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Plenty on the schedule for area athletes

Roger Bannister ran a mile in under four minutes during a track meet in Oxford, England on May 6, 1954.

But you don’t have to be that fast to run the local races that will be held here in Pagosa this summer. Some of you have worked hard to stay in shape all winter. Now you are ready to focus on racing. Here are some options available to you.

Pagosa Peak Trail Series (www.joingecko.org/events):

Turkey Track Trail: June 12.

The Turkey Track Trail kicks off the season with a beautiful early season marathon and half-marathon. Course is scenic, rolling hills with mellow climbs through aspens and ponderosa pines.

Devil Mountain 50K Ultra: July 17.

The Devil Mountain 50 mile and 50K Ultra ups the ante with bigger climbs, higher elevations and single track through old growth forest.

Wolf Creek Ride and Reggae: July 31.

Come join us for an epic ride to benefit an epic cause. You’ve probably heard of Wolf Creek Pass — more than 400 inches of snow each winter with an elevation of 10,857 feet. The road is a blast, featuring twisting, turning and grinding grades that pitch upward between 7-10 percent. This route has been laid out in typical GECKO fashion, netting a 100k ride that will take more time and test your lungs more than any other local century ride. Guaranteed! More information and online registration coming soon.

Mountain Chile Cha Cha: Sept. 25.

Wrap up the season on Pagosa’s killer downtown trail. The course is challenging and remote, while centered right downtown. Celebrate after with music and the chile festival.

Pagosa Duathlon (www.acvap.org).

In its fourth year, three races are offered; the Full-Du (six-mile run, 12-mile bike); the Half-Du (three-mile run, seven-mile bike); and the Mini-Du for the rising athlete (half-mile run, one-mile bike). The run is on flat single-track and dirt-roads while the mountain bike course is intermediate-level, single-track trails. Visit www.acvap.org for registration forms, maps and event details; or register online at www.active.com.

Pagosa Trails (www.pagosatrails.net).

Want to get out and train for your racing season or just want to get out and enjoy an outing in the woods? This website provides multi-sport trail descriptions, routes and maps of trails near Pagosa Springs for the adventurous, outdoor athlete.

Racquetball clinics

The Recreation Center is offering two racquetball clinics this next month. Come out on Saturday, May 1, from 9 a.m. until noon, to learn some racquetball basics of proper stroke mechanics, rules, court positioning and game strategies (plus how to have fun playing different types of games). If you cannot make it this Saturday, you’ll have another opportunity on May 22. Call Todd (731-2051) for additional information to your questions. He’s one of the certified instructors that will be conducting the clinics.

Grass, weeds and fertilizer

With swaths of green grass sprouting, the need to plan lawn and landscape care is upon us. The PLPOA sells, at cost, several kinds of grass seeds suitable for the altitude and climate. If you experience problems with noxious weeds this springs, such as thistle, knapweeds, yellow toadflax, leafy spurge or white top, PLPOA can help you get these under control. Noxious weeds are those plants listed by the state of Colorado and Archuleta County as non-native invasive plants that pose a direct threat to the native environment. Please call Larry Lynch at the PLPOA office, 731-5635, Ext. 25, with your questions and he will work together with you to get your noxious weed problem under control. It’s amazing how very fast these undesirable plants spread, and if left unmanaged, will quickly move into your neighbor’s property, open spaces and right-of-ways.

‘Tis also the season to fertilize your lawn. PLPOA carries a special, reduced nutrient fertilizer specifically for lakefront property owners. It is formulated with high nitrogen, iron and micronutrients for a healthy, green lawn, but has reduced phosphorus content to help reduce aquatic weeds and algae in the lakes from runoff. The cost is around $16 for a 50-pound bag, with coverage of approximately 5,000 square feet. The grass seed and fertilizer is available at the PLPOA Administration office at 230 Port Ave.

Fishing seminar

A series of fishing seminars — free and open to the public — will be held on Saturday, May 1, and Saturday, June 5. These seminars are held at the Buffalo Inn at 8 a.m. over breakfast — let’s say a breakfast burrito (yum) with a lot of fish talk (read exaggeration). Come join the group in talking about lures, techniques, equipment, strategies and whatever else you are interested in fishingwise.

With an abundance of quality fishing water in our area — PLPOA’s four lakes, Echo Lake, Heron Lake, Abiquiu Lake, Navajo Reservoir, Vallecito Reservoir, McPhee Reservoir, Williams Reservoir, the San Juan, Piedra and Animas rivers and the equally plentiful mountain lakes and streams — fishing is one way to get yourself out into nature.

I recently rode my bicycle to the Sportsmen’s Lodge on Piedra Road and saw a beautiful sight of a man fly fishing the Piedra River (at the bridge) with his black lab sitting next to him. The running water, glistening rocky cliffs; all against a backdrop of snow capped mountains was an idyllic scene. I stopped to watch them for a while and admired the serenity of the pair — bet their blood pressure was very low. What an effective decompression tool.

It’s not necessary for you to make a reservation to join the “chat-room” of fisherman, but it would be thoughtful if you could call Gary Gray (731-0739/749-3210) to let him know if you are planning to attend. Do bring some change to pay for your breakfast and coffee. Do bring your fishing buddies (not the canine variety). The seminars have been popular and the group hopes to keep getting together monthly.