Race Info

Experience The Heights

Sandia Crest Marathon is a beautiful course and takes you from the high road of Sandia Crest, down into the low beautiful canyons of Cibola National Forest. Passing Sandia Ski Resort, the race winds through fall foliage, canyon vistas even passing landmark Tinkertown. Eventually historic Route 66 gives way to the final push down central avenue with the best city views Albuquerque has to offer. Runners will follow the majority of the route downhill, with paved roads. Your PR and BQ will be closer as this is now the fastest marathon course in all of New Mexico! This course has limited permits, be sure to sign up as this annual event is sure to sell out fast! This is a USTAF certified course and will be chip timed.

  • When

    Saturday, September 14, 2019
  • Where

    Sandia Crest
    Albuquerque, New Mexico


This will be a one-way, closed course, with chip timing provided by Chronotrack. Aid will be provided by Tailwind Nutrition on the course every 3 miles for the first 15, miles, then every 2 miles until mile 23. Porto-a-Potties will be at most aid stations, and at the finish. Fruit will be provided at station L. The finish line will have Chocolate Milk, Bananas, and proper recovery nutrition. Buses will depart Manzano Mesa Multi Generation Center starting at 4:00 AM. (VIP Departs at 6:00 AM). The full marathon will begin at 6:30 am. The half marathon will begin at 7:00 am.

The Course

Steep & Fast

The Merit Race Series is one of the fastest Boston qualifier courses east of the Rio Grande. With a descent of about 4,500+ feet over the course of the race, Merit is both challenging and exhilarating.

Course FAQs

  • Photos included in price
  • First class finisher medals are provided to all participants who cross the finish line
  • Shirts will be second to none in comfort and design
  • Bag of swag will be available for pickup at the expo and will contain foil blankets, gloves, and your race bib. Finish line expo will be at Manzano Mesa Community Center
The packet pickup will be held at Sport Systems. Packet Pick-up begins on Friday September 13th, 2019 at 12:00 PM and ends at 8:00PM. Sport Systems is New Mexico’s premiere specialty running store, and will be open if you need to pick up last minute race items! If you are arriving from out of town and will not arrive before 8:00 PM you will need to have your packet mailed to you. You can do this by selecting the packet mail option at checkout at Registration. We will not have any packet pick up on the day of the race, so please plan accordingly. If you have already registered and need your packet mailed, please email MERITRACESTARTLINE@GMAIL.COM. Your packet will include your race bib, and your swag bag. This bag is for you to take to the starting areas. A number that matches your race bib will be put on the outside of your race bag. This is to identify your bag at the finish area after the race, and you will need your bib to prove ownership of your bag when you pick it up. Please carry any belongings to the starting area in this bag, as opposed to any other personal bags, which cannot be identified by your race number. Bags must be placed in the bag trucks at the starting areas at least 15 minutes prior to the race start.
For the 2019 Sandia Crest Marathon, we have partnered with Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown to offer special rates of $109 per night. The first 100 people to book at the Sheraton Uptown will get a free shuttle ride to the start line. Call 505-881-0000 and ask for the Sandia Crest Marathon room block to book today or click on the link below!

Book Online

For ground transportation, please plan on renting a vehicle. Public transportation in Albuquerque, including Uber can be limited, especially trying to get to the bus pickup at 4:00AM.

We understand injury, life, and other things can get between you and race day. At Merit we allow you to transfer to another runner, defer your race up to 2 years and switch between half-full distances. Runners know that sometimes life can get in the way, and if it does merit doesn’t penalize you! Email MeritRaceSeries@gmail.com if you’d like to defer.
We know all the information isn’t on our site yet. It’s Coming SOON! If you have a question that can’t wait regarding course info, aid at aid stations, type of drink on the course, port-a-potties on the course, or any other information you need answered, please email us at MeritRaceSeries@Gmail.com

Go Beyond the Summit

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