Course

Course Photos

Map and Elevation Profile

The 53 mile course is an out and back on the Continental Divide Trail through the Rio Puerco valley.    The trail is primarily faint single track and is rocky with many short climbs.   It takes place between 6,350 and 7,400 ft and has about 6,300 total feet of climb.

The start is off Highway 197, 4 miles west of Highway 550 near Cuba, NM.   The race heads south to the second aid station (first full aid station) at the intersection of the CDT and CR 197 at mile 9 (drop bag and crew will be allowed here).   The trail continues for another 12 miles, passing the remote La Ventana Mesa Aid Station,  to next aid station at Deadman Peaks.  The final four miles continue south until the turn around aid station, which is accessible to crew and has drop bags.  After that, turn around and run back.

For the 26.5 mile course, a bus will be provided at the Start/Finish line to take runners to their start line, which is the turn around for the 53 milers. Runners will head north on a point to point course to the finish line at Highway 197.  Crew and drop bags are allowed at Mesa Portales aid station (mile 18).

For the 18 milers, the course will begin at the Start/Finish line at Highway 197 and head south to the first full aid station, Mesa Portales at mile 9 and turn around to finish back at Highway 197.  Crew only is allowed at turn around.

A water only aid station has been added between the Start/Finish line at Highway 197 and the aid station at mile 9 at Mesa Portales.

The CDT is already marked with cairns and sign posts, but we will have flagging and signs marking the course as well.  The course will be very well marked.

The area is very desolate, but uniquely beautiful.  There are expansive views of the high desert,  badlands, mesas, mushroom rocks, mountains, and some very unique volcanic plugs, like Cabezon Peak.

While the course does not have any huge climbs or extreme elevation, it is not an easy course. It is very remote.  This portion of the CDT is rarely used.  The trail is extremely rocky.  There are several miles of slick rock. Runners need to be ready for a long day in the wilderness.   The weather in early November is usually very cool and dry (high of mid 50F, low of 30F), but be prepared.  There is no shade on the course. It could also snow or rain.

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