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By Kirsten Le Roux
Special to The SUN
GECKO (Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors) held its Fourth of July Star Spangled Shuffle 3k and 5k fun community run on Friday. GECKO organizers had planned for 80 participants and were surprised and pleased when over 150 runners, joggers and walkers turned up to shuffle, saunter and sprint the two distances.
Event race director Mike Le Roux commented, “We really had no idea what to expect for a turnout. We knew there’d be a lot of tourists in town and we hoped they would attend, but you never know the first year. We asked for a show of hands and at least 80 percent were out of towners; it was great to see town busy this weekend and know that those visitors enjoyed a healthy start to their Fourth celebrations.”
There were six prize packs for best dressed with red, white and blue or stars and stripes as a theme, and the contestants didn’t disappoint, with plenty of star-spangled flair and patriotic pride shown on the course.
Tessie Garcia and the elementary school art class outdid themselves again with red, white and blue star-shaped medals that were worn with pride at the finish line. GECKO received many compliments on the event and many participants made plans to come again next year. After the event, there was time to walk up the road to the parade and enjoy the rest of the day’s festivities downtown.
The next GECKO event is also a first, called “8 Hours of Wolf Creek.” It’s a short-lapped mountain bike or trail run course and you can do as many laps as you like in eight hours, teams or solo, and enjoy the social atmosphere. Registration is online or on the day of the event, and with a different twist, you can pay what you want and what you can.
For more information about GECKO events, go to www.joingecko.org or call race director Mike Le Roux at 398-0613.