Download this release in PDF format

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


SANTA FE, N.M. —Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will take place in northern New Mexico Sunday, Sept. 18, 8 a.m. The destination half marathon will start in downtown Santa Fe and will end in the Rio Grande Valley at the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.  The race will bring runners and families to New Mexico from around the country and will give athletes the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at high altitude.

The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon course will be fast and scenic, dropping over 1,300 feet after a gradual climb for the first 2 miles. The race starts at historic Fort Marcy Park in the heart of Santa Fe.  Runners will head north on the Old Taos Highway and see the first spectacular views of the 13,000 feet high Sangre De Cristo mountains to the east soon after they exit Fort Marcy.  They will also see the 11,000 feet Jemez Mountains to the west, which will be in peak fall colors. At the 3-mile mark near the Santa Fe Opera, the high point of the course, an inspiring panorama will inspire runners to kick it up a notch. The red rock formations extending up the valley north as far as the eye can see will entice the runners to keep going as they drop into the Rio Grande Valley.

The course then takes the runners into the picturesque Village of Tesuque, passing by Tesuque Village Market, where music, refreshments and water stations await. Continuing downhill, participants will enter the Tesuque Pueblo, passing by Camel Rock before reaching the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The finish will be at the magnificent Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. Buffalo Thunder will host an expo and pasta dinner Saturday, Sept. 17, and festive post race events as well.

All three organizers have been competitive runners and know the sport from the athlete's perspective They are Joseph Karnes, an attorney; Abraham Kosgei, the Pueblo of Pojoaque Wellness Center youth program and race coordinator; and Antonio Lopez with Merrill Lynch.  Kosgei won the 2010 Duke City Marathon. Lopez is a former state track and field champ who won the New Mexico Marathon in 2009, and Karnes qualified for the 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon..  With these experts planning Santa Fe’s first half marathon it will be a well-organized and fun event. The nonprofit they formed to plan the race is called Global Running Culture. Their mission is to promote youth fitness, nutrition and health, particularly in Native communities.

“Our goal is to share the beauty of Santa Fe with runners from around the country while benefitting youth through participation in sport and good nutrition,” says Joseph Karnes, Global Running Culture.

Karnes received great news last week that Nike N7 will be a sponsor of the race.  N7 will send their running ambassador Alvina Begay to Santa Fe for the half marathon. Begay was raised on the Navajo Reservation in Ganado, AZ and long distance running is in her blood. She lives and trains in Flagstaff, AZ with the Team USA Arizona. She champions Wings of America, a running camp for Native American youth.

There will be frequent aid stations with friendly volunteers and great goodie bags.  But what is sure to put this race at the top of every runners’ list will be the amazing vistas offered along the mostly downhill course. The inaugural Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will be one of the most beautiful races in the United States. The race will raise money for youth fitness and nutrition programs.

Training Tips
People are encouraged to start training now for this high altitude race. Antonio Lopez is available to set-up programs and will customize program for Santa Fe Half Marathon runners.  People can e-mail him at for individualized plans.

Thursday, June 9, 6-7:30 p.m.
Half Marathon Class at REI, Santa Fe.  Karnes, Kosgei and Lopez will be teaching an educational class for people interested in completing the half marathon.  They will be discussing mileage preparation, nutrition and mental games that test runners every step of the way in the 13.1 mile race. Info: Kerry Peavey,

Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino is offering a special $89 rate for the runners throughout the weekend. Santa Fe Half Marathon participants will enjoy propping their tired feet up on the fluffy down pillows after the race or they can head up to the Wo’ P’in Spa for a massage. There’s also a beautiful outdoor pool with food and beverage service and a sundeck.  The resort is accented with Native art and excellent service and amenities. Vibrant hues, carved headboards and a myriad of innovative accents in Native American Pueblo style are all inspired by the Pueblo of Pojoaque's Governor George Rivera, a renowned artist and a runner as well who will be participating in the race. Each room features the lavish comforts of the Hilton Serenity Collection - pillow top mattresses, fluffy down pillows, high thread count linens and thick, cozy duvets. And each room features a magnificent view of the surrounding mountainside.  The property is pet-friendly.  To book the special Santa Fe Half Marathon $89 rate, visit Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino or call 505-455-5555.

Additional Santa Fe Half Marathon Partners are:
Hotel Santa Fe            
La Fonda on the Plaza 
Sage Inn                   
Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza 
Courtyard by the Marriott

WHAT:            Santa Fe’s First Half Marathon!  Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon; 5K Run; 1 mile walk 
WHEN:            Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011m, 8 a.m.
COST:            $50 Half Marathon; $25 5 K Run; $15 1.6K Walk. Register: or mail-in registration to Global Running Culture, Inc. P.O. Box 2980, Santa Fe, NM 87504. 
PRIZES:           For Male and Female Overall Finishers in the Half Marathon: First Place $1,000; Second Place $500; Third Place $250


Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon is generously sponsored by the Pueblo of Pojoaque/Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, the City of Santa Fe, Nike N7 (, Global Running Culture, Anesthesia Associates of New Mexico, P.C.; Branch Design and Development Inc., Sommer Karnes & Associates, LLP and the Tesuque Village Market. 

Global Running Culture, a non-profit organization, has presented high quality athletic events in the Santa Fe area for several years and will use race proceeds to advance its mission to promote youth fitness, nutrition and health within northern New Mexico as well as Kenya, via its support of Gotab Berur (Kenyans for Clean Water).


Jennifer Marshall