“Wait, there’s only one 100 mile runner left?” The Start/Finish aid station had just relayed us the information that only one of the fifteen 100 mile runners had decided to continue on past 50 miles. The other volunteers and I looked at each other confused… “Well, I guess it is going to be a long night.”
First time 100-miler, Christopher “Toph” White, was that runner. A semi-local runner, spending half of his time in Park City, Utah, and the rest in Cimarron, New Mexico, he had the whole race rooting for him.
After a long and lonely night, he finished in 29:20.
The inaugural Angel Fire Endurance Run took place on June 30th. Starting at the Angel Fire Lodge in Angel Fire, New Mexico, it took runners over a varied mix of pavement, dirt road, double track, and single track for a 25 mile out and back that crested just a little above 10,000 feet with a total of 4,500 feet of climbing per 25 miles. There were 100 mile, 50 mile, and 50 kilometer events.
- Christopher White - 29:20:40
For the men, Jacob Waltz and I ran together much of the day, but he pulled ahead by charging up the large climb at mile 29. By the turn around at 37.5, he was about 8 minutes ahead of me. He had some trouble on the climb out, and I got close enough to catch a glimpse of him across a meadow around mile 41. I ran as hard as I could on the downhill, but he put the hammer down and beat me by more than five minutes.
- Jacob Waltz - 9:11:53
- James Breyfogle - 9:17:00
- Chris McElveny - 11:32:46
Ruthanne Hamrick won the women’s race by more than 25 minutes over Anne Pence.
- Ruthanne Hamrick - 12:01:51
- Anne Pence - 12:27:32
- Nancy Shidler - 13:33:54
Both Male and Female winners in the 50km won by decisive margins. 21 year old Oregonian, Alex Peterson’s 4:57:06 was over 20 minutes faster than 2nd place Eric Pope.
- Alex Peterson - 4:57:06
- Eric Pope - 5:18:47
- Mark Sitton - 5:19:43
Stefanie Tierney, from Albuquerque, won by almost an hour over Jan Tarr, from Socorro, New Mexico.
- Stefanie Tierney - 6:13:26
- Jan Tarr - 7:12:01
- Sheilah Dilorenzo - 7:48:12
No words needed here…
For a first time race, Chisholm Dupree and crew did an excellent job. The course had a nice mix of terrain and was very scenic. There were a few tough sections, but most of it was runnable. There were some great views, fields of wildflowers, and abundant wildlife. I know a few folks got off course – some significantly off course – but the course was marked sufficiently. The aid stations were well stocked and the weather was just right. It will be exciting to see how this race grows over the next few years!
I think the high DNF rate can be attributed to a few things:
- There was not a lot of information about the course on the website and I think many people were expecting a flatter course
- Many of the runners were not from the mountains and they had problems with the altitude
- The 100 mile cutoffs were a little tight for this course. I think 34-36 hours is probably a little more realistic for a 100 with 18,000 feet of climbing.
- “Scared the crap out me and I was sure it had to be a bear (kinda scared of seeing a bear by myself on the trail as my friends can well tell you from hearing about my fears for a week before the race). I got my bear bell out of the little bag and started loudly saying “HEY BEAR” and didn’t see or hear anything after that.” by Julie at Trailing Along
- “The rest of the way over to the descent was really great running: gently rolling trail, cool forest, another meadow crossing, and big views of surrounding peaks. I could run like that for hours, and aside from nearly getting trampled by a massive elk (!) it was thoroughly rejuvenating.” by Jacob @ santa fe trail runner
- “Covering 100 linear feet, and climbing 100 vertical feet. Yup–parts were that tough. This stretch was at 9200 feet. Yes, I was huffing and puffing–but not for long. Actually, although I was really concerned about running at altitude, I never felt whipped.” by TZ @ …miles to go before I sleep…
- Jim Breyfogle