Get ready to do the ‘du’ — scheduled for July 11

There was a time in Pagosa, not so long ago, when there weren’t but one or two races each year for local athletes to compete in without having to leave town. That is all changing.

Just recently, we had the Turkey Track Trail Marathon (and half marathon), the first race in a three-race series presented by GECKO. (The other two races will be the Devil Mountain Ultra July 18 and Mountain Chile Cha-Cha Sept. 26.)

While you are on a roll, why not think about participating in the next athletic event — the Pagosa Duathlon. Organized under the auspices of the Archuleta County Victim’s Assistance program (ACVAP) as a fundraiser, the duathlon will be held Saturday, July 11.

ACVAP is a locally organized non-profit corporation that provides emergency and other necessary services to victims (and their dependents) of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The race will be entirely in the Turkey Springs area of the San Juan National Forest. In its third year, the Pagosa Duathlon will offer two new events this season — the Half Duathlon and the Mini Duathlon.

The full duathlon is a six-mile trail run, twice around a flat, three-mile loop. The run is followed by a 12-mile mountain bike ride on intermediate-level single-track trails and partly on dirt and gravel forest service roads.

The half “du” is a three-mile run using the same loop as the full “du” and a seven-mile mountain bike ride. The mini “du” is a race designed for children that incorporates a one-mile run and a two-mile mountain bike ride on Turkey Springs Road.

The mini “du” will begin at 8 a.m., followed by the full and the half “du” at 9 a.m. All athlete check-in and race packet pickup will take place from 7-7:45 a.m. Visit www.acvap.org for complete race information and registration form. The race course map is also online. If you would like to be shown through the course, please call me at 731-2051. I encourage you to sign up early, commit to the event and avoid paying the late registration (after June 26).

The Turkey Springs national forest and wildlife area is a beautiful spot, conducive to family gatherings and picnics. Spectators are welcome and encouraged to attend. There’s a lot of available parking — so come on out and cheer each participant. It’s a constant reminder for us to always give support to each person who chooses to participate. We never know what that person might have overcome just to be able to race.

The Cruise-a-Thong is another local race (of the very fun genre) that will be held on Sunday, July 19 at 11 a.m. This race requires lots of imagination, but not much training, and is well suited for the entire family.

If your summer is simply too crazy, there’s a late fall event — the Turkey Trot, a run or walk on Thanksgiving morning. View this one as a way to support our local swim club and an appetite builder for Thanksgiving dinner.

Until the next race. Until they give you another number to pin to your chest.