Race Welcome!

Here is an email we just sent out to all registered entrants with important news about race weekend. We hope you will be able to join us! You can enter now, just click REGISTER above!

Welcome to The Race Different! We work year round to make Santa Fe Thunder a unique event worthy of its special setting and look forward to sharing our creation with participants and their families and friends. Santa Fe Thunder -11-2214x1474

The Race Weekend Guide has all of the relevant information we can think of. We are excited to share the maps that most-talented Derek Wiles has created. If you still have a question that isn’t answered in those resources, then please contact us at info@santafethunder.com. Be sure to read all the way to the end and find out about the new start time for this year!


Gathering of Messengers Global Running Culture and Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino will be presenting a pasta dinner Saturday evening from 6-8 outdoors in the finish line area at Buffalo Thunder. All proceeds will be donated to the Pojoaque Pueblo Youth Hoop Dancers and the Pojoaque Boys & Girls Club. Dinner tickets are $20.

The event will be emceed by Mark Bravo, Ambassador to the Running Community, will include a talk by guest of honor Peter Koech, one of the grandfathers of Kenyan running in New Mexico and a video presentation honoring of Valentino “Lightning Boy” Rivera. Tickets are limited and will sell out quickly. Click here to reserve your seats for this special event that will help many children in the local area. There will be fireworks after the gathering!

Packet Pickup Buffalo Thunder finish line area – Noon to 4:00 Saturday 9/17. Register for the race, pick up your bib and T-shirt, shop for handmade Rarámuri and Kenyan arts and crafts, last minute running gear needs at the Bosque Running Shop tent, discover unique running-related items and meet former Road 10K World Record Holder Arturo Barrios, listen to world music and experience a collaboration of craftsmen – Fred Coen, master sandalmaker and Juan Rico, Rarámuri ultramarathoner and huarache-maker will share techniques, carry out demonstrations and take orders for running huaraches! Abraham and I have been running in ours regularly and have subjected them to the most challenging southern Rocky Mountain conditions. They are simply incredible and become more comfortable with every run. This is an occasion not to be missed.

Tractor Pull Having purchased 4 acres of land in Abraham’s village, and partnered with an architect and a builder, Global Running Culture is preparing to acquire a tractor that will be shipped to Mombasa and then transported to Matungen. We will use the tractor to build the school and then use it as part of an enterprise that will generate operating funds for the school.

We seek donations to help us acquire the tractor and ship it to Kenya and are thankful for each donation regardless of size. For those able to contribute $100 or more, we will reserve a pre-race dinner seat at the World Record holders’ table of either Peter Koech or Arturo Barrios. Please send an email to info@santafethunder.com. We are planning to build the school in the near future and will be able to make the trip of a lifetime available for a small group of Global Running Culture Charter Donors. We will be happy to provide more information.

Start Time This year 22 school buses will transport half marathoners from Buffalo Thunder to Fort Marcy starting at 5:30 AM and last bus leaving at 6:30, with some buses making 2 round trips. After 5 years of effort and experience (and recommendations from you!), we have decided to start this year’s race at 7:30 AM – a half hour earlier than in the past. We believe the extra early morning effort will result in a better experience for all, and are aware that it will take everyones’ focus and cooperation to achieve another successful start! Please plan to arrive early, check out the maps and be ready to turn left on the Frontage Road before you get to the roundabout!

Also, we are excited to announce that the starting line has been relocated from the Fort Marcy Baseball Field parking lot to Old Taos Highway, thereby eliminating the two 90º turns in the first quarter mile. As in past years, runners will stage in the parking lot, and will be led across the footbridge to the starting line 15 minutes before the start by Kalenjin warrior Abraham Kosgei.

We will appreciate your efforts, patience and understanding as we embark on this experiment. If necessary, we will hold the start to allow the runners on the last bus to make it. As one of my old running clubs, the Aggies, used to say “the faster we run, the sooner the fun! Plow, plow plow.”

We urge you to check out the Thunder Blog before race weekend. We share our journey and tell the stories of some of the running messengers we have met along the way. We realize that The Race Different carries with it responsibilities and work year round to be more prepared and each year incorporate new features.

We are honored to have enjoyed a 5-year collaboration with a group of Rarámuri runners and artisans from Copper Canyon, Mexico. The group is preparing to return this year, however the change in government from one partido to another has presented serious bureaucratic obstacles, a new one arising each time another is resolved. We hope that they will make it again and that each of you will have the opportunity to meet these wonderful people and perhaps take home a memento of their culture.

We will be sharing more stories between now and race weekend. Keep up to date by liking us on Facebook and checking out the Thunder Blog.

Smooth Running,

Joseph Karnes
Race Director