“There are a couple of marathons in town, but they are the same route every year and I just wanted to bring something different to the area,” he said in a recent interview.
So the Sandia Crest Marathon was born.
Set for Sept. 15, the course for the marathon will begin at the 10K Trailhead and end at the Manzano Mesa Multi-Generaional Center and has a net elevation loss of nearly 4,500 feet. The event will also have a half-marathon that will start along N.M. 14 near Snowline Road with an elevation loss over the 13.1 miles of 1,400 feet.
It’s a one-way closed course with aid stations every 3 miles for the first 15 miles then 2 miles until mile 21, then every mile until the finish at the Multi-Generational Center. Buses will transport participants to the start line.
“This is going to be a fast course,” Brown said. Estimates are that the course could shave some 20 minutes off participants’ previous marathon times.
The other plus is that the race is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon.
“That’s just something that is on the bucket list for a lot of marahont runners,” Brown said. “And, while qualifying doesn’t guarantee entry (in the Boston Marathon), making those times is still an achievement.”
Brown said he got his inspiration for the race course from a marathon he ran in Logan, Utah.
“The scenery was just so beautiful,” he said. “I wanted to bring a course to New Mexico that people would enjoy and appreciate.” He “tested out” several courses all over the city before finally settling on the crest road.
Brown and his team of race-producers, some who have worked on national-caliber events, are bringing another unusual aspect to the race – a VIP experience.
For the first 54 people who register for it, participants will receive a chartered bus (with rest room) to the start line, 16-week professionally-developed running program, strength and conditioning sessions at Elevate PHW (an Albuquerque training facility), post-race massage, nutrition and recovery services.
Registration is open at runsandiacrest.com. Prices are $104.95 for the marathon; $80.95 for the half-marathon and $349 for the VIP package. Prices will go up April 1. Five percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Cibola National Forest.