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Taos Ski Valley Up & Over Trail Run 2012 Results – Lucas Fuentes and Petra McDowell Win Toughest Quads Award

Over 100 runners participated in New Mexico’s Taos Ski Valley Up & Over Trail Run. While 10km in distance, it contains about as much fun and adventure you can squeeze within six miles.

Fun viewing angle for the race start down by the Lodge! (Photo: Courtesy of CyborgLibrarian @

Start line at 9200 feet.

Natural beauty all around.

Climb 2600 feet with the first three miles.

Then quad bust your way down the mountain to the finish line waiting to greet you.

Course profile? An Egyptian Pyramid comes to mind.

Check out the flyover of the course I created back in 2010. Oh baby!


The mountain is my friend...the mountain is my friend. (Photo: Copyright Cold Smoke Photography /

 Men’s Race

From the start, the pace was spicy in the men’s race.

Effort management. A delicate balance as experienced New Mexico athlete, Jason Halladay, explains.

“While it’s a short race, it’s a tough one. It takes a really balanced runner to do well on the course in that you need to be a strong climber but also have strong quads for the steep, fast descent.” 

Mike Rahmer was back to defend his 2011 win but this year Lucas Fuentes was ready to raise the bar and led the push up the mountain with Mike close in chase. Lucas and Mike reached the top and began the throw your body down the mountain, 2600 foot, periodically technical and steep, descent to the finish.

Lucas Fuentes workin' the climb...with a smile. Why does that seem just wrong? 🙂 (Photo: Copyright Cold Smoke Photography /

Jason crested in third position but that didn’t stop him from enjoying this special location on the course.

“The unencumbered view of the big mountains surrounding the course, including New Mexico’s highest peak, Wheeler Peak, is great. “

During the controlled fall to the finish, Mike nailed the exact same winning split from 2011 but instead of first, a very solid second place finish. Lucas created a one minute gap from Mike to win the male race in 1:01:24.

Top 5 male

  1. Lucas Fuentes – 1:01:24
  2. Mike Rahmer – 1:02:27
  3. Jason Halladay 1:02:46
  4. Hadji Corona – 1:03:28
  5. David Marion – 1:04:58

 Women’s Race

Can we be inspired to raise our game? I think we can!

Lacy Wilson won the 2011 scamper in 2011 in a time of 1:15:05. This year in a hard push to race leader, Petra McDowell,  Lacy runs over three minutes faster in what became a very close race for second with Caroline Colonna.

Petra wins the female race and earns 10th overall in 1:09:09.

Petra McDowell pushing through to the finish. (Photo: Copyright Cold Smoke Photography /

Top 5 female

  1. Petra McDowell – 1:09:09
  2. Lacy Wilson – 1:11:35
  3. Caroline Colonna – 1:11:54
  4. Katie Gillen – 1:14:35
  5. Sarah DeMay – 1:15:57
Complete results.

Inspiration Point

Check out some of the wisest finishers. I hope this stuff fires you up as much as it does me.

  • Carol Lindenblatt (65), Pam Johnsen (65), James Sparks (65), and Sifrigido Saenz (68) celebrated a morning on the mountain.

Life is play. Play is life.

Race Reports and Pics

  • “The descent is brutally steep in a few spots between quite runnable jeep roads. At one point we ran down a ski run for a bit. Loose and steep. I wanted to fully open up my stride the entire way but it was so steep it wasn’t possible–I had to keep myself in check.” by Jason @ What Would Jason Do?
  • Race Pics by Cold Smoke Photography.

Talk some Dirt

  • What was tougher? The grunt up or staying in control on the way down?

Special thanks to Jason Halladay for sharing a few thoughts with us.

Check out the TALON Race Guide

There are 150+ regional trail/ultra races in the TALON Race Guide. Be sure to check it out if you are looking for the most complete list of events in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. New events are always being added.

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.

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