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Turkey Flats Trail Run

By Ann Driggers

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Now that summer finally seems to have kicked in I decided to show up for the local Turkey Flats Trail Run. High up in the cool air of Pinon Mesa, 2,500 feet above the Grand Valley, Turkey Flats is my favorite trail to enjoy a respite from the heat. The 9.6 mile run was organized by local club Mesa Monument Striders who host a number of similar events in the area. The low-key ‘race’ was perfect. No entry fee, no prizes, just a great trail, a little healthy competition and beer, burgers and brats to wrap it up. Even Tikka my four legged running partner was able to join in the fun. Work on the Fruita Reservoirs required a re-route of the traditional lollipop. Instead we continued on the road past the trailhead for a few miles on a steady climb through dappled sunlight. Swinging left we hit the Ridge trail with its distant views of the La Sal Mountains in Utah keeping us company for a short portion of the run. After a few miles dodging massive puddles we turned onto the Haypress trail. Always wet and boggy this section had the added obstacles of huge amounts of deadfall over which we had to clamber, some of it higher than us. (Note to mountain bikers - you might want to wait until this gets cleared up). The final section of the run was on the true Turkey Flats trail, a ripping and mostly downhill singletrack through aspens and meadows. Back at the start line a welcome sight greeted us, where Chris Schnittker had the bar-b-q fired up and ready to go. Local speedster Rob Reece had the men’s fastest time. Top of the women was Tara Suplizio. Tikka came in 6th overall and 2nd in the women’s with a time of 1 hour and 32 minutes. She and her mommy were tired and muddy but had a great time.

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