Devil Mountain Ultra 50/50

50mile & 50k Ultras+ Demons of Dust 5k, 10k & 1/2 marathon (trails)

Join us for “One hell of a run!” — August 20th, 2016

**This is a Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Event

6:30am : 50k and 50mile

8am : 1/2 marathon, 10k and 5k

830am: Kids free fun trail run

This remote and legendary classic Ultra brings runners together for two days in the pristine forest of the South San Juan Mountains around Pagosa Springs. 7,500’ of climbing, 10,000’ of elevation, bonfire party at the finish line and pancake awards breakfast combine to make this an authentic mountain ultra. With the Demons of Dust distances of 5k, 10k and half marathon, this event is now accessible to all runner abilities. Big climbs, high elevations, mountain vistas and plenty of single track through some of the region’s most spectacular wooded trail.
The ultra off-road course visits several mountain areas to the west of Turkey Springs, Chris Mountain, Middle Mountain, Horse Mountain and Devil Mountain. The terrain is nothing short of spectacular. Run it if you can! Incredible views, single-track and changing fall colors.

We added a 5k and 10k in 2013 to start at 8am, the 1/2 marathon will now start at 8am as well, all in the Demons of Dust race. We’d love to see more locals be part of the event and also partner of ultra runners fill there morning with a great (shorter run) in the scenic Turkey Springs area.

50k and 50 mile aid stations are fully stocked and located every six miles or so, but we recommend that you run with a water bottle or camelback! It is dry here and can be warm. 50 mile runners: The section from the 50/50 split, aid station #4 at mile 23.5 to aid station #5 at mile 31.9 is remote, rugged and 8 miles long! Carry two bottles at least and or a full camelback. This section is extremely beautiful and extremely remote…. You will most likely be alone for very long stretches and should plan accordingly.

Change to cut off times from 2014 – more lenient

With the race date changing to late August in 2014 and with collaboration with EMS we have been able to review the cut off times to make them much more lenient then previous to 2014, allowing more runners to finish the 50 miler. Thank you for your feedback.

Event highlights:

Spectacular course run through rarely visited forests.
Breathtaking views.
Elevation gains 2,200 for the 1/2 more that 5,000′ of the 50k and more than 8,300′ for the 50 mile.
Fresh brewed coffee at the start of the 50/50 – thanks Higher Grounds Coffee
A course comprised of more than 80% single track.
Famous “GECKO” awards handmade by local students.
Awesome SWAG, food and festivities.
DSP and Pagosa Baking Company goods at the finish line.
Bonfire and SMORS.
Pancake breakfast Awards presentation on Sunday.
Course Maps as at 22nd August 2014, subject to change weather dependent:
Demons of Dust 5k, 10k Course 2015 (Close up View)
Demons of Dust 5k, 10k Course 2015 (Broad View)
Demons of Dust Half Marathon Course 2015
50 Mile Elevation Profile (JPG 2015)
50 Kilometer Elevation Profile (JPG 2015)
50 Mile Course Map (JPG updated Aug 2015)
50k Course Map (JPG updated Aug 2015)
GECKO operates under a special use permit with the San Juan National Forest and is an equal opportunity provider.

ATHLETE UPDATE #2 (emailed 08/19/15)
To all Devil Mountain and Demons of Dust Racers!

Just a couple more days to go, and I trust that you are tapering, and starting to feel refreshed and ready to race One Hell of a Run!

GECKO sent an important email update to you on August 6th, if you haven’t received that, please scroll down below. This will give you all the details for packet pick up and directions to the start, plus important information about the weekend and what to expect. Please read this information before Saturday.

You may have received an email in error from Eventbrite on Sunday August 14th and if you did we apologize. It was an old test email they were working to fix and the information was out-dated. Please disregard that.

Here are some further updates to the information provided already, and any important changes to Saturday’s schedule:

New and Revised Course Maps – please check these out and print them off


Thanks to Ed Furtaw for helping us to finalize the 50k and 50 mile maps for the weekend, there is a slight change to the start and finish of both these events due to the US Forestry Service required change to the parking in Turkey Springs.As a result the courses are slightly closer to the full 50k and 50 mile mark then previous years. You’ll get your money’s worth of trail, we’re sure you’re happy to hear it.

Map links as above, scroll up

Half Marathon – new course and unmanned aid station (bring a hydration pack or water bottle to fill.

For a number of reasons we have had to change the half marathon course this week – it’s a completely new course, so please check out the map below. It has one big climb at about mile 6 (up Chris Mountain) but otherwise it’s a scenic and pretty route that no-one’s ever done before on a GECKO race so we are looking forward to hearing what you think!

**There is an unmanned aid station at the top of Chris Mountain (and you’ll hit it twice) so please make sure that you carry a water bottle or hydration pack to fill with either water or Clif (there won’t be cups or volunteers to help you).

See the above link for the Half marathon course map

5k and 10k – map of courses

The 5k is the same route as last year and the 10k is different, a completely new route that we hope you enjoy.

See the above link for the 5k and 10k course map

Race Memento

This year we are so delighted that our finisher medal maker Tessie Garcia (from Hands On Summer Art Camp) has made all the Finishers of the Devil Mountain Ultra (50k and 50 mile) a one of a kind hand made Mug. You will receive this when you cross the finish line.

For all other racers – Demons of Dust (5k, 10k, half marathon) you will receive a special pair of custom Demons of Dust running socks, and you will get these in your race packet.

If there are any socks left over on Saturday we will sell these first come, first serve for $12 a pair, and there are also last year’s Devil Mountain Ultra HeadSweat Visors for sale at $20 per hat.

Allegro Coffee in your race bags

We are very grateful to Higher Grounds Coffee who are providing coffee at the race and awards but have also arranged for every registered racer to get a bag of Allegro Coffee Grounds. Enjoy!

GECKO’s Beginner Running Clinic – look out for these runners on Saturday

There is a group of special runners out on the 5k course this Saturday, many of them running their first 5k ever (or first 5k in a long time). Please give them lots of encouragement. We are so proud of them for gritting out the past 10 weeks to take this challenge.

Take your Race Bib to The Rez Hill Grill & get 15% off

The brand new Rez Hill Gri ll has recently opened in the downtown Quality Inn (158 Hot Springs Blvd) for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If you take your race bib any time this weekend you will enjoy 15% off (970) 264-4173.

Long Range Weather Forecast – keeping hydrated is key on Saturday

The weather is forecast for a sunny day, 83F/51F, with no rain or wind, so please pack sun protection for both you and your crew. Also bring containers for the unmanned aid stations to fill your own water bottle (half, 50k, 50 mile). Remember at higher elevation/altitudes you’ll feel dehydrated faster and burn quicker in the sun. We strongly encourage all the 50/50 Ultra Runners to carry salt, electrolytes, e-caps, enduralytes etc”

NEW Drop Bags station at Aid Station 5&6

There are now ‘Drop Bags’ option at aid 4/7 as well as 5/6.

We have included a new drop bag opportunity for aid station 5&6 for the 50 milers (Sally Point overlook out and back)…please leave these at the start/finish tent by the sign indicating that aid station on Saturday morning. Please make sure these are clearly marked with your name and have an identifying marker so that you can allocate it easily!

Each year we have issues with wait time and ID for returning Drop Bags. Please ensure either your bib # or name is clearly marked on your bag!!! Also know that these aid stations are remote and getting bags back to the finish line will not happen until late in the evening/night.

Also be advised to let the aid station crew know you are finished with your aid bags after your final pass through an aid station. We cannot pick up bags to return tothe start finish if we are not positive you have passed through the aid station. Nothing worse then us taking your bag down before you’ve gone through!!!

Cut Off Time

The on course cut off time is 11 hours at Aid #6, at mile 35.8 (5:30pm). This is a challenging run! The out and back section of the 50-mile course is incredibly beautiful and incredibly remote and tough (especially the climb coming back to aid 7). For these reasons we will have a strict cut-off for runners departing aid 6. Adjustments may be made due to weather. We reserve the right to shorten cut-off times before or during the race due to weather and or safety concerns.

There is No Penalty for 50 mile runners to drop to the 50k at Aid Station #4

At aid station 4 (at 23.2 miles) 50 mile runners will have the opportunity to decide whether they want to drop down to the 50k. There are no penalties to runners that do this – you will receive your time for the 50k, provided you tell both the aid sta tion manager at Aid 4 and you tell the timing system operator when you finish.

The approximately 20 mile out and back from aid station 4 back to aid 7 takes in some of the most remote back country trails and very steep terrain. If you get to aid 4 and are not certain of your ability to finish, use this opportunity to play it safe.

Note that the cut off time for mandatory change from 50 mile to 50 k is 2pm (7.5 hours)

Trail Marking and Course Condition

There has been a lot of rain in the area and the grass is very long. Please look up for trail marking as they will likely be in the trees and in low hanging shrubs.

All of you will be following new bright Pink ribbon, almost 100% attached to wooden clothes pins. US Forestry Service has a number of different colored ribbons in the area, please only follow the plain luminous pink ribbon tape, on wooden clothes pins. th ere are some pin flags in mostly the same pink (with potentionally a couple of red ones).

This will be a well marked course but it is the runner’s responsibility to know the course map. Please print it off and carry it with you if you’re unsure, particularly for the longer distances.

There are a large number of cattle in the area this week – they have eaten the flagging tape in the past, if you’re following a trail and you see cattle please be extra vigilant of trail marking and aware of where you are going – look for evidence of trail marking as you go.

We are looking forward to sharing this special part of the world with you and to see you reap the rewards or your training and ability.

See you in the dirt on Saturday!

Mike Le Roux
Race Director

ATHLETE UPDATE #1 (emailed 08/06/15)

With Devil Mountain Ultra & Demons of Dust Trail Runs both just around the corner, we trust that your training is on track and you’re ready for One Hell of a Run!

The GECKO Difference

If you didn’t already know, all proceeds from this event go to GECKO (Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors), a local 501c3 Charity raising funds to get kids off the couch, unplugged and outside! We want to thank you for choosing a GECKO race and we hope you feel good that by racing you are also paying it forward. Look out for the GECKO Scholars at the event, out on the course and helping, they will have just returned from their GECKO/NOLS summer adventures in July.

Saturday 22nd August Schedule Summary –all distances start and finish in the same place (and please note that this location has changed in 2015! Read below…)

530am Mandatory check in of all ultra(50/50)runners. Leave marked items at the drop bags station

615am Mandatory Race Briefing

630am Devil Mountain Ultra (50/50)

8am Demons of Dust Half Marathon (on the day registration/packet pick upis from 645am)

8am Demons of Dust 5k and 10k (on the day registration/packet pick up is from 645am)

830am Kids Free Fun Run

Additional/New Race Distances: Demons of Dust

If you have friends, family or supporters coming with you to Pagosa Springs for the weekend of Devil Mountain, please let them know that we have added three distances to the event. At 8:00am the Demons of Dust half marathon, 5km &10km and will leave from the same start/finish area.Registration is online, or Friday night or on the morning of the race.There is no pressure to finish these distances quickly, so they can hike, jog or take younger children who are able to cover the distance. Dogs on leashes are also permitted.

NEW RACE START/FINISH AREA: Directions and Parking

If you have attended this race in past years, please note that we have moved the start/finish 2 miles further down Turkey Springs Road, to the Brockover Trail Head.

US Forestry have given us strict guidelines for parking on only ONE side of Turkey Springs Road in single file, all the way back to the Chris Mountain parking lot. There is no parking allowed down Brockover Road. It’s only a short walk from the corner of Turkey Springs, down Brockover to the actual start. Please follow instructions from our parking attendants to ensure the safety of our race permit.We do encourage the use of car-pooling where practical. We also suggest you leave yuorself a little extra time to park and walk and to the start.

Access to the Start/Finish line area is via CO Rd 600/Piedra Rd. Head North West along CO Rd 600/Piedra Rd for 6.4 miles. Turn left onto Co Rd 146/Forest Service Rd 629/Turkey Springs Rd for 4.2 miles. You can also access Piedra Road (turning left) from North Pagosa Blvd.

Here’s a link to the Start/Finish area.

This is the easiest and safest route – the majority of navigational systems will direct you a longer, more arduous and potentially more “vehicle wrecking “ route.

Ultra 50/50 Sign up

There is No DAY BEFORE or DAY OF sign up for the 50k or 50 mile. We will close online registration for the 50/50 midday Thursday 20th August so if you know someone still thinking of registering please let him or her know this.

Bib / Packet Pick up

BIB / Packet Pick up will be held on Friday, August 21st at the Start/Finish line area from 4pm to 9pm. ID will be required for pick up.THERE WILL BE NO PACKET PICK UP OR REGISTRATION FOR 50 MILERS OR 50 K’ERS ON THE MORNING OF THE RACE.

5k, 10k and half-marathon runners may register on Friday, August 21st at the Start/Finish line area from 4pm to 9pm or on Saturday morning from 6:45 to 7:30am at the start/finish area. Only online entries are guaranteed a swag filled race bag and race socks. Late registration rates will apply for on the day registration.

Race Start and Briefing times/Mandatory Check-in

For safety reasons there is a mandatory check in on Saturday morning before the 50/50. ALL ULTRA RUNNERS must check in before 6:15am on race morning.

The 50mile and 50k race will start at 6:30am sharp on Saturday 23rd August. The race briefing will be held at 6:15am at the Start/Finish area.

The half-marathon,5k and 10kwill start at 8:00am sharp. The race briefing will be held at 7:45am at the Start/Finish area.

Course Maps

Currently the 2014 maps are online. There is a slight change to the start and finish trail access based on the new start/finish area, but this doesn’t significantly change the Ultra course or the aid station locations (although the distances to and between aid stations will change by approximately 2 miles). Revised and updated course maps for 2015 will be uploaded onto the web page next week and a notification will go out on Facebook. These maps will have aid stations and their distances clearly marked for you.

The 5k, 10k and half marathon map is online here.There is no aid station on course for the 5k distance. There is a finisher aid station. The majority of this course distance is run through ponderosa and aspen forest and is shaded.

Cut-off times for the 50 mile race only


11hrs at Aid #6, approx mile 35.5 tbc (5:30pm)

This is a challenging run! The out and back section of the 50-mile course is incredibly beautiful and incredibly remote and tough (especially the climb coming back to aid 7). For these reasons we will have a strict cut-off for runners departing aid 6. Adjustments may be made due to weather.

We reserve the right to shorten cut-off times before or during the race due to weather and or safety concerns.

Drop Bags

Drop bags will be allowed for 50/50 runners only. A drop bag section will be available at the Start/Finish area. You will access your drop bags at aid stations 4 and 7 (you return to the same aid station twice in a loop).

All drop bags need to be placed in this area between 5:30 – 6:15am on Saturday morning.


This is an iPod friendly race. However, because this is a public trail with other trail users (runners, horse riders, mountain bikers, etc) we ask that you use these devices responsibly.

Head Lamps & Weather Gear

Ultra runners – you may need a head lamp for the morning and the evening, please make sure you have these with you and pack them in your drop bags. Think carefully about warm/weather gear you may need as well, particularly for the mornings and evenings, weather in the mountains can change quickly. Monsoonal rains are typically in the afternoons in late summer. Be prepared for hot weather and cold weather in the same race.

On Course Fuel & Nutrition

Thanks to Clif Company for supplying on course fuel for this race (lemon/lime and raspberry shot, blocks, a variety of gels, protein and energy bars). We’ll also have a variety of sweet and salty runners snacks and water at every aid station. Only 50/50 ultra runners will be able to use a drop bag. Aid stations locations and distances will be clearly marked on the new map (and are marked on the existing Demons of Dust map already).

Timing Chips

All runners will receive a plastic electronic timing chip with a neoprene/velcro ankle strap at registration/packet pick up. The number on your timing chip will correlate with the number on your race bib.

It is important that for accurate timing and results the chip is fixed to the outside of your right ankle using the neoprene/velcro strap. Timing chips will be removed and collected as soon as you cross the finish line and any damaged, broken or missing chips will incur a fee of $20.00.


Crew can get to aid 4 (please NO DOGS ALLOWED HERE), approx mile 21.5. It is a 6 mile drive on dirt road and then a 3/4 of a mile hike on closed dirt road, mellow but uphill all the way. For 50 milers this is also aid 7 at qpprox mile 43. Crew can also get to aid 5/6 mile 29 and 32ish. but it is a long way (hour or so) on dirt road. Drop bags will be collected at the start/finish onthemorning of the race for these two locations. We STRONGLY recommend the 50 milers have a light in aid 4/7 as many of you will finish in the dark. And, if you are slow but steady you would want a light at aid 5/6 (someone spent the night out there a couple of years ago, and we’d prefer to avoid that this year.) We suggest warm clothing for after dark as well.

The start/finish line is far from any shops or amenities so please have your family and friends crewing or spectating bring weather proof clothing, deck chairs or blankets and any picnic food and drink they may need for the day. There are no vendors at the start/finish and the aid stations are for athletes. Turkey Springs is a beautiful place to spend the day but it’s far from town.

Finish Line Celebrations

As ultra runners finish late into the night we encourage finishers and spectators to help cheer them in. We will have a bonfire and smors, so bring your campfire chairs and rug up warm. Sierra Nevada kindly offers a celebratory beer to finishers over 21yo, and we’ll have those cold and in coolers waiting for you!

Awards Presentation and Sunday Breakfast

The pancake breakfast will start at 8am on Sunday morning with the Awards Presentation & Swag giveaway at 9am. We’d love to see as many of you there as possible. It is free to athletes and volunteers, and a donation of your choosing is requested from non-athletes.


We are pleased to have Elite Recycling sponsor this eventproviding receptacles for trash that will be sorted and recycled.


There is primitive/bush camping near the start/finish area (it is National Forest) and you are welcome to camp out with the GECKO team on Friday and Saturday night. PLEASE make sure that you are camped off the actual race trail and parking lot at the trail head – we will try to designate camping areas.

There are no ablution facilities (besides the porta-potties provided for the race) and no water or showers. GECKO has number of accommodation partners with great discounts for those with race bibs.As an added incentive to book the Quality Inn or Quality Resort during your stay, there is a generous discount of 20% off.

Down town Quality Inn

Up Town Quality Resort

Both links will give the 20% discount automatically when booking.

Kids 10 and under Free Fun Run

There is a low key, fun trail run for the kiddos at 830am (approximately 1 mile) hosted by a local non profit called Retro Metro. Check them out!

It’s completely free and aimed at kids 10 years and younger, but there’s still a registration and complusory waiver to sign (this opens at 730am). They get a Clif Kids Bar and a medal at the finish line as well as a race bib just like mom and dad!Parents are welcome to run with smaller kids.

Last minute

The Hub Bike Shopalso has nutrition, hydration and running gear for any last minuterequirements, and ask for 10% off as a GECKO racer. If you’re in town early and you’re looking for good fare Higher Grounds Coffee (uptown) and Pagosa Baking Company (downtown) make the best coffee and have delicious breakfast, lunch, snacks or cakes all day.

Fresh coffee

Higher Grounds Coffee will be providing fresh brewed coffee at the 8am race start and at the Awards Breakfast.

Weather Forecast

We’ll have a weather check the week of the race and send any updates or pertinent information.


There’ll be race surveys for you to fill out at the finish line and the awards breakfast. You go into the draw to win SWAG if you do! Look out for the surveys.

If you can’t race any longer

If for some reason you’re no longer able to race – please let us know so that can update the start list. Also read our refund and transfer policy here( to help you decide the best way forward before contacting us.

Facebook & Twitter Updates

If you want fun updates and latest news about the race, please keep an eye out on theGECKO Facebook pageand Twitter @joingecko – it’s where we post photos, videos, and updates!

Check the gallery from previous years – you get a good sense of the event, and there are blogs, videos and photos to look through.

2014 Photo Gallery

Devil Mountain is one of GECKO’s favorite and treasured events and we’d love you to enjoy the race as much as we do, so if you have any concerns, or have any questions,please send us an email

See you in the dirt!

Mike Le Roux

Race Director