Although this is the inaugural year with TCR Productions at the helm, the event has been held in the past – most recently in 2012 – organized by the group who manages the area. The event though scheduled for June 2013, was not held due to the Thompson Ridge Fire which shut the area down for three to four weeks.
Tom Rojas, owner and founder of TCR Productions, was hired to time the 2013 event, and after that event was cancelled, organizers met with Rojas to see if he would take over the event in 2014. Rojas agreed.
“The venue is unique,” says Rojas, “You can’t get on the property without a permit, so your race entry is an opportunity to get on the property. The views and scenery are amazing. I take this as a personal challenge. We’ll apply all of our expertise to a different setting.”
Located in the Jemez Mountains, the nearly 90,000-acre ranch is nestled inside a volcanic caldera rich in history and geology with a high point just over 11,000 feet. The majority of the acreage sits above 8,700 feet and the high point in the race course will reach about 9,000 feet. The route will include jeep roads, single track terrain, and a few small stream crossings.
Rojas, a sprinter in college, founded TCR Productions in 1984. “I wanted to be part of the sport,” said Rojas, “and coaching was not in my DNA.” After college, Rojas traveled from his home state of New Mexico to Colorado and met with people in the running industry. He returned to New Mexico and started his business and now, in addition to organizing races, times running events, mountain bike races, and triathlons.
To show how technology has changed in the sport, Rojas says, “Back then (in 1984), we had pull tags we slapped on a board after runners finished.” Gone are the finisher tags on runner numbers. “The tear off tags are now for sponsor coupons,” said Rojas who uses the ChronoTrack systems platform with the recyclable B-tag.
Recycling is just one way Rojas will integrate a “green” theme for this year’s event. “We’ll have recycling containers for runner bibs and trash, portable toilets, designated parking plan, and no spectator vehicles allowed on course. Our footprint will leave nothing behind…like Boy Scouts,” says Rojas. Further, Rojas has partnered with the New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce.
“We want participants to be knowledgeable and support companies who take the initiative to practice the green philosophy,” said Rojas. “We’ll be raising dollars for the chamber and giving them marketing exposure. The chamber never had a business come to them that offers a special event relationship.”
TCR Productions is also a member of the American Trail Running Association which recently became a partner non-profit organization of 1% for the Planet. ATRA also provides race director, and race participant education through their event standards program.
Registration for the Volcano Runs in Valles Calderas is now open.There is both individual and team registration (five members for a team), with early registration at $30. “Our benchmark is for 500 participants,” says Rojas, “We’re pushing online registration now as well as soliciting sponsors.”
The registration fee includes access to the property and a tech T-shirt. Pre-registered runners can pick up their race packets on Saturday, July 26, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Trek Bicycle Superstore at 5000 Menaul NE, in Albuquerque, or on race morning. There is also race day registration at $40 per participant.
A $250 prize will be awarded to the overall male and female winners in the half marathon. Medals will be presented to the top three finishers in age groups starting at 20, in five-year increments to 70 and over, for both the half marathon and 10-kilometer race. Each participant will receive a finisher ribbon. The first place male, female and co-ed teams will receive a plaque.
“We’re testing the waters this year,” said Rojas, “We’ll be seeking participant feedback and comments so that we can provide added features in the coming years. This is a long-term relationship.”
Look for more TCR Production events, which include the 10th annual Bosque Boogie, an urban trail race held in Albuquerque on October 5, at this link.