TFCU sponsors El Paso Half Marathon

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

EL PASO, TEXAS – TFCU, one of El Paso’s leading credit unions, has signed on as the sponsor for the El Paso Half Marathon.

“TFCU is excited to support the Half Marathon again as Title Sponsor in 2019 to promote fitness and quality of life in El Paso,” said Max Villaronga, President/CEO of TFCU.

The TFCU Half Marathon, a 13.1-mile road race, is part of the El Paso Marathon races, which include the 26.2-mile Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon and the Up and Running 5K.

The races all take place on Feb. 17, 2019. They will start and finish in Downtown El Paso.

“We’re very honored to have TFCU commit to be the half marathon sponsor,” said Mike Coulter, director of the El Paso Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K. “TFCU is a local institution that values community involvement, which makes them a great representative of what the half marathon is all about.”

The marathon, half marathon and 5K are quickly becoming the Borderland’s premier road races, and is essentially becoming the championship race for top local distance runners. Last year, more than 3,000 people ran in the races, with the most entrants taking part in the half marathon.

The races are all organized by the El Paso Marathon Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting health and fitness in the El Paso region and providing support to local and national non-profit organizations. Beneficiaries this past year included the Lee and Beulah Moor Children’s Home (for disadvantaged youth) and the Boys & Girls Clubs of El Paso. Those two groups also volunteered to help the 2018 races become the biggest to date.

People interested in running, volunteering or sponsoring can go to for more information.

Start Building Your Team for 2019

Friday, August 10th, 2018

Now that we’re only six months from the El Paso Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K, it’s time to start building your team for the 2019 races. 

The team competition, known as the Team Challenge, has become an important part of the Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon, Half Marathon, and Up and Running 5K, all scheduled for Feb. 17, 2019.

The Challenge has really caught on with Borderland runners.

Last year, all races grew substantially in runner participation. A big part of that was the team competitions. 

The 2018 team portion of the El Paso Marathon (plus the half marathon and Up and Running 5K) reached its highest number of participants, growing 135 percent from prior year to 1,121 team runners. Team runners represented more than a third of all runners in the races.

Race organizers expect the number to continue growing in 2019.

Interest in team participation is growing as the competition options have increased. Teams now have various options for competing, which are generally grouped in either “Competitive” or “Social” categories. 

In the Competitive team competition, teams have the chance to win in the “Speedy,” “At Least They Finished” or “Average Joes.” 

The Speedy prize goes to the fastest team—finish times of the top five runners are added up, and lowest time wins.

The At Least They Finished award is for the slowest team. Again, at least five runners must finish in a race for the team to be eligible.

And finally, the “Average Joes prize goes to the team that finishes smack in the middle of all the teams. Not fast, not slow, but average. So if there are 20 teams competing, the 10th place team wins!

As for the Social competitions, teams can compete for the prizes for “Largest,” “Most Motivated” and “Best Dressed” team.

Largest simply means the team with the most registrants. Most Motivated goes to the team judged to have the most spirit, and the Best Dressed goes to the team with the best costumes.

In other words, with a little effort or creativity or just enthusiasm, your team has a good chance of winning! 

And to make it all better, once a team has 10 registrants, each member receives a $5 discount! (The first 10 registrants get a refund after the 10 registrations occur.)

So, what should you do to get your team going? First, if you’re the person to create a team, simply register and click Yes to the “Would you like to join a team?” question. Then follow the instructions for creating a team.

If you’re hoping to join a team that is already created, also register for any of the three races and then click Yes to the “Would you like to join a team?” The team’s name should appear on the options to choose.

Now that you know what to do, it’s time to get moving. Register. Form your team. And most importantly, start training!

And remember, when you sign up as a team, each member gets a $5 discount. And if you sign up by August 31, you’ll save $20 for the marathon ($15 for the half, $5 for the 5K) by registering before the price increases.

Happy training! And go team! 

KVIA Good Morning El Paso anchor Stephanie Valle to run El Paso Marathon

Tuesday, July 31st, 2018

El Paso, Texas—KVIA’s Good Morning El Paso anchor Stephanie Valle announced today that she will run the 2019 Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon on February 17, 2019. 

Valle is making the commitment to run the 26.2 mile race in time to log several months of training beforehand. 

“I can't believe I'm agreeing to run 26.2 miles,” Valle said. “But after running the half marathon twice over two years, why not try running that total amount at one time, right?”

Most runners consider the marathon much harder than a half marathon. Of course, the distance is double for a marathon, but also the human body tends to run out of glycogen after about 20 miles, making the last 6 miles of the marathon extra strenuous. 

Still, marathoners come to love the challenge of pushing their bodies beyond its normal limits.

“I'm nervous and excited about the challenge and am eager to learn what exactly I'm capable of doing,” Valle said.

Training for a marathon takes time. For Valle, who besides having a successful career in TV journalism is married with two children, finding nearly 10 hours a week of time to run is its own challenge. 

Generally, running experts recommend that those who commit to run a marathon have a good base of 20-25 miles a week of running before beginning a four-month program leading up to the race. That typically will culminate in a week of 40 to 50 miles of running, about three weeks before the race.

Although this will be her first marathon, Valle is no newbie to running, having run the El Paso Half Marathon two times already.

“Stephanie will surely be an inspiration for many, being a mom, wife, career women runner committed to getting it done,” said Mike Coulter, race director of the Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon, Half Marathon and Up and Running 5K. 

“One of the exciting things about working with the El Paso Marathon is seeing people accomplish their goals.”

Start Training Now for El Paso Marathon and Half Marathon

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

EL PASO, TEXAS – If you’re planning on running the next Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon or Half Marathon, now is the time to start running to set a base of mileage with the goal of finishing or improving in the February 2019 race. 

The El Paso Michelob Ultra Marathon and the Half Marathon have evolved to become the Borderland’s de facto championship road races.  And just as elite runners tend to run two “A” races a year, regional distance runners might make one of their A races be the El Paso half or full marathon.

Indeed, beginning training now is prudent whether you are a veteran of several distance races looking to establish a personal record or a novice looking to finish a long race for the first time. 

For many Borderland runners, the El Paso Michelob Ultra Marathon has become the standard to measure who the fastest marathoner is. Even for those marathoners who don’t plan to compete, running the hometown marathon has become a badge of honor for all local runners.

At this point, if you are committed to doing a half or full marathon in February, start to increase your mileage. If you are currently running three to four times a week, add a day, with the goal of getting to five to six days of running a week. 

If you are running fewer than 3 miles a day, add 1 mile to each run, then hold it for a couple of weeks. That is, increase each run to 4 miles a run, then do that for three weeks. Then add another mile, and hold that for three more weeks. The goal is to get to 6 miles per run by late August. 

Also, now is the best time to add a few more miles on your weekend run. That is, try to lift your mileage on Saturday or Sunday to 8-10 miles. 

Do remember to increase mileage and days gradually. The generally rule of thumb is to increase mileage by no more than 10 percent a week. You may feel like you can handle more. And you may run and do fine. Your heart and lungs will probably be able to handle it. 

The problem is your legs, muscles, tendons, etc., don’t get in shape as quickly as your heart and lungs. You can fool yourself into thinking you’re in better shape than you are, and within a few weeks, get injured.

So be careful as you increase your mileage. Your goal is to be running 5-6 miles a day, and 10-13 miles on a weekend day, by October, when the “real” or harder training begins. Start growing your mileage now to be ready. 

Note: It should go without saying that running in the summer heat, especially in the high desert of the El Paso/Juárez region, is vitally important. But I’ve heard more than a few runners say they are trying to train their bodies to run with less water. That’s a little like trying to get your car to run without oil. It’s dangerous and potentially could cause long-term harm to your body. Don’t do it. Be sure to carry enough water when you run. 

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