Competitors of all ages are ready to tackle the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon - Albuquerque Journal

Competitors of all ages are ready to tackle the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon

Shad Merayo, who was 12 in this photo during the 2020 Quad Kids event, will be competing in the 2022 Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon in the adults team event, joining with several other local teenagers. (Courtesy of the Merayo Family)

After a year that saw the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon bottom out with a virus-induced, virtual event, organizers of the iconic race in Grants – which includes a bicycle ride, run, cross country skiing and a snowshoe slog – are looking for numbers to skyrocket.

“We’re hoping to break at least 200,” said race director Stephanie Gaines of entrants in the 39th annual Quad that will run Feb. 19. “With the snowstorm (last week), when people see that, they get updates and tend to sign up because they know we got snow.”

Contestants surge to the top of 11,305-foot Mt. Taylor, competing as individuals over the 43-mile course, or in teams of two or four, eventually covering 26 miles on the bike, 10 miles on the run, four via skis and two miles in snowshoes while gaining 4,900 feet in elevation.

This year, four veterans of the annual Quad Kids event have teamed up to compete in the adult race, something Gaines, who is a physical education teacher at Grants High School, had encouraged.

“Back in the day, when I was in high school, I used to participate in it, as well my husband,” she said. “We would do teams. We’ve been trying to get students back involved.”

Grants middle-schooler Promise Garcia will compete in the adults team event this year with several other local teenagers. (Courtesy of the Garcia Family)

It was easy to convince Los Alamitos eighth-grader Promise Garcia to compete, she is Gaines’ niece and will be doing the bike ride segment for her team.

“My dad has been doing the Quad ever since I was like four years old,” she said. “I started when I was five and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

The Quad Kids event includes a run and bike ride, as well as an obstacle course.

“I’ve won every single one that I’ve ever done,” said Garcia, who also plays basketball.

Now she and her teammates are looking to make an impact in the adult competition.

“I think we’re going to do well,” she said. “I think we’ll be right in the middle. I don’t think we’ll be last. I don’t think we’ll win because there are always a lot of really good teams, but we’ll do good and in the middle.”

Garcia’s teammate and classmate, Shad Merayo, will be doing the skiing portion of the Quad, although he has limited experience in the sport.

“I’ve never done cross country skiing,” he said. “I do normal skiing every year and stuff. But me and my dad are going to practice skiing.”

An all-around athlete who also plays football and baseball, Merayo said he’s watched his dad compete in the skiing portion and is ready to step up to the adult competition himself.

The Quad Kids “was kind of fun,” he said. “But I always wanted to do the adult one.”

Brothers Coudy and Boudy Melonas round out the team, doing the running and snowshoeing respectively.

“I think it’s going to be more challenging than the other one,” Coudy Melonas said of moving up to the adult Quad. “Obviously, it’s longer.”

The teenagers are getting out training runs, he said.

“It’s been going pretty good,” said Coudy Melonas, an 8th-grader who also plays basketball, football and baseball. “My goal is to get up this little pipeline ridge. I used to get up there in 40 minutes and now I’m getting up there in 20 minutes.”

His brother, a freshman at Grants High School, will be snowshoeing for the first time.

“I’ve never done anything like that,” Boudy Melonas said. “I’m just going to go and do it.”

The idea, however, is not so much to win, as to put in a good showing.

“As long as we don’t give up,” he said. “As long we keep going. We just can’t give up.”

Home » From the newspaper » Competitors of all ages are ready to tackle the Mt. Taylor Quadrathlon


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Podcast follows the story of the unintended consequences of ...
Arts
'Missed Fortune' begins on Apple Podcast ... 'Missed Fortune' begins on Apple Podcast on Monday, Aug. 15.
2
There are many options for keeping hummingbirds happy
Arts
The first on my list of ... The first on my list of tried and true attractions will be Agastache. I know it as licorice mint hyssop.
3
Albuquerque author releases next two volumes in fantasy adventure ...
Arts
The first three chapter books in ... The first three chapter books in the adventure series are 'The Dragon Flyers,' 'The Dragon Flyers: City of Dragons' and 'The Dragon Flyers: Land ...
4
Fake pregnancy takes a surreal turn in lonely woman's ...
Arts
This is a debut you won't ... This is a debut you won't want to miss.
5
Montana museum is dedicated to the life and art ...
Arts
Charles Marion Russell produced more than ... Charles Marion Russell produced more than 4,000 pieces of art, and one of the larger collections of his works is housed at the C.M. ...
6
Ojibwe artist Patrick Collins uses painting to find himself ...
Arts
Patrick Collins will be showing his ... Patrick Collins will be showing his work at the Santa Fe Indian Market.
7
Upstart magazine Iconica showcases New Mexico lifestyle, artists
Arts
Quarterly publication features fashion, art and ... Quarterly publication features fashion, art and music across the state
8
'Art of Indigenous Fashion' showcases the works of Native ...
Arts
The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native ... The IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Art exhibition 'Art of Indigenous Fashion' runs from Aug. 19 through Jan. 8, 2023.
9
'Indigenous Futures' includes film, fashion and artwork exploring the ...
Arts
Panel discussions will focus on women's ... Panel discussions will focus on women's leadership and gender issues, the future of Indigenous TV, climate change and the meaning of climate justice.