Boston’s marathon is world famous for its Heartbreak Hill. New York City’s lures more than 50,000 runners each year. But Santa Fe’s biggest footrace has an allure all its own.

Runners, joggers and even race-walkers will pound away from Fort Marcy Recreation Complex again this September for the fourth annual Santa Fe Thunder half-marathon. Race promoters Joseph Karnes and Abraham Kosgei of Global Running Culture say about 750 participants completed the picturesque 13.1-mile course last year.

While lots of locals make the race, it’s also a tourism attraction with entrants from as far away as Connecticut, Virgina and Georgia—not to mention runners hailing from Mexico’s famed Copper Canyon Tarahumara and athletes from four other countries who train here for their professional

Entry fees from the event partly fund charitable efforts in Kosegei’s Kenya homeland. Last year, the profits bought hundreds of solar reading lights for schoolchildren there. The group also puts on youth running clinics and other wellness programs in the local region.

“Our mission is to improve the lives of all kids, but by putting on this race, we are also doing something that is giving people a reason to do good things for the body, the mind and the sprit,” says Karnes.

Race day also features shorter distances, including a 5K race and a kids “Global Footprints” course.

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