CREEDE— Kevin Terry with Trout Unlimited and in partnership with Andrew Todd created a new and inventive way to educate the Creede community and surrounding areas about the importance of the headwaters of the Rio Grande as well as its native inhabitants. The pair will be bringing the event to the area in combination with the annual Run Off Run Off marathon through their non-profit group, Running Waters. The event combines three components sure to bring people together and educate them on the necessity of clean water and fish habitats.
Terry took a moment and explained the Flyathalon stating that it brings three things that people love to do and puts them together for a fun and inventive learning experience. “People get out there to enjoy our natural resources and together, learn a lesson on the importance of water and aquatic life preservation. This way we can actually bring the lesson to life for them,” said Terry. The event is made possible in Creede by implementing a conservation partnership with local organizations like the Run Off Run Off event as well as Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project and Lower Willow Creek Reclamation Company (LWCRC).
The Runoff Runoff event, originally called the High Country Hustle, was created as a means to raise awareness about water preservation and health for the headwaters of the Rio Grande River several years ago. The marathon, begun by Forrest Getz and Heather Dutton, was the only fundraising event for the LWCRC for the year. Funds collected for the event went directly to LWCRC projects for the coming year and usually took place in April.
Now the race has gained speed and national attention from runners all over the globe. What began as a small local fundraiser has now become a large event for the education of water preservation and restoration throughout the region. All funds go to the Rio Grande Headwaters Restoration Project and LWCRC. Emma Reesor has taken over the director’s position, as well as the planning for the marathon.
The addition will make way for the future of the runoff event, and everyone is eager to see the fruits of their labor. “We ended up with more demand for this event than we previously thought and are now getting requests from all over the world to host a Flyathalon. So, now in an effort to try and meet those demands, we are working with conservation partners that already have an event created and the Flyathalon is something that can easily be attached. The Run Off was exactly what we were looking for,” continued Terry.
The Flyathalon will be somewhat similar in the sense that it raises awareness for water preservation and health as well as educates participants on the characteristics of cutthroat trout in the Creede area. The race will take place on Miner’s Creek Road and combines the love of running with the love of fishing and at the end some locally brewed beer from Three Barrels Brewing in Del Norte. Three Barrels will be creating a flavor of brew to memorialize the cutthroat trout.
“I just love that at the end of the day we can help organizations out through this partner model. They get 50 percent of what we make on top of their other fundraiser, and then we can put that funding right back on the ground and show people what we do with the money. This year funding will go to a new vaulted toilet at the Rio Grande Campground. We partner with the Forest Service to identify things we need. It’s not the coolest project, but it is needed,” finished Terry.
More information on the event will be posted on their website at www.flyathalon.com. Interested parties can also sign up for the Run Off Run Off event at www.runoffrunoff.com.