All systems go! Feet, calves, lungs and quads ready for launch

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The ultimate summer challenge is here.

The 13th Annual Up and Over 10K slated for Saturday (Aug. 4) is ready to welcome trail runners and mountain lovers alike for a sloped jaunt.

Runners will have the opportunity to test legs, lungs and stamina on a challenging route that offers significant elevation gain while enjoying high-alpine flora, fauna and panoramic Sangre de Cristo mountain views.

Misty Bruce, a Pennsylvania native who moved to Taos in 2001, registered for her fourth Up and Over this year. An avid hiker on the trails in and around Taos Ski Valley, she and her husband only began running in 2012.

"I like this race because it was a good attainable goal for me; I keep doing it to see if I can improve," said Bruce. "My best finish was in 2017, 1:39:57, a 22-minute improvement from the previous year."

Last year's winners included Hadji Corona from Santa Fe who won the men's division with a time of 1:00:01. Taos' Emma Patterson garnered gold in the women's division with a time of 1:10:50.

The 2017 roster of participants included a nice blend of local runners and enthusiasts from out of town.

"Last year we had just under 300 runners taking advantage of our views and cool mountain breezes. It's just about the right number for camaraderie," said Courtney Tucker, race director and Taos Ski Valley Chamber of Commerce Executive Director. "We welcome runners of all ages to get to know our scenic mountain as well as the array of places to stay, shop, eat and play in our pocket-sized European-style village nestled at the base of it."

Each finisher will receive a collectible, handmade pottery medal from local, Arroyo Seco potter Scott Rutherford. The top three in each age group, and in male and female divisions, will also receive cash prizes, ski passes and outdoor-adventure apparel. An after-party at The Children's Center will feature live music from local favorites Katy P. and The Business.

Registration is still open online and costs $60 until Aug. 3. Race-day registration will cost $65, which includes $5 for processing. All registrants will receive a race T-shirt and goody bag.

The 2018 course differs from 2017's in that it starts and ends at The Children's Center on Firehouse Road at an elevation of 9,200 feet. From the Children's Center, the course heads towards Whitefeather, Jess's and Bambi ski trails to the top of Chairlift 2.

This is an elevation gain of approximately 2,600 feet - topping out at a bit over 11,800 feet. The course will then run down Honeysuckle and Street Car, then start to weave back to the Children's Center for the finish line.

Participants can pick up their packets for this Trail Runner Trophy Series Event starting at 7 a.m. on the day of the race or 4-6 p.m., at the Taos Tent on Thunderbird Road the day before, Friday (Aug. 3).

--Staff report

For more details, visit taosskivalley.com/trailrun or contact race director Courtney Tucker via phone at (512) 569-8943, or via e-mail at director@taosskivalley.com.

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