The 2009 RUNColorado Pagosa Peak Trail Series — three mountain trail races scheduled for the Pagosa area this summer — resumes Saturday with the second in the series, The Devil Mountain 50K Ultra.
The RUNColorado series is one of the primary fund-raising vehicles used to sustain the GECKO scholarship program. Race organizers urge everyone to come out and run to fight Nature Deficit Disorder and give kids from all walks of life a chance to experience the power of nature. If you can’t run, walk. If you don’t want to walk, volunteer. If you can’t volunteer, donate.
Saturday’s event is known as “one hell of a run!” and it ups the ante with bigger climbs, higher elevations and a lot of single track through some of the region’s old growth forests. The course is beautiful, remote and the perfect mid-summer primer for Leadville or Wasatch.
The 31-mile trail course west of Pagosa Springs visits several mountain areas to the west of Turkey Springs, Chris Mountain, Middle Mountain, Horse Mountain and Devil Mountain. The terrain is awesome mountain forests — a perfect location to beat the summer heat with plenty of shade and plenty of elevation.
This course is remote and visits pristine old growth forest. The climbs are great, topping out at just over 9,800 feet with more than 5,000 feet of vertical gain.
Aid stations are fully stocked and located every six miles or so. It is strongly recommended that people run with a water bottle or camelback.
The half marathon course is “out and back” running to the first aid station and returning, with less climbing, and the same great trails. The 50K race starts at 7 a.m., kids run at 7:30 a.m. The half marathon begins at 8 a.m.
A party and awards ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. at Pagosa Brewing Co.
More than 110 runners have signed up for the race to date.
Runners can still register for the race. Go to www.joingecko.org for information.