Mountain Chile Cha Cha

September 22, 2018 — featuring the incredible terrain of Reservoir River Ranch!

5k (3.1miles), 10k (6.2miles) and 1/2 marathon (13.1miles)

SCENIC TRAIL RUN ON PRIVATE TRAILS! Followed by an all-day Chile Festival!

730am Kid’s Race start & 830am Main Race start

RACE UPDATE 9/28/30!

Hello all! We are ready and hope you are too!

It’s been beautiful fall weather, cool damp mornings and partly cloudy than raining late afternoons – saturday looks similar so prepare for a cool-brisk run, great recovery and time for dancing beer and margaritas before it gets wet. Expect the trail to be muddy in spots (YAY!)

Your biggest challenge for this event will be parking!!! Hot springs blvd is CLOSED! Parking on San Juan street (your best option) will take some extra time to get to but will allow you to walk right across the pedestrian bridge to the start/finish. VERY LIMITED parking will be available on Hermosa street, but save the headache, drive the extra 7 minutes and avoid the mess.

Please see these two photos for a visual map and written driving instructions. (On the visual map your best parking option on San Juan Street is the lot that is location on the map right where it says CLOSED on the red lettered Hot Springs Blvd. Bridge Closed text box.

Please give yourself ample time to park and walk to the start. You are also highly encouraged to check in Friday night and get you packet, bib etc. Kip Grill and Cantina (an awesome place to hang and eat too!) 121 E Pagosa Street from 4pm-7pm. You can check in Saturday morning but it’s going to be busy and congested.

COURSE – unchanged in the last two years. Fun Hard and BEAUTIFUL! Aid every 2-4 miles.

EVENT SCHEDULE: Kids free fun race 2-9 (or so year olds 1/4-1/3 mile or so depending on kids age) 7:30 a.m

Final packet pick up/late registration 7a.m.-8a.m. Start/Finish

Course Briefing and welcome 8:15 a.m. Start/Finish

5k, 10k, 1/2 Start 8:30 a.m.

Food/Beer garden open 11 a.m.

Margarita tasting and contest begins 11:30 a.m.

Awards 12-12:30ish depending on 1/2 marathon final finisher.

Chile tasting starts 12:30

Live music – Brooks-I band 12;30

Festival closes 4:00 p.m.

THANKS! Any questions email or call morgan 303-475-6053

Race highlights:

Spectacular views
iPod friendly (although you may enjoy the sounds of nature so much you won’t need it!)
Well stocked aid stations
Extra well marked course
Multiple course options—something for everyone
Top rated race bags, SWAG giveaway and prizes
Awesome Single -Track and fun elevation gains
A course comprised almost entirely of off-road trails!
Famous “GECKO” awards handmade by local students
Killer Mountain Chile Cha Cha festival with food, beer and music after the run
Proceeds from the race goes to the local Pagosa Springs charity GECKO (Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors).

Through the gracious generosity of the Levine family a large portion of this run takes place on pristine private property know as Reservoir River Ranch. The Ranch is otherwise inaccessible—we ask that you be respectful of this beautiful property and treat it as if it were your own. All entrants will receive a commemorative race memento, all finishers will receive a bright chile finisher’s necklace; all age group winners will receive a handmade (by local kids at the Elementary school) adobe chile medallion, and the top men and women for each of the three distances will receive a special medal award hand crafter by local artist (and Re.Sport Owner, Scott Slind). We’re working with our sponsors to make sure we have great prizes too, and Swag Giveaways.

The courses are all the same last year with 98% off-road, beautiful trails to keep you entertained. All runners in all three distances will run the first 3kms together.

It’s a challenging course, with more than 2300’ of climbing. The course consists of approximately a 1/4 mile of paved road—the balance being trail which ranges from dirt road to double track to single track. The trail is mountainous and scenic with awesome views as well as challenging climbing & descending. Additionally, this course features a family and spectator friendly finish though downtown Pagosa Springs.

Perhaps the most unique and exciting part of this race is its relationship with the Mountain Chile Cha Cha festival. What better way to round out the day then to enjoy live music, cold beer and great food? If it’s hot you can cool off in the San Juan River or relax under the park trees while the chiles cook and the music rocks.

5k course map

10k course map

Half Marathon course map

Elevation Profile (PDF)

GECKO operates under a special use permit with the San Juan National Forest and is an equal opportunity provider.


Much in the same way that Easterners equate the smell of pressed apples with the coming of fall, Southwesterners know it’s autumn by the smell of roasting green chiles, usually the Hatch variety from New Mexico, but sometimes Big Jims, which are commonly grown around Grand Junction. The eighth annual Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic will offer up more than $600 in prize money and some pretty sweet trophies and bragging rights. Hundreds of people will line up to taste and judge chiles hand crafted by professionals and home cooks. This event will be slightly different than a typical chile cook-off because it ONLY features green chile, a dish that is ubiquitous in our region but not as well-known outside of New Mexico and southern Colorado. Public tasting opens at 12:30.

For more information contact Jacque at or visit to download an entry form or find out about the competition and tasting.


We have had several “real green chile aficionados” pre- order bushels that can be picked up at the cha cha. If you get your green from Wal-mart or the regular grocery it is likely is has been sitting for 20 days before it gets to you. That’s why it is so cheap. We will have freshly picked from Hatch, New Mexico 2 days before at the festival. You can pre-order hot, extra hot and medium. Help us keep roasting at the Cha Cha and order today! Call Jacque 264-4237.

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.

Celebrating 11 Years!

BIB / Packet Pick up – Kip’s Grill & Cantina

If you can please try and attend the Chip/Bib/Packet pick up and last minute registrations on Friday, September 29th from 4pm to 7pm. This will be held in the parking lot of one of our presenting sponsors Kip’s Grill & Cantina, 121 Pagosa Street, Downtown Pagosa Springs.

We encourage you to try and make the most of this opportunity, as it will be busy on race morning. ID is required for pick up. Kip’s is offering all athletes and their families a RED HOT MEAL DEAL:

Double Beef Burger with any Beer! Includes chips and fixins! Plus Free Chips & Salsa (one per table)! Only $9.95 per person

Valid for:

4-7pm Fri 29th Sept

4-7pm Sat 30th Sept


There will be a voucher in the race bags.

We encourage you to try and make the most of this opportunity, as it will be busy on race morning.

As a last resort, registration and race bag collection is at the Start/Finish area from 6:30 – 8:00am on September 30th.

Kid’s Free Fun Run

Race Start and Briefing

The race will start at 8:30am sharp on Saturday September 30th. The race briefing will be held at 8:15am at the Start/Finish area.

There will be a 4 hour cut-off for the half marathon.


We update our GECKO Facebook regularly with race information, race photos, latest news etc. There’s also a Mountain Chile Cha Cha page and the Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic Cook off & Tasting.

Course Map & Elevation Profile

iPod friendly

This is an iPod friendly race. However, because it is still a trail race with other trail users (runners, horse riders, mountain bikers, other users) we ask that the use of these devices is done responsibly, and that you pay attention to trail marshals giving instructions.

Directions and Parking

Access to the Start/Finish line area is at Town Park, in the

heart of downtown Pagosa.

Directions: Parking can be accessed from the east side of Hermosa Street

or from Hot Springs Blvd.

Designated parking will be available at the Start /Finish area. There may be road closures at the kids race start so allow for extra time to

get parked and to the start.


Mountain Chile Cha Cha Festival

7:00am Packet Pick up & Registration Opens

730am Kid’s Free Fun Run (10 years and under)

830am Mountain Chile Cha Cha Trail Run (5k/10/Half marathon)

10:30 am Mexican Beer Garden

Noon – Live Music and Dancing with the Brooks-I band!

11am Kids Fun Corner by Timberline Framers (Balloon Artist, Henna Tattooist, Coloring In Competition with prizes, Face Painting, Chile Characters, Hoola Hoops)

12noon Margarita Contest featuring local restaurants (tastings available to the public)

1230pm Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic (Green Chile Cook Off & Tasting of 40+ chiles)


4pm Festival closes


Awards and Celebrations at the Finish Line

Awards presentations will be at the Start/Finish area commencing between 12 and 12:30pm.

The most unique and exciting part of this race is its relationship with the Mountain Chile Cha Cha festival. What better way to round out the day then to enjoy live latin music, cold Mexican beer (our sponsors are Dos Equis & Tecate), a local restuarant Margarita Contest and delicious southwest green chile? (You can buy a tasting plate at 1230pm)

If it’s hot you can cool off in the San Juan River or relax under the park trees while the chiles cook and the music rocks.

This is a full day, all weather, free festival. There’s fun for the whole family with a Fun Activities Kid’s Corner (thanks to Timberline Framers).


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.


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

When you arrive in Pagosa Springs

The Hub Bike Shop also has nutrition, hydration and running gear for any last minute requirements, 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.

We are very grateful to Higher Grounds Coffee who are providing coffee at the race.. Enjoy!

Please thank these folk & visit their businesses!

Kip’s Grill & Cantina

Chavolo’s Taqueria

Pagosa Baking Company

Elite Disposal & Recycling

Higher Grounds Coffee

The Choke Cherry Tree

Timberline Framers

Rez Hill Grill

If you have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on the details below.

Morgan Murri