By Kirsten Le Roux
Special to The SUN
“We loved checking out the Fourth of July costumes while we ran; it felt so festive and fun. We love that we could dress up ourselves and our dogs and bring them with us. We compete in all GECKO’s community fun runs and we always dress up,” said Lady Liberty and Uncle Sam from South Fork.
A total of 185 walkers, joggers, runners and shufflers showed up Saturday morning to participate in the Star Spangled Shuffle. This represented a huge increase from last year and a predominately tourist-packed lineup.
The Parrish family, from Loveland, had returned for the second year and the whole family had entered.
“We had a blast,” they chorused at the finish line. “What an amazing setting, with the mountain vista as you run. And everyone here is so happy, there are no cranky people in Pagosa. It was the best way to start our Fourth of July celebrations.”
This is the second year that GECKO (Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors) held the Fourth of July 3k and 5k Star Spangled Shuffle community run.
This year, the event started with a short awards ceremony. Cindy Schultz from San Juan Basin Health presented the event with the Seal of Approval for being a public event that is entirely alcohol-free, appropriate for children, youth and families and is affordable for all participants.