Fifth running of Santa Fe half marathon to be held Sept. 20

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By The Staff

Over 1,000 runners from 35 states and seven countries will compete in the fifth running of the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon on Sept. 20.
A Kenyan Olympian backed by African drummers will start the race by blowing his grandfather’s Kudu horn.
“We’ve created a bucket list race where runners from around the United States and world can enjoy our beautiful scenery while celebrating Harambee — Swahili for ‘we call come together’,” race co-founder Abraham Kosgei said. “In addition to Santa Fe’s renowned charms, Santa Fe Thunder features aspects of Kenyan, Native American and Tarahumaran culture that combine to create a singular running experience.”
The high altitude point-to-point course drops 1,000 feet from its start in the heart of Santa Fe, down the Old Taos Highway, finishing at Pojoaque Pueblo’s Buffalo Thunder Resort. Tarahumaran ultra-marathon runners join world-class distance runners from Kenya, Ethiopia, Japan and other countries to run past the world famous Santa Fe Opera, Tesuque Village and Pueblo, and the Camel Rock casino, descending into the red-rock-lined Rio Grande valley between the 10,000-foot Jemez Mountains and 12,000-foot Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
The Race enables Santa Fe-based, all volunteer and non-profit organization Global Running Culture to carry out its Global Footprints programs bettering the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education in three communities where running is a vital part of the culture: Northern New Mexico, Abraham’s village of Matungen, Kenya, and Copper Canyon, Mexico.
The event features seven local musical groups along the course, the Pojoaque Youth Hoop Dancers performing at the finish, 180 age-group awards handmade by Pueblo artists, finisher’s medals and Brooks dri-fit T-shirts designed by famed Jemez Pueblo Artist Bernice Gachupin, food and drink provided by Whole Foods Market and Hilton Buffalo Thunder, and the Sports Authority runners’ pavilion.
The Lightning 5K Run and one-mile fitness walk provide an event for everyone to participate.
Following the race, on Sunday evening, a delegation of 14 Senior Government Officials from Kenya will be honored along with 2015 Boston Marathon Champion and Santa Fe resident Caroline Rotich at the inaugural Harambee Gala at the John Gaw Meem designed La Mesita Ranch in the Pueblo of Pojoaque.
A silent auction featuring indigenous art from around the world and sports items like 50-yard-line Denver Broncos tickets.
Live entertainment and Jambo Café’s award-winning soup and appetizers will accentuate the event hosted by Pojoaque Pueblo Governor Joseph Talachy and chaired by Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales.