Saturday, August 27, 2011

Quad Crusher: A Taos Ski Valley Up and Over 10K Race Report

A couple weeks back the GeekGrl and I traveled to Taos, NM to run the Taos Ski Valley Up and Over 10K, a race I have wanted to do for a few years now but just never got around to it. The 10K starts at the base of the main ski lift and is a loop course taking a service road up to the top of the lift and then back down. I don’t have the foggiest idea what kind of vehicle could make it up and down those service roads but I do know the trip would be terrifying.

The trip up the mountain is a 3 mile power hike with a little running if you happen to be a strong enough runner. However, there were plenty of people who tried to run as much as possible regardless and this resulted in many slowing dramatically within the first two miles. I kept up a steady hike with a very little bit of running on the slightly less steep parts.

Upon reaching the top the service road plunges abruptly back down the mountain. The road is covered in rocks and the footing isn’t very good. I ran as hard as I could but had to be a bit conservative because I didn’t want to crash and burn. I was able to pass a couple people and was passed by one guy who was in a barely controlled fall.

By the time I crossed the finish like I was hardly had any strength left. The aftermath of the race set in before the day was out and it took a good four days before I could run again. My quads were completely trashed and I had a huge bruise on the ball of my left foot where I had landed hard on a rock. With a time of 1:17:38 I ended up 21st out of 59 men and 22nd out of 80 overall. I seriously doubt I could have run any faster under any circumstance. The Taos Ski Valley Up and Over 10K is incomparably difficult but definitely something worth running if you are in the area.


  1. Ouch! Great job out there. Good luck getting into Western States this year. My alternative plan is to run the Tahoe Rim Trail Run. They have 50k, 50 mile, and 100 mile options and is held at around the same time.

  2. Big B!! thats some serious altitude gain in a short time! Looks like Khardung La pass plus 4-5000ft!

    a good run and experience for Wasatch!