The Mount Taylor Winter Quadrathlon is considered by many the ultimate test of athleticism and endurance. Now in its 31st year in 2014, the Quad, billed as "the ultimate challenge," is an incredible 43-mile round trip that rises 4,800 vertical feet from Grants, New Mexico to the 11,301-foot summit of Mount Taylor. Athletes from across the nation, and the globe, have faced this challenge in winter condfitions ranging from balmy, to brutal, at the whim of Mother Nature.
The Mt Taylor Winter Quad is a four-event race open to individuals, pairs, or teams of 3 or 4 athletes. Competitors must race to the summit by bicycle, on foot, on skis and on snowshoes - and then, reverse that sequence on the downhill, back to Grants.
The first leg of the race climbs 1800 grueling feet in 13 miles on paved roads from Grants (6500 ft elevation) to the bike-run transition, where pavement ends. Next is a 5-mile run on gravel roads rising 1200 feet to the run-ski transition. Cross-country skiers then climb 1200 feet more to the snowshoe changeover after 2 miles, and must push on,a foot, one more mile and 600 feet up, to the summit. At the top, after crossing the timing mat, it's straight back down the course again, ending up in Grants sometime in the afternoon... (as described so well by one racer "your results may vary...").
This annual endurance event is extremely well organized by hundreds of Grants-area volunteers, and many competitors return again and again to test themselves against Mt. Taylor, and the vagaries of winter. The event has a detailed website (see link) with rules, results, maps, event videos, and local-area information. Competitorsmay request event packets on-line or by phone (see contact notes)