Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tossing my hat into the ring...again

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. When Mother Nature gives you tons and tons of snow…register for a wintry, freezing death march…err…race. That’s right, register for a race. What kind of race you ask? The fabled Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon.

The Mt. Taylor Winter Quadrathlon is entering its 24th year this winter and it always draws a crowd, mostly from Northern New Mexico and Colorado. I have wanted to do it since I got into endurance sports but the first year I wasn’t ready for the challenge and last year I was running the Lost Dutchman Marathon.

The "Quad" consists of 4 parts; road bikes, running, cross county skiing, and snow shoeing.

Bike: Racers begin with a 13 mile draft legal road race through the streets of Grants, NM and then begins the 1,800 foot climb to the end of the paved road that heads up Mt. Taylor. The route takes you from desert cactus to ponderosa pine.

Run: At the end of the paved road, bikes are racked and racers must run the next five miles on gravel roads. The road generally starts out dry but usually turns to snow pack. This part of the course will climb another 1,200 feet in elevation.
Cross County Ski: Runners then turn to cross-country skis to challenge the next 1,200 foot climb of the mountaineering ski course that covers two miles. During the final yards of this course you must face the notorious "Heart Break Hill" that lays waiting for weary racers.

Snowshoe: The remaining one mile climb on snowshoes gains 600 feet to reach the 11,301 foot summit of Mt. Taylor where a person can see for over one hundred miles on a clear day. And then...The race is only half over. You must reverse the four events and race the 22 miles back to the Start/Finish line.

How cool is that?! This race was not in my plan for the year but fellow Outlaw “Mr. Walnuts” sold me on the idea. How, you ask? He posted a query on our team message board asking who was racing the Quad this year. I posted that I heard it was harder than the widely feared Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 Triathlon. Here is the response that won me over:

“I would agree with Barry in that the quad is a lot tougher than a 1/2 IM. X-C skiing and snow-shoeing up the steepest parts is a real b**ch. One year I burned up so much energy on the uphill that I decided to take my gloves off on the downhill. After several crashes on the downhill ski portion my hands were frozen to the point that I had to have someone remove my X-C shoes and put on and tie my running shoes for the downhill run leg. Fun stuff.”
Fun stuff indeed. You know you want some of this…but unless you come to New Mexico you’ll just have to wait for my race report. Be looking for it shortly after February 17th.


  1. Maybe Geek Girl should call you Captain Insano instead of sweet Baboo.
    Kidding, it sounds like it will not only be a great physical challenge but an even bigger mental challenge. Sounds FUN!!

  2. I was at Lost Dutchman last year too! Only I had to switch to 10k because I hurt my ankle. Small world.

  3. That is one tough race, I wish I could do it with ya. Have fun with it, X/c sking plus snowhoe running, that is crazy stuff.

  4. All I can say is "You're Crazy!". I'm envious of your fitness level! Hope you kick butt and please give us a very detailed account of it! Too cool!

  5. Oh, I'll be there too, but not with my bike and running shoes, just with my daughter's cheerleading pom-poms. And a blanket and a thermose of cocoa. With some Bailey's in it. Yep, that's my plan for "doing" a quad.

  6. yeah, good luck with that.

    Oh wait...I'm going too. Yeesh!

  7. I'm jealous! I live in MICHIGAN and we don't have cool winter races like that!

  8. The Quad sounds like a waaaaay cool, and hard race. I'm adding it to my list of possible 2008 events.

    Stay tuned...