The Jemez Mountain 50 miler or my case the 50K are great training races moving into 100 miler season. I have been following the blogs of several elite ultra-runners who use this as a training race. This year we made the same decision except we did not register soon enough for the 50 miler. For us, logistics for the race was a simple 7 hour drive from Denver and a chance to see family in Red River after the race.
The race took place in the Jemez Mountains which are part of the Santa Fe National Forest. The start in the race was in Los Alamos neighborhood next to the trail head. Most of the course is on rolling single track with some quality climbs (7781 feet of climbing and 7781 feet of descending). 60% of the race was in trees and 40% in either burn area or some open meadows. Along the way runners had great view of the Jemez Mountains, Valles Caldera National Monument, and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the distance.
(Next 6 Photos are of the race start and first few miles)
The race began at 6:30am with clear skies, no wind, and temps in the 40s. It began with the only pavement section that lasted one mile before joining the single track trail that worked its way up a river bed to the Mitchell Trail head aid station (mile 4.4).
(Next 3 photos are of the 1540 ft climb up Mt Mitchel)
(old dam in Guaje Canyon at mile 8)
After a 2 mile runnable climb up the Guaje Canyon I arrived at the Caballo Base Aid Station. This is were I began the 2.4 mile 1816 ft climb to Caballo Mountain mile 11.9 (picture below).
Following the descent from Caballo and a bottle refill at the aid station (mile 14.3), I began a 1169 ft climb to the Pipeline aid station (mile 17).
(next two pictures are of that section)
The 5 1/2 mile section from Pipeline is my favorite part of the race. It has great views of the Valles Caldera, nice open meadows, lots of tree, and very runnable.
(Next two pictures are near the Pajarito Mountain Ski are and 19.8 aid station)
(Next 2 photos are of the 2.5 mile section from the pipeline return to Guaje Ridge aid station mile 26.2)
The section between Guaje Ridge and the Rendija aid station is a complete waste land from a previous forest fire. It was hot, dusty and barren. The positive was the 1792 foot descent.
(Rendija aid station mile 31.3 with it shade and comfy seats)
The race finished at mile 32.9 after back at the Posse Shack and sharp climb up a cliff. It was well organized and worth the trip. This a great race to get ready for the summer race season. For me I was able to see family on the way back and meet new friends. Below are videos of the race in the same chronological order. Enjoy.