, I got an oxygen treatment and also drank water with chlorophyl drops all week to help. I didn't have HUGE problems with the altitude, so hopefully that helped.
The shuttle buses moved smoothly from Buffalo Thunder Casino to the start. Basically, we run back to and finish at Buffalo Thunder Casino.
The race is advertised as being uphill the first two miles then downhill the rest of the way. That is mostly true. There were a whole lot of people walking up those first two miles! After that, it was mostly downhill. Toward the end there was a bit of rolling up and down.
Most of the course is along an access road that runs along a freeway. Although this does mess with the view a bit, it was also cool having drivers honking their horns and cheering out their windows as we ran by! I didn't mind it. I also loved the echoing drums under the overpass that we run under to get to the other side of the freeway. We crossed under the highway a few times.
Aside from the first two miles, the only time the altitude bothered me was right at the end. You have to run uphill to get from the access road to the parking lot finish line at Buffalo Thunder Casino. Of course, I have to always finish strong, which means I look like death in my finish line photos and had to sit down and remember how to breathe for a bit.
There wasn't much at the finish line, but then it is a smaller race - so that is ok! I was frankly ready to head back to the hotel! Which was really the only glitch in the entire experience. We took a courtesy shuttle from our hotel to Buffalo Thunder to catch the buses to the start. We figured we would Uber back to our hotel from Buffalo Thunder. There wasn't an Uber to be found. None. And there were no taxis either. There literally was zero transportation to get back to Santa Fe! This may not be a problem if you are a local, but it definitely is if you traveled to Santa Fe for this race. Luckily, I was able to call our hotel and they kindly came to rescue us.
And frankly, if the only real glitch was having trouble getting back to the hotel after the finish, that isn't so bad! I would highly recommend this race. And I recommend spending a bit of time around Santa Fe and getting to know the area! There was so much to do, I could easily go back and spend another week!