Sunshine, Balloons, Skiing, Snow

April 19, 2023

An employee thank-you turned event, the second annual Pagosa Triathlon organized by Pagosa Adventure advertised hot-air balloon rides, spring skiing competitions, and a rafting event. And then Mother Nature arrived, and the weekend event became a case study in changing plans. Although snowy fields and windy weather thwarted a few of the events, the triathlon teams still managed to find some fun, sun, and clear blue skies. By Hannah Robertson. This story is sponsored by The Payroll Department and Serious Texas BBQ

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March weather in Colorado is notoriously fickle. One day you might be out in shorts for a walk the next, zipping down the ski slopes with a fresh three inches of powder. The organizers and teams that came to Pagosa Springs the last weekend in March for the second annual Pagosa Triathlon event, experienced some decidedly winter weather. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by The Payroll Department and Serious Texas Barbecue. I'm Connor Shreve.

Mother Nature wasn't on our side this year, and our balloon launch field was under two feet of snow. And, you know, one of the reasons that we chose to do it that last weekend in March or the second to the last weekend in March, is because typically it is 45 or 50 degrees, but you do still have the snow on the mountains, but the river is running. And this year, it was just colder later, snowier later.

Over the three day event, there were a series of events planned for both competitors and community members. Starting with a balloon flight Friday morning, the first of three planned flights. The actual competition day was Saturday, and a final wrap up event on Sunday.

So the competition day, which was Saturday, we had envisioned a hot air balloon competition. So, we changed the Heron Hound Race to a static drop. So, it was a predetermined target location and people could go out into the community, determine what the winds were, and try and fly to the target, and Mother Nature didn't have that in stock either, and we canceled the competition day. The next event is skiing, and everybody who wanted to participate in that was able to. And, on the mountain, we had five way points that the competitors had to find and three judges. And the judges just spent all day on the same run, skiing over and over. And the competitors aim was to go find a judge, and basically get a selfie with 'em and turn those pictures in. And then, the raft competition was actually, in my opinion, going to be the funniest because were paddle boats. And, the objective for the raft competition was to have targets that, we had little rubber duckies, and you were going to throw the rubber duckies at the target as you went through raft. So, we chose to do two other things instead of the hot air balloon in the rafting. Stitches and Dimples is a new place in Pagosa. It's kind of an indoor arena with batting cages, and golf, and corn hole. And so what we did there was, we put out the targets that we were going to use for hot air balloons and people had to throw 'em. And then, the duckies that everybody was going to use for rafting, we put out laundry baskets, and you tried to hit the laundry baskets. And so, we came up with a fourth activity that you could opt in or out of one of the other three, and opt into this, and that was a town scavenger hunt. And, we selected eight businesses throughout town and then four extra credit points. And we, on Saturday morning, we gave everybody one clue. You had to go to the business and find our next clue, and that would lead you to the next business.

The triathlon events and weekend were made possible through generous donations from several local businesses and funding from the Lodger's Tax. Despite the weather, the participants still managed a couple of balloon flights, and more than made up for canceled events with the substituted activities. Myers and the rest of her team do plan on continuing the triathlon next year with a few more plans in place for inclement weather. Learn more about this story and others at Thank you for watching this edition of The Local News Network, I'm Connor Shreve.


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