Saturday, April 23, 2016 • Los Alamos, NM • Course Map
A few hundred runners come out each year to tackle the challenging, hilly terrain at the annual springtime running of New Mexico’s Valles Caldera Runs Marathon, Half Marathon & 10K, which unfolds through the Valles Caldera National PReserve just outside Los Alamos.
Both events take runners through the Valles Caldera National Preserve, a 12-mile-wide collapsed caldera volcano that lies a short drive west of Los Alamos and the nearby Bandelier National Monument, amidst the Jemez Mountains.
Both the half and full marathons in the event share the same starting line, just off Highway 4 near Redondo Peak and the Redondo Meadows.
Runners follow a twisting, winding course from the starting line into the canyon areas below Redondo Peak, taking old forest roads once used for logging up and down the mountains, which feature gorgeous views of both the surrounding mountain peaks and the grassy valleys below.
Those running the half follow the out-and-back course, much of which runs alongside the Redondo Creek that carves its way through the canyon, and runners need to be prepared for some steep ascents and descents along the mountain roads as well as high elevations, as some stretches of the race course lie above 8,000 feet above sea level.
Aid stations are set along the course roughly once every three miles, so runners are encouraged to bring along water bottles should they need water more often.
Race Weather & Climate
Nestled among the Jemez Mountains of northwestern New Mexico, about 35 miles from Sante Fe, Los Alamos typically sees cool to mild weather in April, which brings an average of just over 4 inches of snow and has seen record temperatures as low as 8ºF (in 1983) and as high as 80ºF (in 1953).
On race day (April 23), the average low is 35ºF and the average high is 60ºF.
- 7:30 AM – full marathon
- 8:30 AM – half marathon
- 9:00 AM – 10K
To reserve your spot in the 2016 running of Los Alamos’s Valles Caldera Runs Marathon, Half Marathon or 10K race, register online at the event website here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Valles Caldera Runs? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.