With Saturday’s race day fast approaching, we hope that you’re feeling ready, and that you are looking forward to riding on the picturesque trails of Pagosa Springs, Colorado.
Below is information pertaining to the race. It will also be available on the website, and will be updated prior to the race with supplemental information, if necessary.

Ride Camp Location
The Ride Camp (start/finish line and parking) is located at a gravel pit in National Forest approximately 8 miles east of Hwy 84, along county road 302 (Mill Creek Road). Follow the Google maps link below. There will be sign posts for the ride along the road. Head east on Mill Creek Rd.  Continue onto Fr 662 for 3.0 mi. Continue onto Fr 665. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/37.2662033,-106.9920263/37.2700233,-106.8816228/@37.2683378,-106.9348201,13z

Rider Registration
Everyone regardless of whether you entered online or not but check in at registration. 25 mile, 50 mile and 75 mile will be able to check-in/register and vet check from 2pm to 7pm on Friday 19th July at Ride Camp. 
It is mandatory that all 50 and 75 milers pre-Vet and check in on Friday, as there will be no allowances for this on Saturday morning. 
25 milers can register and pre-vet check from 535am to 750am on Saturday June 20th at Ride Camp.

Start times: 
75 mile : 5:00am
50 mile : 5:30am
25 mile : 8:00am

All riders will be required to present their current AERC membership card at registration. Non AERC members will be required to purchase a one day license for $15.00 at registration (cash, credit card or receipt). All riders will receive their vet card and a map at registration.  ID may be required for pick up.
If you know others planning to register on the day or day before at the Ride Camp, late registration rates will apply. Online registration closes at midday on Thursday. http://joingecko.org/info.asp?uid=378 Here is the registration link.

Fees are as follows:
75 mile ride : $150 online/$165 at Ride Camp
50 mile ride : $110 online/$120 at Ride Camp
25 mile ride : $90 online/$100 at Ride Camp

Ride Camp Camping
The gravel pit that we have been permitted to use by the USFS is relatively small. We would appreciate it if campers could keep this in mind when parking trailers, trucks and rigs, maximizing the space so that we can fit everyone in. There will be porta-pottys on site. This is a gravel pit – so there is no grassed area. Please keep this in mind when determining what system you will be using for corralling horses. Dogs will be required to be on a leash at all times.
There are no existing facilities located at the base camp area. Trailer camping and camping will be allowed on site from Thursday 18th June 2015 to Monday 22nd June. There is no requirement for LD riders (25 milers) to camp, providing that they ensure enough time to have horses pre-ride checked on Saturday morning. USFS has allowed us to leave manure on site provided it is scattered and spread, and not left in piles.

Mandatory Course Briefing
There will be a mandatory rider briefing (race director on course and head Vet on horse safety and vet checks) for the 50-mile and 75-mile at 7pm on Friday June 19th at Ride Camp. 25 milers are welcome to attend and all questions will be answered for all the distances but the mandatory ride briefing for 25 mile is at 750am on Saturday.

Facebook Updates
We update our Facebook daily with race information, race photos, latest news etc – so definitely find us on Facebook here <https://www.facebook.com/pages/GECKO/324829909101> and get your updates first!

Weed Free Hay
The USFS has stipulated that we have to use certified weed free hay. We have done our best to source this through Tractor Supply in town and were let down this week when the order of hay did not arrive. Unfortunately we are not aware of any other place in Pagosa Springs that stocks this. Please do your best to comply with this permit restriction, as this is our first race, we will be reviewed for our adherence to the regulations, and this could impact it’s continuity.

Course Map
Here is the link to the latest Course Map. Vet Checks as noted on the map. The course will consist of a 25 mile loop and a 50 mile loop, with riders intersecting two vet check areas. GECKO operates under a special use permit with the San Juan National Forest and is an equal opportunity provider. http://joingecko.org/uploads/psehr%202015%20course%20map.pdf

On Course Vet checks
Dr Dwight Hooton is our Head Vet, other Vets on course are Dr Jim Baldwin and Dr Greg Bell.  We have over 40 volunteers helping for the first time at this event. We thank them all for their time. 

Bring your drink of choice and your s’mors for an evening celebration next to the campfire. Awards will be held at 7pm at Ride Camp. There will be 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for each category plus best condition for 50 and 75 milers.

Cut Offs
Race cut offs will be enforced for the 50 and 75 milers at the discretion of the Head Vet, subject to race and course conditions. The Head Vet will expand on this at the pre-ride briefing on Friday evening.

The long range forecast for Saturday a hot day of 85F, with the possibility of afternoon thunderstorms. There is plenty of shade around and a tent erected so bring your deck chairs. Also make sure you pack your sunglasses, sun hat and sunscreen for protection, as high elevation sun burns skin easily, even in overcast weather. This is the mountains, be prepared for afternoon lightening and thunderstorms. Weather changes quickly in mountain terrain, be prepared for everything. Make sure you stay hydrated.

If you are looking for accommodation for family or crew The Quality Inn downtown offers a discount of 20% off for GECKO participants. Down town Quality Inn <http://www.qualityinn.com/ires/en-US/html/ArrivalInfo?hotel=CO306&srp=LGECKO&pu=no> Use the link to receive the discount. Alternatively www.visitpagosasprings.com has accommodation options.

Res Hill Grill and The View Restaurant
The Quality Inn Downtown has a new restaurant and will be offering discounts – look out for these on Facebook updates. The View Restaurant uptown inside the Quality Inn has Sunday Brunch from 10m to 2pm, and all riders will get 10% off when mentioning GECKO.

Looking after your spectator entourage
Mill Creek is a beautiful setting but it is far from shops and restaurants. As we only provide aid station food for riders, please encourage your spectators/crew to pack some food and drinks for themselves as well as a deck chair or picnic rug, and sun protection as there will be nothing for sale at the Ride Camp.

Fresh coffee at the start line
Higher Grounds Coffee will be providing fresh brewed coffee at the race start.

Brown Bag Lunch for Riders and Volunteers
Subway is sponsoring a brown bag lunch for all riders and volunteers to be collected at the Ride Camp after 11am.

Recycling and Trash
We are delighted to have Elite Recycling at all our events this year providing trash cans and recycling bins. 

Local handmade caramels in your race bags
The Choke Cherry Tree has sent us delicious little caramel treats for your race bag. Check out their store and deli north of MacDonalds.

There’ll be rider surveys for you to fill out at the finish line from our Tourism Commission that helps funds events in Pagosa Springs. Each survey will go into the draw to win an item of SWAG! Look out for the surveys.

Course condition
The course is looking fantastic, there’s been some moisture which means it’s not too dusty, and the spring flowers are out in bloom. You’re in for a great day in the dirt. There may some residual mud from the volume of rain that we’ve had in the last few weeks, although there is sunshine forecast all week.

Support the businesses that support your racing
If you are out and about and come across these businesses, please thank them for the support and sponsorship of this new race.
San Juan Backcountry Horsemen; Dr. Greggory S. Bell – Centennial Equine Sports Medicine; Subway Pagosa Springs; Elite Recycling; Higher Grounds Coffee; Parelli Natural Horsemanship; Quality Inn & Resorts; Res Hill Grill; Goodmans Department Store; Archuleta Wildland County Fire; Choke Cherry Tree; Sierra Nevada; Moes Maps; Visit Pagosa Springs; Pagosa Springs Sun; KWUF; Southwest Land Alliance; US Forestry Service; Hands on Summer Art Camp & Tessie Garcia; Clifbar Company. 

The Pagosa Springs difference
Pagosa Springs is famous for the Guinness Book of World Records Deepest Hot Springs, and hot springs are known for their healing restorative qualities. After a long day in the saddle, soak away tired muscles at any of the hot springs facilities in down town Pagosa Springs. Healing Waters, The Overlook and the Hots Springs Resort all have day entry prices to enjoy the springs.

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 event and we hope you feel good that by riding here you are also paying it forward. Look out for the GECKO Scholars on Saturday out on the course and helping, they are all heading out on their GECKO/NOLS summer adventures in July.

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

This is the first time that GECKO is staging an event with horses and we are looking forward to the challenge. Thank you for being part of the inaugural race.

If you have any specific queries, please do not hesitate to contact me directly on the details below.
We are looking forward to hosting you this weekend and most importantly – we hope you enjoy it!


Mike Le Roux
Ride Director

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