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Four times the fun: The Mount Taylor Quadrathlon is a wintry, challenging race unlike any other

To the west of Albuquerque sits Mount Taylor. You can see the snowcapped peak from miles away.

Once a year it is home to a race unlike any other in New Mexico – the Mount Taylor Quadrathlon.

This year, racers will gather in Grants for the 37th running. The event, which is expected to draw close to 300 participants, will be held on Saturday, Feb. 15.

The quadrathlon consists of four disciplines: biking, running, skiing and snowshoeing. Racers can take on this challenge solo, as a pair, or in a team of three or four.

Isaac Atencio is no stranger to competing in the Mount Taylor Quadrathlon, and this year he has taken the reins as race director.

“I did bike, on a team. It was fun. Then I tried solo,” he said of his time competing. “It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But the most rewarding.”

One distinctive feature of the quadrathlon is that once competitors reach the summit of Mount Taylor, at 11,301 feet, they race back down the mountain, in the reverse order of events.

“The snow is great. It’s a great year,” Atencio said of course conditions on the mountain. “We’re keeping it groomed.”

There is no race-day registration, but competitors can still sign up until Friday, Feb. 14. Soloist fees are $120. Pairs and team fees are $75 per competitor.

Pairs and teams may be male, female or mixed, with the average age of the competitors determining the age category.

There is also a kid’s “quad” consisting of biking, running and an obstacle course.

For more information and for registration, visit www.mttaylorquad.org.

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