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New Mexico > Dirty Half Marathon & Dirty Lil' 10K
Albuquerque, NM  •  Sunday, September 8, 2013  •  Course Map


The stark desert beauty of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness lies around in all directions as far as the eye can see at New Mexico's Dirty Half Marathon and Dirty Lil' 10K race, which both unfold along point-to-point routes here along single- and double-track forest trails in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains just east of Albuquerque.

Here along the upper edge of the region known as the Chihuahuan Desert in northern New Mexico, the Sandia Mountains are known best for a pair of peaks: Sandia Crest, which reaches just over 10,000 feet above sea level, and South Sandia Peak, which reaches just over 9,700 feet at its top. Both are part of a mountain chain that's a magnet for skiers, hikers and day trippers, as you can reach the mountains either by hiking up the side or by the Sandia Mountain Tramway.

That, incidentally, also serves as the starting line for the Dirty Half, as runners will start the race where passengers board the tramway to the top of the mountain. From there, the point-to-point route follows the forest service trails that run along the base of the foothills of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness area, with gorgeous views of the Sandia Mountains to the left and the city of Albuquerque below, to the right. The trail is number 365.

Organizers say that while the trails are not extremely challenging -- they're mostly single-track trails, with some stretches of double-track trails thrown in -- they do contain a "handful" of short technical sections. Runners also will experience about 1,000 feet of net elevation gain over the course of the half marathon, though there are more downhill stretches than uphill stretches, organizers add.

Once runners reach the turn near the High Desert neighborhood -- they'll leave trail 365 and enter trail 305 for a portion of this loop, and then turn back onto trail 365 -- they'll retrace their steps along the trails back to nearly all the way to the start, and then turn left onto the residential roads to head toward the finish line at County Line Barbecue.

The home stretch of the race unfolds on paved roads through residential neighborhoods -- these will make the last mile much faster than all the previous ones, organizers say -- as it takes runners along Cedar Hill Road, Juniper Hill Road, Tramway Road and Tramway Boulevard, to the finish line at County Line Barbecue. Overall, runners can expect the course elevation to range between about 6,113 feet at its lowest point and 6,673 feet at its highest.

For an idea of what the scenery will look like from the course, here's a view of the Sandia Mountain Wilderness as seen from a lower elevation, courtesy Wikimedia:

Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Race Weather & Climate

Located just west of the Sandia Mountains in central northern New Mexico, roughly 60 miles southwest of Santa Fe, Albuquerque typically sees September temperatures that average between 56°F and 82°F, while rainfall totals average just over 1 inch, making September its third-wettest month of the year.

On the day of the race (Sept. 8), the average low is 59°F and the average high is 85°F.

Course Map

See the race route map for the Dirty Half Marathon

2012 Results

163 total
89 finishers in the half marathon
74 finishers in the 10K

Starting Time

7:30 AM - half marathon
8:00 AM - 10K


$62 for the half marathon, if registered by August 28, 2013
$72 after Aug. 28

$38 for the 10K, if registered by August 28, 2013
$48 after Aug. 28


To reserve your spot in the late summer 2013 running of Albuquerque's Dirty Half Marathon or Dirty Lil' 10K race, register online at Active.com.

Official Race Website


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