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Mountain Chile Cha Cha features races, chile, music and more

Mountain Chile Cha Cha, Sept. 25, features the incredible terrain of Reservoir River Ranch.

Through the generosity of the Levine family, a large portion of this running event will take place on the private property known as Reservoir River Ranch. The ranch is otherwise inaccessible and participants are asked be respectful of the property and treat it as if it were their own.

All entrants will receive a shirt; all finishers will receive a fun award and the top three men and women will receive special awards.

The three-mile run is almost 100 percent off-road. In the spirit of trail running, more off-road terrain has been added his year.

The seven-mile run is a challenging loop, with more than 700 feet of climb. The course consists of an approximate half mile of paved road — the balance being trail, which ranges from dirt road to double track to single track. The trail is mountainous and scenic with awesome views as well as challenging climbs and descents. Additionally, the course features a family- and spectator-friendly finish though downtown Pagosa Springs.

Event details: All runs begin and end in Town Park.

The Kids’ Run will start at 7:30 a.m. The 5k, seven- and 15-milers will begin at 8. Cost for the Kids’ Run is $10. The 5k is $35, the 7-mile race is $45 and the 15-mile run is $55. All proceeds benefit GECKO programs — Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors.

Register at www.joingecko.org. Registration deadline is 11:59 p.m. tonight, Sept. 23. Packet pickup is Friday 5-8 p.m. at The Hub Bike Shop, U.S. 160 and North Pagosa Boulevard

Perhaps the most unique and exciting part of this race is its relationship with the Mountain Chili Cha Cha festival. What better way to round out the day than to enjoy live music, cold beer and great food? If it’s hot, you can cool off in the San Juan River or relax under the park trees while the chile cooks and the music rocks.

The fifth annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha includes the third annual Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic, and a free dance concert in the park. The Mountain Chile Cha Cha is a no-admission family-friendly event that takes place rain or shine. There will be food and craft vendors, a beer garden, and more.

Up to 30 green chile cooks, ranging from amateurs to professionals will enter for the chance to win money, medals and bragging rights. Four esteemed judges will taste and vote for the top three chiles with meat and without. At 12:30 p.m. the public tasting will begin. Five dollars gets you 10 tasting cups, a tortilla, and a chance to vote for the People’s Choice Award. Top entries in the Chile with Meat Meatless Chile and People’s Choice categories will win $200. The tasting will go until 2:30 or until all of the chile is gone.

For information about entry, call 264-4327.

Music Starts at 1:30 With the Brooks I band and Nosotros.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to celebrate fall with sunshine, suds and green chile. Go to joingecko.org or pagosaspringsdining.com for more information. See you at the Cha Cha!