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XTERRA Turkey Track Trail Run

June 4th, 2016 — A classic mountain trail run. 5k, 10k, 1/2 & Full marathon distances.

Event highlights:

  • Kids Free Fun Race at 930am
  • Points towards the XTERRA Colorado Trail Series
  • Points towards the Trail Runner Trophy Series
  • iPod friendly
  • Chip-timed
  • Best of our trails, almost 100% single track
  • More than 90% of course is through wooded forests.
  • Mellow elevation gain, less than 1,500’— the ideal early-season layout.
  • Perfect transition from a 'road' to a 'trail' race.
  • Famous "GECKO" awards handmade by local students.
  • Great SWAG
  • Killer after party at Pagosa Brewing Co.
  • 15-20% off accommodation with GECKO partners


In its 7th year, this old mountain classic 1/2 & full trail marathon joined the XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Series in 2012 and has added a 5k and 10k distance in 2013! As always the race is also part of the 2015 Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series Event.

Turkey Track is a spectacular 13.1 or 26.2 mile trail run on sweet single track, and with the start at 8,100 feet of altitude you're in for incredible mountain vistas and pristine mountain air as you follow the edges of dynamic canyons and through Ponderosa and Aspen forests. Plus your share of roots, rocks, turkeys and perhaps a little bit of mud! This run has mellow elevation gain, less than 1,500’— the ideal early-season layout. It's really the perfect transition from a 'road' to a 'trail' race.

Besides the scenic trails, there are lots of reasons that runners return year after year to this race, and now with XTERRA there'll be more SWAG; XTERRA sponsor on course support (aid stations will be fully stocked with all the usual snacks and fruit plus plenty of PowerBar race nutrition and Gatorade); and a chance to rack up those XTERRA points. XTERRA has supplied plenty of signage and flagging tape for a well marked, easy to follow course. Expect a stocked race bag and race memento. We're also iPod friendly if that's your thing.

Turkey Track is a race that prides itself on being a memorable day out. The friendly people of Pagosa Springs come out to make it so: aid stations are run by local community groups like the ATV Club Pagosa Trail Riders, the Roller Derby R.I.P team and the Pagosa Springs High School Cross Country team–the Pirates. They all run like clock work and are always well stock and well briefed. As you'd expect from a race set in an authentic mountain town–there are horses! The San Juan Backcountry Horsemen also assist us on the day out on the course, up on their trusty steeds they act as marshals, lead out and sweep.

We have a state of the art electronic chip timing system, with splits at the half way. You'll get accurate results fast. We also have a course photographer and the race is iPod friendly. We all meet afterwards at the Pagosa Brewing Company to celebrate a great day out on the trails. Every finisher will get a Famous "GECKO" medal - handmade by local students – a Turkey Track tradition.

What's more?! Expect plenty of old fashioned mountain town hospitality in Pagosa Springs (there's lots of accommodation choices with GECKO Partners who offer 15% discount for racers and their families) and you can visit the world's deepest hot springs for a well deserved soak after you run. There's plenty for family & friends to do while you're running.

There will be a kids free fun trail run (kids 10 years and under) at 930am at the start/finish area. Registration on the day of only.

Saving the best part for last: proceeds from the race registration go to GECKO raises money to fund programs that gets kids unplugged, off the couch and outside!

Course Map and Elevation Profile:

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

RACE UPDATE #1 - emailed June 8th at 830pm

Hello XTERRA Turkey Track Trail runners,

With your race on Saturday, I hope that you are resting up, and looking forward to running some sweet flowing single track.

We also have an XTERRA triathlon and the PLOW Swim Challenge the morning after your race - read below if you'd like to sign up for either and back up with a race on Sunday!

Below is information pertaining to the race. It will also be available on the web page. 

Bib & Chip / Packet Pick up

BIB & Chip/ Packet Pick up will be held on Friday, June 12th in the parking lot of the The Hub Bike Store from 4:00 to 8:00pm, 100 Country Center Drive Suite F (970) 731-2002.

The Hub Bike Shop will have specials in store on nutrition, hydration packs, running gear and shoes. So if you forget anything or need a last minute stock up, make sure to stop in there. The Hub also sells GECKO merchandise. 

We encourage you to try and make the most of this opportunity, as it will be busy on race morning. ID may be required for pick up.

As a last resort, bibs can be picked up at the Start/Finish area from 6:30 – 7:30am for Half & Full Marathon and 8:30 to 9:30am for the 5k & 10k on Saturday 13th.

Late registration rates will apply for on the day registration and only online registrations are guaranteed race socks. 

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 cost of $20.00.

Kids 10 and under Free Fun Trail Run

There is a low key, fun trail run for the kiddos at 930am (about 1 mile). It’s free but there’s still a registration, which opens at 9am. They get fun stuff and a medal at the finish line as well as a race bib just like mom and dad! 

Race Start and Briefing

The half & full Marathon will start at 8:00am sharp on Saturday 13th June. The race briefing will be held at 7:30am at the Start/Finish area. The 5k & 10k will start at 10:00am sharp on Saturday 13th June. The race briefing will be held at 9:45am at the Start/Finish area.

Drop Bags & Cut Off Times for Marathoners

Drop bags will be allowed for marathon runners only. A drop bag section will be available at the Start/Finish area. As this is a 13.1 mile looped course, runners can access their personal items in the designated area before heading out for their second loop (this designated area is in close proximity to the start/finish tents).

All drop bags need to be placed in this area between 6:30 – 7:30am on Saturday 13th June.

For ALL MARATHON RUNNERS, please note that there will be TWO cut-off times for your distance.

The first cut-off time is 3hrs 30 mins from the start at 8am. ie: No marathoner will be allowed to continue for their second loop from the Start/Finish area after 11:30am.

Final race cut-off will be 8hrs from the start. ie: 4pm.

Based on the course conditions, these are extremly generous cut-off times, and we have no doubt that everyone will make it across the line within the allocated time.

Use of iPods Permitted

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 you use these devices responsibly and be respectful and mindful of your surroundings.

NEW RACE START AREA: Directions and Parking

If you have attended this race in past years, please note that we have moved the start/finish about 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 alllowed 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.

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.

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.


Course Maps

With a new start/finish area we have had to change the course slightly from last year. Good news for you there are no more cow paddocks and more single track!

The most up to date course maps are on the event web page www.joingecko.org/xterraturkeytrack or you can click here to download the map.

On Course Fuel

XTERRA sponsors Gatorade and Powerbar will be supplying on course fuel for this race. We'll also have a variety of runners snacks and water at every aid station. Only marathoners will be able to use a drop bag and this will be at the start/finish turnaround. Aid stations locations and distances are clearly marked on the map course above.

Special notice to 5k&10k athletes

If you are racing the 5k and 10k distances please note that your start time on Saturday is 10am and not 8am with the half and full marathoners.

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 forest and is shaded.
There will be registration on the day for the 5k and 10k if you had family or friends that are thinking of running.  



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.

There is primitive bush camping available at the Start/Finish area.

Fresh coffee at the start line

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

Recycling and Trash 

We are delighted to have Elite Recycling at all our events this year providing trash cans and recycling bins. We ask that you look carefully at which bins you are placing your litter, and recycle where you can!


The long range forecast for Saturday is 70F, with the possibility of some rain in the afternoon. 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.


Looking after your spectator entourage

Turkey Springs is a beautiful setting but it is far from shops and restaurants. As we only provide aid station food for athletes, please encourage your spectators to pack some food and drinks for themselves as well as a deck chair or picnic rug, and sun protection.

Awards Presentation and After Party

Awards presentations will be at the Start/Finish area during the race at approximately 1230pm however, we will be having an after party and swag giveaway at The Pagosa Brewing Company, on North Pagosa Boulevard from 3:30 – 5:30pm. There will be complimentary Mexican Dips Bar, Happy hour drinks, a Runner’s special and $1 from each drink bought goes to GECKO! Please come and celebrate a day on the trails with us.


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

Facebook & Twitter Updates

If you want fun updates and latest news about the race, please keep an eye out on the GECKO Facebook page and Twitter @joingecko - it's where we post photos, videos, and updates!

Previous Year's Race in Review

Check out past year's Race Reports, Race videos and gallery and results in preparation for this year on the GECKO Facebook page or 2013's blog here http://blog.joingecko.org/xterra-turkey-track-trail-race-2013-race-in-review

Back up with a Race on Sunday
If active recovery is your thing, we have the perfect way to back up your trail run with either a swim (1 or half mile) or triathlon (750 m/14.6 m bike/3 m run) on Sunday at 10am (teams or solo).

Register online or find out more:
PLOW Swim Challenge
XTERRA Pagosa 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 race and we hope you feel good that by racing 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.


Most importantly - we hope you enjoy it!


Mike Le Roux
Race Director