I ran the Capulin Volcano Half Marathon (13.1 miles) in September. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but also one of the most rewarding. The route went up this volcano.
It started on an incline on the highway beside the volcano, then went up the road on the volcano, and then on a trail around the rim of the volcano. Basically, the first four miles were uphill. The altitude is also pretty high, starting at 7100, going up to 8200, and then ending at 6400. After we went around the rim, we went down the volcano and then ran on the highway for about eight miles to Folsom (population 77). Once I got on the downhill, I felt pretty good, but going up the volcano was absolutely killer. I could taste blood in my mouth as I was running uphill.
I finished in 2 1/2 hours, which I think is about as well as I could have done on this course. I had to walk quite a bit of the uphill. My friend Kim finished in 2 hours, 20 minutes, which was 15 minutes faster than she did last year. Brent ran the 10K (which was essentially the same route but without going up the volcano). He took 5th place!
The race itself is super challenging, but also fun and quirky, and the goodie bags were fabulous--they even had homemade granola. I haven't decided yet whether or not I'll do this again next year, but I have decided to run another half marathon. I'm running one in Hays in a couple of weeks to see how I can do on a flat surface at the elevation I'm used to.