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152 runners compete at Devil Mountain event

The intent of last Saturday’s Devil Mountain event was to showcase the remote beauty of Pagosa Springs, and demonstrate to seasoned trail runners that Pagosa Springs has what it takes to be a serious trail running destination.

Based on comments after the race, it seems GECKO delivered all that, and a bag of chips.

Several veteran ultra runners (an ultra run is any distance beyond the 26.2 miles of a marathon) commented this course was “one of, if not the most, beautiful races anywhere.”

The billing of “One Hell of a Run” was backed up with a truly rugged and challenging course. “Much harder than I expected” and “Way more of a challenge than I could have hoped for!” were two of the comments. In the world of ultra running, these comments are true compliments, and part of the growing appeal of this type of running. The longer, the harder, the better.

Runners ran a primarily single-track trail up, around and over, Horse, Middle, Devil and Chris Mountains, gaining more than 5,000 feet of elevation and spending from five-and-a-half hours to more than 10 hours to complete the 31. 2 miles.

For runners concerned about the challenge and distance of the 50K, a half marathon was also offered. Not an easy half marathon, simply a short version of the long race. The comments and reviews were just as positive.

In all, 152 runners signed up. Sixty-one completed the 50K, 69 completed the half marathon, and eight finished the kids run. Finishers appreciated their locally-made awards created by Tessie Garcia, Pagosa Springs Elementary School art teacher, and her daughter, Jade.

While the economy may be in a slump, runners came from across the country and Canada, most reporting they came specifically for the run and several used the event to plan a family vacation.

In addition to those who came from far and wide, local Pagosa runners turned out in force and placed very well in both events. Notable locals in the half marathon: Super fast Annie Sewell won the women’s half marathon for the third straight GECKO event and Sheila Berger won the women’s 40-49 division.

Notable locals in the 50K: Ron Bubb used his local trail savvy to finish second overall. Roger Jensen finished second in the 50-59 category and legend and trail designer Map Head Ed Furtaw won the over-60 category.

Runners from out of the area continue to marvel at the beauty and friendliness of Pagosa Springs. Many runners commented on the quality and kindness of the volunteers who gave up their Saturday to sit in the sun and support the runners throughout the run. Pagosa Brewing Co. was host to the awards ceremony and GECKO benefit where runners and their supporters enjoyed the beers and good food. Pagosa Brewing Co. graciously donated all proceeds from beer sales to the GECKO scholarship fund.

GECKO is very proud of the support from so many individuals and businesses throughout the community, without which these events could not happen.

The next event is Mountain Chile Cha Cha, Sept. 26 , featuring our title sponsors Reservoir River Ranch.

The Devil Mountain results are as follows:

Devil Mountain 50K

Female 20 to 29

1. Jenna Gruben, Steamboat Springs.

2. Jamie Kouse, Durango.

3. Jessica Durrant, Boulder.

Female 30 to 39

1. Abby Ruby, Colorado Springs.

2. Kristen Campbell, Boulder.

3. Jennifer Blum, Lyons.

4. Ana Ruiz, Golden.

5. Heidi Hansen, Durango.

6. Diana Stearns, Los Alamos, N.M.

7. Nicole Todd, Denver.

Female 40 to 49

1. Julie Hagen, Dumont.

2. Susan McAward, Durango.

3. Andrea Russo, Fort Collins.

4. Susan Gardner, Albuquerque.

5. Christina Robertson, Prescott, Ariz.

6. Ivanna Austell, Los Alamos.

Female 50 to 59

1. Jean Herbert, Albuquerque.

2. June Gessner, Salida.

Male 19 and under

1. Wyatt Tackett, Erie.

Male 20 to 29

1. Chris McIntyre, Colorado Springs.

2. James Breyfogle, Rio Rancho, N.M.

3. Erich Kushner, Boulder.

4. Brian Philpba, Albuquerque.

Male 30 to 39

1. Ross Kontz, Fort Collins.

2. Paul Doyle, Colorado Springs.

3. Sean Cunniff, Albuquerque.

4. David Garcia, Denver.

5. Micheal Hlavacek, Steamboat Springs.

6. Matt Morrill, Steamboat Springs.

7. Marc Esposito, Santa Fe.

8. Joseph Cardwell, Eagle.

9. Brian Reardon, Jemez, N.M .

10. Adam Watters, Rio Rancho.

11. Will Carlton, Oak Creek.

12. Blair DuBois, Albuquerque.

13. Shaan Bliss, Pagosa Springs.

14. Eric Schmalz, Boulder.

Male 40 to 49

1. Ron Bubb, Pagosa Springs.

2. Ken Gordon, Albuquerque.

3. Patrick Gaines, Littleton.

4. Jasper Benally, Kirtland, N.M.

5. Shawn Howard, Angel Fire, N.M.

6. John McAward, Durango.

7. Derek Moore, Broomfield.

8. Ron McVean, Amarillo.

9. Michael Barton, Olathe.

10. Ricardo Valenzuela, Roswell, N.M.

11. John Constan, Grand Junction.

12. Dave Bowman, Winnipeg.

13. James Parker, Glenwood Springs.

14. Talon Windwalker, Lakewood.

Male 50 to 59

1. Bob Barnett, Ignacio.

2. Roger Jensen, Pagosa Springs.

3. John Carpenter, Paonia.

4. Doug Nash, Fort Collins.

5. William Ebesohl, Colorado Springs.

6. Robert Roach.

7. Jeff Blackwell, Pagosa Springs.

Male 60 and over

1. Ed Furtaw, Pagosa Springs.

2. Paul Jensen, Utopia, Texas.

3. Raymond Bell, Hudson, Fla.

Half Marathon

Female 19 and under

1. Porta Monson, Wichita Falls, Texas.

Female 20 to 29

1. Ashley Kontz, Fort Colllins.

2. Daniella Skan, Santa Fe.

3. Courtney Sikes, Cortez.

4. Virginia Thayer, Cortez.

5. Johanna Weston, Sugar Land, Texas.

6. Clair Krause, Loveland.

7. Amanda Hurst, Bountiful, Utah.

Female 30 to 39

1. Annie Sewell, Pagosa Springs.

2. Jessica Walke, Bayfield.

3. Amber O’Donnell, Loveland.

4. Rachel Liverett, Pagosa Springs.

5. Julie Constan, Grand Junction.

6. Stephanie Jones, Pagosa Springs.

7. Samantha Moody, Albuquerque.

8. Michele Zeigler, Pagosa Springs.

9. Connie Sue O’Donnell, Pagosa Springs.

10. Laura Conley, Carmel, Ind.

Female 40 to 49

1. Sheila Berger, Pagosa Springs.

2. Michelle Dumas, Colorado Springs.

3. Jennifer Riekenberg, Pagosa Springs.

4. Karen Bunning, Pagosa Springs.

5. Diana Hardy, Santa Fe, N.M.

6. Karen Brandenburg, Colorado Springs.

7. Adria Owens, Boulder.

8. Rosalind Wu, Pagosa Springs.

9. Cynthia Gonzales, Pagosa Springs.

10. Theresa Snyder, Pagosa Springs.

11. Janet Shipley, El Prado, N.M.

12. Jean Meeks, Eugene, Ore.

13. Barbara Czinger, Santa Fe, N.M.

14. Kate Teichman, Wichita Falls, Texas.

15. Rhonda Ash, Pagosa Springs.

16. Carrie Fenton, Dallas.

Female 50 to 59

1. Marjorie Brinton, Durango.

2. Pam Iyer, Fort Collins.

3. Nancy Mike, Tsaile, Ariz.

4. Sandy Monson, Wichita Falls.

Female 60 and over

1. Jenine Ebersohl, Colorado Springs.

2. Rita Jensen, Pagosa Springs.

3. Barbara Walke, Ignacio.

Male 19 and under

1. Zach Meeks, Eugene.

2. Garret Meeks, Eugene.

3. Austin Monson,Wichita Falls, Texas.

Male 20 to 29

1. Brian VanIwarden, Canon City.

2. Matt Carnal, Colorado Springs.

3. Christopher Dampier, Princeton, N.J.

4. Clifford Schermann, Loveland.

Male 30 to 39

1. Jay Johnson, Durango.

2. Brad Higdon, Taos, N.M.

3. Pascal Enjady, Mescalero, N.M.

4. Travis McGrath.

5. Eric Montgomery, Santa Fe.

6. Eric Kimberling, Monte Vista.

7. Todd Flemion, Durango.

Male 40 to 49

1. Mark Pribramsky, Vail.

2. Mike Hilmer, Eagle.

3. Mark Watowich, Gravette, Ark.

4. Steve Tannen, Minneapolis.

5. Robert Cambell, Lawton, Okla.

Male 50 to 59

1. Terry Boos, Gallup, N.M.

2. Robbie Johnson, Pagosa Springs.

3. Jeff Ross, Pagosa Springs.

4. Jim Westmoreland, Santa Fe.

5. Kim Monson, Wichita Falls.

6. Butch Casey, Hereford, Texas.

Male 60 and over

1. Roger Rybicka, Fort Collins.

2. Dale Teichman, Wichita Falls.

3. Patrick McKenzie, Pagosa Springs.