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Thursday, September 21, 2023

The Pagosa Duathlon: a race for a cause

Photo courtesy Rise Above Violence

By Ashley Wilson
Rise Above Violence

Racing at the Pagosa Duathlon is more than just a fun way to get out and enjoy the natural beauty of Pagosa. Coming out for the race supports Rise Above Violence, your local domestic violence and sexual assault agency. 

The Pagosa Duathlon is one of three annual events that raises funds to help support victims and survivors in our community. Rise provides advocacy, education and youth violence prevention services. To learn more about Rise, go to riseaboveviolence.org. 

Coming out for the race is just one way to help. We have a monthly donation program and are always in need of volunteers, both hotline advocate volunteers and special event help.

With our community’s lack of available, affordable housing, and the increased need for assistance and crisis calls in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, events like the Pagosa Duathalon are critical to continue to provide the level of service victims and survivors need to heal and thrive. So, while you are coming out for a fun day of trail racing, you are doing so much more. Rise saw record numbers in 2020, and the Duathlon, along with other fundraising events, was canceled last year.

In 2020, Rise saw an increase in services:

• A 29 percent increase in crisis calls. We answered 204.

• A 25 percent increase in victims served. We served 400 victims.

• A 420 percent increase in emergency financial assistance provided.

• A total of 824 students participated in youth violence prevention education.

• We trained 123 allied professionals and community members in outreach activities.

More about the race

Race day is Saturday, July 10. Registration starts at 7 a.m. 

The Dusty Kids Gravel Growler is a great race to inspire your youngest off-road racer: a 1-mile run and a 2-mile bike. The kids’ race starts at 7:30 a.m. 

The Dirty Sprint is made for those beginning racers or those who want to come out for a quick race. It starts with a 3-mile trail run and then transitions to the 8-mile bike, all surrounded by beautiful scenery and single-track mountain trail. 

If you are looking for a bit more of a challenge, we have the Dirty DU. Dirty Du’ers will run a full 6-mile loop, mostly on single-track and ATV trails for a true mountain run experience. Then off to the 14-mile bike section, where you will sail down dusty trails, climb rocky slopes and wind your way through pines and aspens. The course includes improved trails like Catamount, Gopher Trail and Aspen Run. Obstacles not only include your normal downed trees, rocks and shrubs, but cows and their “presents,” too. (It is called the Dirty Du for a reason.)

With three divisions for each of the adult races — individual men’s or women’s divisions, or as a two-member relay team, one runner and one biker — there really is a race for everyone. 

All racers receive an official Pagosa Duathlon race T-shirt and post-race goodies. Top three finishers receive medals. Visit the website for more race information and driving directions to the race site at the junction of Turkey Springs Road and Brockover Road. Dirty Du racers will start after all the kids are back from the Dusty Kids; the estimated time is 8:15 a.m. Dirty Sprinters will start 30 minutes after the Dirty Du starts.

This year, we have a new long run course to mix things up. Check out the maps on the website. On-line registration ends July 8, but you can register at Pagosa Mountain Sports between 3 and 6 p.m. on Friday, July 9, or on race day at the registration table, open at 7 a.m.

For all your race information, course maps, bike directions, registration and driving directions, go to www.riseaboveviolence.org/pagosa-duathlon.

If you’re not up for the race or looking for something to do after the race, check out the Block Party in the Country Center Drive plaza between Verizon and H&R Block. There will be a car wash, bike wash and a dog wash, as well as pizza and beer for sale. Profetic Calaveras will be playing. Proceeds from surrounding businesses and local vendors will support Rise. This is a great way to end the race day. The Block Party will be happening from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

All proceeds benefit Rise, a nonprofit organization that promotes the belief that all people have the right to live free from violence by providing support and advocacy services for victims and education for youth and our community. Trained advocates provide 24-hour comprehensive services to 400 victims of domestic violence and sexual assault each year. Duathlon registrations and other donations help pay for emergency housing, food and transportation, counseling, support groups, court assistance, and youth violence prevention education and empowerment programs. 

We will see you at the Du.

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