Overall Rating
Overall Rating (2 Reviews)
3
(2 Ratings)(2 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
5
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
3
SWAG
3
This is a marathon and half marathon run with beautiful scenery in the town of Ruidoso, NM. The elevation for Ruidoso is 6,920ft, so be aware and prepared for a high elevation run. All courses have hills, some steep. Some steeper! But no worries, there are also some good long … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Brian Peabody
    nightswimmer FIRST-TIMER '18

    I was in the Ruidoso area for other reasons and stumbled upon the race information as I was researching my trip. Race operation is coordinated between the local visitor's bureau … MORE

    I was in the Ruidoso area for other reasons and stumbled upon the race information as I was researching my trip. Race operation is coordinated between the local visitor’s bureau and their Parks and Recreation Department. Results on the website go back to 2016, so I assume that’s how long the race has been in existence, though I’m told that the course(s) change from year to year. The 2018 version had 39 marathon finishers and 116 completed the half-marathon.

    The half marathon course itself is moderately hilly, scenic and at altitude(7000′.) There were a handful of OMG hills, and some especially sadistic ones on the marathon route. To be fair, the first several miles were a nice easy downhill, and much of the rest of the half- course was around the perimeter of two golf courses. With a few exceptions, the course was NOT closed to traffic or coned, though there were some police assisting runners in crossing the town’s main street around mile 4. I would have welcomed that kind of assistance around mile 11 when I needed to cross another busy street and was forced to wait for a break in traffic. The course was well marked with painted arrows at each intersection or turn ( a different color for each race distance), but the location of the markings forced the runners to run WITH traffic instead of facing traffic. The race is chip timed, but with no starting mat there is no net time; in a race this small, that’s not a huge deal. Mile marker accuracy was questionable. Portable toilets and hydration stations were frequent enough. This was the first time I had seen the stations stocked with unopened half-liter bottles of water and sports drink, providing for grab and go opportunities, or as I usually did, pouring the leftover water over my head (in quantities one couldn’t do with a paper cup!) Spectator support is almost non-existent and volunteer support is limited to the start, finish, and hydration stations.

    Race conditions were a bit warmer than is normal, starting cool and warming quickly to the mid-90s by late afternoon. Humidity is low. This year’s race was dry, but be aware that the race occurs at about the start of the monsoon season in that part of NM. Researching the race, I expected the altitude to slow me by about 10% after a day and a half of acclimatization, and that was consistent with my results.

    Swag consisted of a nice technical shirt and 2.6″ diameter enameled race medal (the latter disappointingly handed out at packet pick up.) It appears that half- and full marathon runners get the same medal. The packet also contained a complementary ticket to the Brewidoso beer festival. Age groups are larger gaps (under 25 and then 15 year spreads for the remaining categories), giving out medals nearly identical to the participation medal, but plated gold, silver or bronze instead of the multi-color enamel finish. Even better, and I save the best for last, winners get cash, something nearly unheard of in a race this small. Post-race food/hydration was plentiful but nothing special. Fortunately it was a half-block from a plethora of restaurants. Race results and photos were posted promptly.

    Overall, I liked this race and would run it again, but wouldn’t make another trip just to do so.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    1 member marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Jul 21, 2018 at 8:15pm

    Here's to serendipity! Sounds exactly as you said, Brian — a fun race to run on a whim. Sometimes the smaller, more low-key races turn out to be hidden gems,… MORE

    Here's to serendipity! Sounds exactly as you said, Brian — a fun race to run on a whim. Sometimes the smaller, more low-key races turn out to be hidden gems, but at the same time there's a fine line between "laid-back" and "sparsely organized." Hopefully the issues you describe are growing pains that will fade as the race matures and grows, since Ruidoso sounds like a promising (and challenging!) race destination. Thanks for your excellent review, and congrats on opportunistically coloring in New Mexico on your 50 States Map! 🙌 LESS

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    Profile photo of Debbie Gelber
    russelds FIRST-TIMER '16

    This race was an inaugural race and I understand that there will be a few problems that need to be sorted out, but I also ran an inaugural race in … MORE

    This race was an inaugural race and I understand that there will be a few problems that need to be sorted out, but I also ran an inaugural race in NV the month before that was first rate, so there’s that.
    I won an entry to this race through a raffle at our local running store. That was a plus. The organizers did these raffles around the area. I hope they keep this.
    The full marathon had a total of 25 people registered. There were over 100 registered for the half.
    Packet pickup was a bit confusing and they registered me for the half by mistake, even though I emailed the race director 3 times, telling him that I was running the full.
    Shirts have a nice logo, but are cotton.
    I tried to drive the course the night before the race and couldn’t follow the printed map very well, I was really afraid I would get lost during the race (more on that later).
    The course was brutal. There was no relief from incline after incline. I was walking up the mountains backwards just to get some pressure off my quads. The one at mile 20 or 22 (can’t remember, I have blocked it out of my memory!) was over a mile long and straight up. The roads were not all paved as the course description states, but I think they are changing the course for 2017, so maybe they will be.
    Course spectator support is pretty much non-existent. I was out on the course alone for the majority of the 5 1/2 hours I spent out there (my slowest marathon time ever, I had just BQ’d the month before). In fact, by the time I got to the last water stop, there was no one there, but they did leave the cups and coolers there, so that was good. There was a very nice man at the top of that awful hill though with water in the back of his pickup. It was nice to see a human at that point!
    I did get lost once. For the most part, there were white arrows painted on the road at the turns. I missed one and went about .25 mile out of the way, turned around and came back to find the arrow and a water stop. The person at the water stop said she saw me going the wrong way, but didn’t know if I was in the race or not!!! Uh, running outfit, bib number, looking lost…?
    I ended up coming in 2nd overall Female (more confusion in the results occurred, another person got even more lost than I did!) and winning what was supposed to be $200.00 cash. I opened it later and found that it was a voucher that had to be cashed in at the local bank. I am not from Ruidoso, and it was Sunday, so I had to go to a lot of trouble to finally get the bank to send me a money order.
    So, I have nothing to complain about since the race really didn’t cost me any money at all, but hopefully this review will help out those that will spend money to come run this race.
    A few pluses – the views in the mountains were beautiful, the medals are a good size with the race logo on them, there was good food at the end of the race, free race photos.
    If you like a lot of hills, this one will be for you!
    I will not be running the full again, but may consider the half in the future.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3
    My Media

    2 members marked this review helpful. Agree?

    M_Sohaskey Feb 13, 2017 at 12:49am

    Yikes, you weren't kidding with your headline, Debbie. This sounds like racing the way it used to be – questionable course markings, cotton race tee and DIY aid stations. And you… MORE

    Yikes, you weren't kidding with your headline, Debbie. This sounds like racing the way it used to be – questionable course markings, cotton race tee and DIY aid stations. And you know a course is brutal when you find yourself walking backward up a hill. :) Funny thing is, this race sounds strangely endearing, like one I'd really enjoy despite its (to put it kindly) idiosyncracies. Great job and congrats on the $200 payday, glad that helped to assuage some of the frustration of getting lost. And thanks for another helpful review! LESS

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