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It’s All Relative

After Bandera 100 km a couple weeks ago, I asked a good trail running friend about the Jemez 50 in New Mexico.

“How do you compare Jemez to Bandera?”

His ego crushing response.

“Jemez is Bandera multiplied by 10.”


My good friend did revise his response a bit and said Jemez is at least 2-3 times harder, but still. Damn! Good thing I didn’t ask about Hard Rock.

Here is a video created by an athlete that took on the Jemez 50 km course in 2009. It provides a bit of a glimpse of the area and course. I imagine we are only seeing the easy sections of the course.

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Gotta love this sport. 🙂

Be active – Feel the buzz!

David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

5 Responses to “It’s All Relative”

  1. on 25 Jan 2010 at 9:25 pm Chris Russell


    I have talked to people who did run Jemez and it is a slower course because of the long climbs and altitude. However, one of the things that makes Bandera tough is that it is runnable but on very technical terrain. Consequently your body gets beaten up pretty good because your running on surfaces not very friendly. Jemez is much less rocky. Some of the top runners this year were talking about how tough Bandera was mentally because of the constant focus and concentration the course took and it is hard to get into a consistent running rhythm. So Bandera was great mental training for you. The big thing for Jemez is working on power hiking climbs.


  2. on 26 Jan 2010 at 8:51 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Chris – Thanks for making me feel a bit better. 😉 This is one of the cool aspects of trail running as each course has its own unique character and challenges.

  3. on 28 Jan 2010 at 9:34 pm Jeff

    The Jemez 50-miler is a very challenging course, and it is partly technical – the climb up the second mountain is over talus which moves out from under you! Most of the trail is runnable though.

    I think Jemez is harder than Bandera, especially for Texans, because of the altitude and the steepness of the climbs. I’ve done other mountain trail races, and Jemez is tougher than Grand Teton 50 miler and much tougher than Tahoe Rim Trail. None of the climbs at Bandera are all that long, but they are all scattered with loose rock that makes watching your footing very important.

  4. on 29 Jan 2010 at 9:02 am David Hanenburg

    Hey Jeff – Altitude is one of those unique variables that seems to be very ‘body’ dependent. Everyone seems to respond a little differently to the thinner air.

  5. on 29 Jan 2010 at 2:27 pm Jeff

    I definitely agree about altitude, but Texas doesn’t have anything close to the altitude of the race to train on and figure out how your body responds. The closest we have would be the Guadalupe Mountains – which is a great place to train for Jemez.