Shiprock Marathon

Shiprock Marathon

 
4.1 (2 reviews)

Shiprock, NM
May 13, 2017

The Shiprock Marathon has become the largest marathon in the Four Corners and is the preeminent fitness event on the Navajo Nation. The course is a point-to-point road race from Red Valley (6,000' ASL) to Shiprock (4,900' ASL) with 1100' of downhill running. Excellent for a PR. The course mostly runs on Route 13 and passes by the spectacular Shiprock- the core of an ancient volcano- which is visible during most of the run.

Race Reviews: 2
Overall Rating:
 
4.1
Course:
 
4.0
Organization:
 
3.8
Value:
 
4.5
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Reviews
This race was my first marathon, and was therefore a learning experience.
There is a lengthy bus ride from the finish line to the race start, that while scenic, is tough for highly nervous and hydrated runners, and ends with the race before the race...the one to the porta-a-jon.
It was freezing and spitting snow at the start line, with nowhere to hide, and warmed up to around 50 degrees during the run.
The altitude was tougher than expected, and the hills harder than I thought they might be; but, I am a flatlander from Illinois, so it was ok.
The swag at this run was pretty good, and the registration/packet pick up was fine, RD Tom was a really good guy.
The worst part of this run was definitely the aid stations...the GU's weren't where they were supposed to be, and several aid stations had run out when the 1/2 marathon came through...it messed with me bad enough that I have run with my own gel's and water at every race since.
All in all, this race was fine. Not good enough that I want to do it again, not bad enough that I wouldn't do it again if I were in the area.
Overall Rating:
 
3.3
Course:
 
3.5
Organization:
 
2.5
Value:
 
4.0
Reviewed by Krobe on 2/14/2017
Racing Experience: 10 - 20 Marathons
Location: Raleigh, IL

Review: This race was my first marathon, and was therefore a learning experience.
There is a lengthy bus ride from the finish line to the race start, that while scenic, is tough for highly nervous and hydrated runners, and ends with the race before the race...the one to the porta-a-jon.
It was freezing and spitting snow at the start line, with nowhere to hide, and warmed up to around 50 degrees during the run.
The altitude was tougher than expected, and the hills harder than I thought they might be; but, I am a flatlander from Illinois, so it was ok.
The swag at this run was pretty good, and the registration/packet pick up was fine, RD Tom was a really good guy.
The worst part of this run was definitely the aid stations...the GU's weren't where they were supposed to be, and several aid stations had run out when the 1/2 marathon came through...it messed with me bad enough that I have run with my own gel's and water at every race since.
All in all, this race was fine. Not good enough that I want to do it again, not bad enough that I wouldn't do it again if I were in the area.

Having signed up for the 2016 Shiprock Marathon to venture along with my dad who is attempting a marathon in all 50 states, I didn't quite know what to expect from what appeared to be a tiny marathon in the middle of nowhere. I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced on race day.

To begin, prior to race day, the race director, Tom, sent several emails to participants with friendly reminders and news about the upcoming event; he strongly encouraged runners to contact him with any questions or concerns. This was the first positive sign about the race I had, I really appreciated Tom's openness and it really showed on race day.

The race has a start time of 7 am for marathoners (8 am for half marathoners), which meant an early wake up call for us as we stayed near Durango, CO (there is closer lodging in nearby Farmington (about 25 minutes away). We didn't pick up on race bibs on Friday (as was encouraged by the race director) since we were staying so far away, but we arrived at around 5:20 on race morning to get our bibs and race shirts with no wait (packet pickup started at 5 am on Friday).

The race is point-to-point, which means they basically bus runners out 26.2 miles into the desert, drop you off, and tell you to run back. Because of the point-to-point nature of the race, there is a fleet buses well organized and on time to take runners out. The buses all left by 5:55 (just as runners were told) and we got to the start line at about 6:30. The race starts about 200 feet from the Arizona border, so if you want to visit another state while waiting for the start gun, go for it! The start was well supplied with porta-potties (about 15 for 200+ marathoners) and the only real issue at the start was exposure to the elements. After a brief Navajo prayer and drum ceremony, the race started preciously at 7 (another big plus!). I noticed that there were pacers for starting at 3:30 and going up to about 5:30.

The course itself runs along a 2-lane, asphalt road in the desert with Shiprock looming in the distance from mile 3 until you pass it at mile 13. At mile 20 the course turns onto a busier highway (4-lanes total) until it reaches the Shiprock Youth Complex where the finish line is. Runners are kept in the left lane of the roads for the totality of the race. Support along the course comes every 2 miles for the first 20 miles and every mile after 20 and includes water and Gatorade (some aid stations had bananas, oranges, Honey Stinger gels, Clif gels, etc.). There seemed to also be some impromptu aid stations at odd number miles during the first 20. Porta-potties appeared throughout the course about every 2 miles as well (near the half marathon start there were a bunch).

The course is beautifully desolate which can either be good or bad depending on the type of runner you are. I loved it, but someone used to big city marathons with lots of crowds may have a hard time. Crowd support picked up once past mile 20.

Weather was perfect for the 2016 edition of this race -- 42 at race start and about 58 by the finish with cloud cover most of the race. I would imagine that some years the weather could be hot.

The race medal is nice, solid, and detailed. It will look great on display. The race shirt for 2016 is a tech shirt in neon yellow with usual marathon logo and sponsors, nothing special but not bad either. My shirt was long sleeve because they ran out of short sleeve mediums, but my dad got a short sleeve shirt.

Post race refreshments included: watermelon, oranges, crackers, pizza, blue corn mush, chocolate milk, water, and Gatorade. They had a large tent set up with tables and chairs. Family and friends can meet runners directly at the finish line.

Finally, they give out age group awards (10 year age ranges) for the top 3 finishers in each age group (by gender). These awards are beautiful, custom-made, ceramic pottery pieces with the race information and age group place, a very nice touch.

All in all, this is a surprise of a race that is a most do if you are in the region and should probably be the top pick for 50 staters when looking for a marathon in New Mexico.
Overall Rating:
 
4.8
Course:
 
4.5
Organization:
 
5.0
Value:
 
5.0
Reviewed by Mark S. on 5/9/2016
Racing Experience: 5 - 10 Marathons
Location: Mesa, AZ

Review: Having signed up for the 2016 Shiprock Marathon to venture along with my dad who is attempting a marathon in all 50 states, I didn't quite know what to expect from what appeared to be a tiny marathon in the middle of nowhere. I was pleasantly surprised by what I experienced on race day.

To begin, prior to race day, the race director, Tom, sent several emails to participants with friendly reminders and news about the upcoming event; he strongly encouraged runners to contact him with any questions or concerns. This was the first positive sign about the race I had, I really appreciated Tom's openness and it really showed on race day.

The race has a start time of 7 am for marathoners (8 am for half marathoners), which meant an early wake up call for us as we stayed near Durango, CO (there is closer lodging in nearby Farmington (about 25 minutes away). We didn't pick up on race bibs on Friday (as was encouraged by the race director) since we were staying so far away, but we arrived at around 5:20 on race morning to get our bibs and race shirts with no wait (packet pickup started at 5 am on Friday).

The race is point-to-point, which means they basically bus runners out 26.2 miles into the desert, drop you off, and tell you to run back. Because of the point-to-point nature of the race, there is a fleet buses well organized and on time to take runners out. The buses all left by 5:55 (just as runners were told) and we got to the start line at about 6:30. The race starts about 200 feet from the Arizona border, so if you want to visit another state while waiting for the start gun, go for it! The start was well supplied with porta-potties (about 15 for 200+ marathoners) and the only real issue at the start was exposure to the elements. After a brief Navajo prayer and drum ceremony, the race started preciously at 7 (another big plus!). I noticed that there were pacers for starting at 3:30 and going up to about 5:30.

The course itself runs along a 2-lane, asphalt road in the desert with Shiprock looming in the distance from mile 3 until you pass it at mile 13. At mile 20 the course turns onto a busier highway (4-lanes total) until it reaches the Shiprock Youth Complex where the finish line is. Runners are kept in the left lane of the roads for the totality of the race. Support along the course comes every 2 miles for the first 20 miles and every mile after 20 and includes water and Gatorade (some aid stations had bananas, oranges, Honey Stinger gels, Clif gels, etc.). There seemed to also be some impromptu aid stations at odd number miles during the first 20. Porta-potties appeared throughout the course about every 2 miles as well (near the half marathon start there were a bunch).

The course is beautifully desolate which can either be good or bad depending on the type of runner you are. I loved it, but someone used to big city marathons with lots of crowds may have a hard time. Crowd support picked up once past mile 20.

Weather was perfect for the 2016 edition of this race -- 42 at race start and about 58 by the finish with cloud cover most of the race. I would imagine that some years the weather could be hot.

The race medal is nice, solid, and detailed. It will look great on display. The race shirt for 2016 is a tech shirt in neon yellow with usual marathon logo and sponsors, nothing special but not bad either. My shirt was long sleeve because they ran out of short sleeve mediums, but my dad got a short sleeve shirt.

Post race refreshments included: watermelon, oranges, crackers, pizza, blue corn mush, chocolate milk, water, and Gatorade. They had a large tent set up with tables and chairs. Family and friends can meet runners directly at the finish line.

Finally, they give out age group awards (10 year age ranges) for the top 3 finishers in each age group (by gender). These awards are beautiful, custom-made, ceramic pottery pieces with the race information and age group place, a very nice touch.

All in all, this is a surprise of a race that is a most do if you are in the region and should probably be the top pick for 50 staters when looking for a marathon in New Mexico.

Elevation Profile


Course Vitals

Course Layout: Point-to-Point
Elevation Gain: 250 ft.
Difficulty Rating: 0.25
Surface: Mostly Road/Paved
Certified: Yes

Gender Distribution


Total Number of Participants: 200

Finishing Times

Age Distribution

Boston & NYC Qualifiers

Total Qualifiers:

Boston 22

New York 6

 

Percentage of Total Finishers:

Boston 9.7%

New York 2.6%


Note: Data based off of 2016 race results