Every year, local runners and those looking for a beautiful race set up at the starting line of the 33rd annual Taos Marathon, organized by Bruce Gomez. Between …
Every year, local runners and those looking for a beautiful race set up at the starting line of the 33rd annual Taos Marathon, organized by Bruce Gomez. Between the 5K run, the 5K walk, the 13.1 mile (half-marathon), the 26.2 mile (marathon) and the five-person marathon relay event, there were 76 racers this year.
Marathon runners wake long before dawn to get to the 5 a.m. start near Kachina Lodge. From there, runners go, roughly, north to Arroyo Hondo, do a small loop, and return, finishing in Kit Carson Park.
The half-marathon runners follow the same path, but turn around well before Arroyo Hondo, while the 5K runners and walkers head north toward Taos Mountain Casino, turn left on Hail Creek Road, and follow Paseo into town, doing a little loop through town.
Marathon registrants came from as far away as Quebec, Montreal, and as close as Albuquerque. The top finishers in the marathon, Aaron Kennedy of Minneapolis with a 3:32:32 and Matthew Fisher of Austin with a 3:39:24 and at least a couple of extra miles due to a wrong turn, said that they'd each run "between 50 and 100" races of "at least" marathon distance. Both have run races longer than marathons, called ultramarathons. The third-place marathon finisher was Chris Kraft of Dallas with a 3:42:20.
Carmen Borsa of Albuquerque made it under the four-hour mark, winning the women's division in 3:59:48. Sarah Muckle of Calgary, Canada, took second in 4:14:10 and, tying for third, running together and finishing hand-in-hand, were Marion Paulus of San Jose, California, and Angie Weinberger of Saratoga, California, in 4:19:58.
The all-Taoseña five-person marathon team of Marissa Bennett, Betsy Coniglio, Taneha Strain, Leah Begin and Jamie Sampere finished in 4:29:35.
Simon Acosta of Farmington won the half-marathon with a time of 1:42:14 and big smiles at the start and the finish. Not far behind him were Bryan Sloan of Oklahoma City, who finished in 1:43:17 and Preston Plume of Denver in 1:44:11. First, second and third in the women's half-marathon division went to Sarah Galt of Denver, Kristen Humphrey of Los Angeles and Hillary Thieben of Taos, with times of 1:54:53, 2:01:24 and 2:08:39, respectively.
There were many familiar faces in the 5K run, including local high school athletes, recent graduates, and community members. Peñasco Independent School's cross-country and track star Gilbert Valdez was the overall fastest finisher, completing the race in 17:31. Zachary Montoya of Santa Cruz crossed the finish line in 17:51 and Eddie Duran of Taos took third in 19:36.
Emily Tillinghast of Taos was the first-place female finisher, with a time of 23:02. Next were Erin Manchester-Jones of Taos with a 26:14 and Alexandra Collignon, who finished in 27:00. A notable fourth-place finish in 28:40 came from 10-year-old Ava Collignon.
In order to read our site, please exit private/incognito mode or log in to continue.