Last year (2018) we were informed by the Valles Caldera National Preserve (VCNP) that our existing race route was not in compliance with the VCNP’s environment and cultural impact assessment. We were told that a new assessment would need to be done before we could run the route through the caldera. A record dry winter last year made this a moot point as the forest service limited the course that we could use, and we could not readily access the VCNP.
In anticipation for future years, we asked the VCNP to please complete the assessment so that we could run the race though the preserve. Unfortunately, we were recently notified that the VCNP has not completed the assessment and that we will not be able to route the 50 mile course though the caldera for 2019.
After discussions with the Santa Fe National Forest, we anticipate being able to run a route though Guaje Canyon. This would bring the route back onto the original (Pre-2011 Las Conchas Fire) course in Guaje Cayon. Although the area has been severely burned, the recovery is amazing and it presents a new beauty. Please note that we have not gotten final approval for this route, but things are looking good. This route does present some challenges, however. First and foremost is the fact that this area has extensive damage from the 2011 Las Conchas forest fire. We estimate that there are several hundred trees that need to be cleared to make this route feasible. With our current snowpack it is likely that we will not be able to get into the area until late April or early May to begin clearing the trail.
For those local runners, we sure could use help in clearing the area and will be soliciting assistance in the coming months. We will develop a backup 50 mile course in case this route is not feasible. The proposed 50 mile course for 2019 is available here on CalTopo.com.
The approximate aid stations are as follows:
Cabra at 4.5 miles
Guaje Ridge at 8.9 miles
Pipeline at 12.5 miles
Ski Hill at 15.3 miles
Camp May Road at 21.6 miles
Quemazon at 25.4 miles
Mitchell Trailhead at 31.9 miles
Guaje Ridge at 34.5 miles
Pipeline at 40.0 miles
Mitchell Trailhead at 47.2 miles
Finish at 51.4 miles
Estimated elevation change: 10,050 feet.
The 2019 15 mile and 50km course routes will be the same at last year. The Quemazon aid station for the 50 km course will be located at a slightly earlier distance than last year. The Rendija Aid station will be replaced by the Mitchell Trail Head Aid station.
We will post additional updates (most likely not until late April or early May) regarding the course once we get approval from the Forest Service and we are able to access and begin working on the trail in Guaje Canyon.
If you have questions please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to seeing you all in May!
The JMTR Team