With the early morning air on the verge of turning one’s breath to a visible puff of steam, local trail runners gathered at the boundary gate of Northside at Taos Ski Valley Sept. 16. On the minds of the first wave of racers was deciding whether or not to keep an extra layer of protection. Some participants slithered into sweatpants while others wrestled and twisted their polyester shells off over their trail running shoes. Ears and hands were covered. A few eyes were glossing over while examining the complimentary map describing the ascending trails aptly named “Big Daddy,” “First Mother,” “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” and “Steam Engine Trail.” All the while, appendages were being limbered up.
In the men’s half-marathon division, Brent Broome, of Santa Fe, was the overall winner, coming in with a blistering time of 1:39. James Loder, of Taos, came in second with a time of 1:56. He was followed by Travis Gibson, of Florida, who posted a time of 1:57.
On the women’s side, Hannah Kligman, of Taos, was the victor, coming in with a time of 2:04. She was followed by Alice Baker, of California, who came in at the 2:42 mark, and Stephanie Medina, from Ranchos de Taos, who garnered a time of 2:08.
In the 8-mile race, Taos runners took six out of top 10 spots. Benjamin Tobias, from Los Alamos, claimed the top spot in the men’s race with a 1:08 time, Guillermo Canedo came in second with a time of 1:11 and Ryan Venti followed closely behind with a time of 1:12.
Katie Bryant was first for the women with a time of 1:27, followed by Kaila Dickey, from Taos, at 1:30 and Marcia Ready, from Taos, with a 1:31.
This year, proceeds went to NM Wilderness Alliance, which works to keep wilderness areas and national monuments in the state free, accessible and protected.