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Narbona Pass Class is back after COVID-19 left it at the starting line

Narbona Pass Class is back after COVID-19 left it at the starting line

NARBONA PASS, N.M.

The air was pungent with the scent of pine needles and fresh rain on Sunday as runners gathered at the starting line of the 5K race at the first Narbona Pass Classic in three years.

The event offered two races, a 5K and a 10K with 560 participants. Each race was open to a wide range of runners from 8 to 70 years old and over.

Race director Dewayne Carl said there were approximately 300 spectators that watched the races.

One 5K runner, Emily Garcia, 16, finished the race in 18th place.

“I ran with my family, just to get out,” Garcia said. “I love running, (and) I love to run in the nice weather and explore new trails. This is a new trail for me.”

Garcia was the 5K overall female winner, completing the race in 26 minutes, 1.33 seconds.

Dathan Esson, 15, captured the male 5K race with a time of 20:17.51.

Cloudy weather during both races gave runners an advantage without the hot sun.

Another 5K runner, Alex Felix Long III, 18, finished the race in 8th place.

“I ran this race before,” Long said. “It was when I first started running; I was hoping to improve my time the next time.

“I really enjoyed this race,” he said. “The terrain is nice, and it’s lovely.”

Runners continued to jog to the finish line at 10:45 a.m.

After the races, an awards ceremony honored the winners with respective medals and jackets.

Ricky Trejo, 25, and Temyra Bia, 16, were the 10K winners. Trejo topped the field in 37:46.87 and Bia was clocked in at 50:14.01, finishing 60th overall.

Asked why the event is vital to the community, Carl said, “It’s more like a family reunion, (and) everybody comes back with it being (unavailable) the last couple of years.

“It just brings everybody back to family,” he added. “Not just to their family but to the running community family, and I think everybody just missed being up here also.”

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