Saturday, May 20, 2017

Shiprock Half Marathon
Shiprock, New Mexico
Saturday, May 13, 2017

On Saturday, May 13, 2017 I did the Shiprock Half Marathon in Shiprock, New Mexico on the Navajo Reservation near the Four Corners.  It was a nice day for the event which had 800 in the half marathon and 85 5 person marathon relays and 250 in the full marathon.  The temperatures started about 60 degrees and climbed to almost 70 degrees with sunny skies and a breeze varying between 5 and 10 mph.  The course utilized two highways.  The first was a two lane road completely closed to traffic which was nearly the first 7 miles of the half marathon and started with a half mile uphill, followed 1.5 miles of downhill, then 1.5 miles of uphill, and the rest downhill- all of which was not very challenging.  The second road was all downhill with the shoulder and right lane closed to traffic and the other lane containing plenty of traffic.  Again the downhill was gradual.  The total elevation drop was about 600 feet.  Water/Gatorade stations were located at every mile and were manned by plenty of enthusiastic friendly efficient volunteers.  This was the fourth time that I did the half marathon which has always been friendly, fun and well organized.  Over the years the Navajo people have become more dedicated to running and now about 90% of the participants are Navajo- up from the 25% or so when I did the event the first time.  I specifically entered this year’s event to try to win another age group award which are custom hand-made Indian pottery and go to the first 3 places in each age group.  When I saw I was second of three I was elated.  Shortly thereafter I was crushed as the race director explained that he did not make awards for second and third place in the 70 and over age group.  He tried to make it up to me by giving me a nice Shiprock Marathon hooded sweat shirt.  I accepted it; however, I am still crushed.


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