More Than a Race

The fourth annual Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon celebrates sports and culture

The fourth annual Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon returns with a celebration of sports and culture the weekend of September 13 and 14, 2014. The events – presented by Global Running Culture (GRC), a 100% volunteer non-profit organization – begin with the Global Running Festival on Saturday and continue on Sunday with the Half Marathon, 5K and 1-mile walk.

The USA Track and Field-certified half marathon starts Sunday, Sept. 14 at 8 a.m. in downtown Santa Fe at Fort Marcy Park and finishes at the Pojoaque Pueblo’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.  The highly-rated annual Race draws runners and families to Santa Fe from North America and beyond, features spectacular vistas and unique cultural experiences and gives runners the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at altitude. This year’s Race honors the 50th anniversary of Billy Mills’ Gold Medal in the 1964 Olympic 10,000 meter run.

The Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon is more than a race; it is a destination event that celebrates a fundamental activity that all cultures share. Running remains a vital part of many cultures including Native Americans, the Tarahumara of Copper Canyon, Mexico and the people of Kenya, all of which will be represented at events throughout the weekend.  The Global Running Festival at Fort Marcy Park features the third running of the free-of-charge Global Footprint Youth Relay, the race expo, international arts and crafts and world music.

Race proceeds benefit Global Running Culture’s programs that are dedicated to bettering the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education.  GRC carries out programs in Matunget, Kenya, Copper Canyon, Mexico and northern New Mexico.

“We want to inspire the next generation and expand their opportunities,” says Abraham Kosgei, 2000 Kenyan Olympic Team selection and Global Running Culture co-founder. “For every child, regular physical activity, access to good nutrition and education are keys to success in life.”

The Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon is rated by as New Mexico’s top half marathon. The point-to-point course is fast and scenic, dropping over 1,300 feet after a gradual climb for the first two miles. Men’s and Women’s state records have been set each year the Race has been held.

The Race starts in the heart of Santa Fe at historic Fort Marcy Park at an elevation of 7,054 feet.  Runners will head north on the Old Taos Highway, enjoying spectacular views of the 13,000 foot high Sangre De Cristo mountains to the east and the 11,000 foot Jemez Mountains to the west. The highest point of the course is near the 2-mile mark and the Santa Fe Opera, where the extraordinary panorama will inspire runners as they drop into the red rock-filled Rio Grande Valley. Runners will enter the picturesque village of Tesuque, where music, refreshments and shade await. Continuing downhill, participants will run through the Tesuque Pueblo, passing by Camel Rock before reaching the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The finish line is at the magnificent Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, where entertainment, delicious treats provided by Whole Foods Market and awards await.

“We’ve created a destination race where runners from around the United States and world will enjoy our beautiful scenery and rich culture,” says race director Joseph Karnes of Global Running Culture. “This year, we will be hosting runners from more than 30 states and will provide them with a memorable event filled with unexpected cultural features.”

Nike T-shirts, handmade age-group awards made by New Mexico artists, unique finishers’ medals, and live music along the course, in combination with Santa Fe’s natural beauty and cultural amenities, make this race a not-to-miss event for runners and spectators alike. 

The registration fees until August 31 are:
– Half Marathon: $65
– 5K: $30
– 1 MI. Walk: $20

To register or to obtain additional information, please visit or email