Fast Fact: On Childhood Obesity

Nearly one-third of U.S. Children aged 4 to 19 eat fast food every day, resulting in approximately six extra pounds per year, per child.

Fast food consumption has increased fivefold among children since 1970. ("Effects of Fast-Food Consumption on Energy Intake and Diet Quality Among Children in a National Household Survey," Pediatrics, January 2004.)


A Father's Passion to Give EVERY Child Knowledge of the Outdoors

GECKO Founder Morgan Murri and Mike Le 
Roux at the Marathon des Sables in 2008, where they met

Morgan Murri, Founder of GECKO, was so inspired by the growth and transformation he witnessed in his daughter after her participation in NOLS (National OutdoorLeadership School), that he sought an opportunity to give back to the youth of today but wasn’t sure where to start. After reading Richard Louv’s book entitled, The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder (, his mission became clear. In the book, Richard Louv’s fundamental argument is that children of today are so “wired” into television, computers and video games that they’ve almost completely severed their connection to the world outdoors.

Giving Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors (GECKO). The premise sounds simple enough. Yet study after study shows that our children aren't getting enough outdoor play. And this trend isn't improving. The latest information shows that less than 25% of children are active outdoors more than twice per week. Does this statistic worry you? Because it definitely worries us.

GECKO has raised over $60,000 through events and donations since 2008. This money funds outdoor education for children through scholarships to the nation's leading outdoor educationproviders. Our goal is simple: To give EVERY child knowledge of the outdoors.

GECKO is actively seeking corporate and annual sponsors to partner with us as we grow our local, regional and nationwide campaigns to Give Every Child Knowledge of the Outdoors. Please contact us for more information.

GECKO People

GECKO headquarters, deep in the San Juan Mountains in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, is home to the dedicated men & women that help make GECKO & Athletes@Altitude thrive. GECKO enjoys the support and contribution from a vast number of generous volunteers and mentors, including an Executive Board; a Working Committee; Event Volunteers; Fundraisers and Patrons.

After operating successfully for four years of continued growth, GECKO recognized that to develop its full potential and further grow the scholarship fund it would need to expand. In January 2013 GECKO activated Athletes@Altitude (a DBA of GECKO) and engaged Mike Le Roux as Event and Coaching Director. Aside from adding new events to the calendar (including getting XTERRA onboard), there will now be Local Club & events; training camps and coaching facilities.


GECKO and Athletes@Altitude has four key objectives:

  • To give EVERY child knowledge of the outdoors. Raise as much money as possible to provide scholarships for outdoor leadership programs that will profoundly impact the lives of teenagers and make a lasting difference;
  • Deliver the most phenomenal outdoor events across all disciplines – trail running, mountain biking, ultras, road running, triathlon, road cycling, swimming and any other sport that comes our way;
  • Believe in the beautiful town of Pagosa Springs in Colorado, with it’s ideal altitude of 7,200’, and make it a central hub for outdoors events; training and racing at altitude in southern Colorado!
  • Live the dream and spread the word for training and racing outdoors, in our region and beyond, and give back to the sports that have given so much to us.

Corporate Sponsors

Nols - National Outdoor Leadership Society Road Runners Club of America A&L Coors Children and Nature The Hub