Run for your life

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While the Taos Valley weather can’t make up its mind what to do next, budding runners shouldn’t let that stop them from getting out on the trail and prepping for some great upcoming races. New Mexico has a plethora of running events with something for people at every skill level from hobbler to sprinter.

Many studies show the benefits of running, as long as you stretch well before beginning and cool down well afterward. It’s a fun way to get the heart rate up and, if you run outside, get fresh air while enjoying the scenery. If your running shoes have been gathering dust in a closet for a while, remember to consult with your doctor before beginning to train. 

Among the joys of running:

• You don’t need a lot of gear, just a pair of shorts, a top and a decent pair of running shoes. If you’re a running newbie, consult with a bona fide running coach or running store to figure out which shoes will work best for your needs.

• You can run anywhere – mountains, desert, canyons, dirt roads and paved. Steer clear of running on concrete whenever possible – running can be hard on the knees and concrete is an unforgiving surface to pound on.

• You can meditate while you run. It’s cathartic to hit the trail, focus on your breathing, relax into it and let your mind wander. Just don’t let the mind wander so much you don’t watch where your running shoe is landing.

Here are some great local events to train for:

• May 20 – Red River half-marathon and 5K. There’s only one day left to register online for this popular high-mountain event: redriver.org/events/annual-events/half-marathon-5k-run.

• June 4 – 31st annual Taos Marathon. This venerated race offers the full 26.2 marathon, a half-marathon and 5K around the gorgeous Taos Valley. As the organizers say, “Dare to do it at 7,000 feet.” Visit taosmarathon.weebly.com.

• June 10 – Taos Health is hosting a “For the Health of It!” 5K and 10K race, walk and fun run to raise money for cancer support services. Register at taoshealth.com.

• June 17 – If you are feeling a little crazy, go ahead and run the hundred miler at the “Angel Fire Endurance” event. If that’s too much, just go for the 50-kilometer or 50-mile event. See friendsofmultisport.com/event/angel-fire-endurance/registration.

• July 2 – “Angel Fire Adventure Run” offers a marathon, half-marathon and 5K. A rolling course and mountain vistas in the Moreno Valley make this third annual event a challenging good time. Visit rwcadventures.com/angelfireadventure.

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