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Mountain Chile Cha Cha

September 26th, 2015 — featuring the incredible terrain of Reservoir River Ranch!

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

*This is a Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Event

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

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

Race highlights:

  • Spectacular views
  • Chip timed
  • Clif Product on course and at the end
  • iPod friendly (although you may enjoy the sounds of nature so much you won’t need it!)
  • Well stocked aid stations (Clif Company plus more)
  • 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 as 2013s 100% off-road, with plenty of beautiful trails to keep you entertained. All runners in all three distances will run the first 5kms together.

    The 10K course has been revised this year. All runners in all distances will run the first 5kms together, then the 10km runners (and 1/2 Marathon runners) continue up a series of switchbacks to the top of reservoir hill, traveling along to the Levine Property. The 10km then returns back along the 5km to the finish.

    The 1/2 Marathon also has a new course in 2013. You will run, the 5km loop with the others then along with the 10km runners you’ll continue up a series of switchbacks to the top of reservoir hill, traveling along to the Levine Property. After the 10km runners turn off, the 1/2 Marathon course runs along newly created single track which takes you to the opposite side of reservoir hill, into a basin, which forms a lollipop route as you return back on the same trail.

    It’s a challenging course, with more than 2300’ of climbing. The course consists of approximately a 1/2 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.

    Course Maps (PDF)

    Elevation Profile (PDF)

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

    iPod friendly

    This is an iPod friendly race. However, because it is still a trail race with other people on the course (runners, horse riders, mountain bikers, other users) we ask that the use of these devices is done responsibly.

    If there are a few tunes that you need to get you through a rough patch, then great, but please be respectful and mindful of your surroundings.

    The noise of the forest in late summer is always a better alternative.

    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 kid's race start so allow for extra time.

    On Course Fuel

    Our sponsor CLIF Bar and Clif Shot will be supplying on course fuel for this race - on course and afterwards. We'll also have a variety of runner’s snacks and water at every aid station. Aid stations locations and distances are clearly marked on the map course above.


    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.

    Corporate Sponsors

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