FARMINGTON — The monsoon season rains have settled the summer's dust and grit, and there is a new chill in the air.
There's a good reason that Allison Cahoun chose this time of year for the Race 2 Educate half-marathon.
"Fall is a beautiful time in Farmington," said Cahoun, co-chair of the annual race. "Running through town and in the Glade, the leaves are changing, and it is a bit cool, which is good when you're running."
Clearly, other race and event organizers throughout San Juan County and beyond agree. Through the end of October, there's a least one run, race or ride happening nearly every weekend.
Don't want to run or bike, but still want to show your support? Most of this fall's outdoors activities wouldn't happen without volunteer support.
"There is a lot to do, and not a lot of people getting paid to do it," said Caleb Sanchez of Cottonwood Cycles. During the Road Apple Rally mountain bike race, Sanchez helps mark the course, sets up a booth for last-minute repairs and provides "sweeps" to make sure all riders get in safely.
The Race 2 Educate especially relies on extra manpower, and organizers say their volunteers are what made the event so successful in its first run last year.
Since there are several different courses and children are encouraged to participate, it is necessary to have as many people on the course as possible to help out. In most cases, calling the main contact for an event will get you to the right place if you're interested in volunteering.
This fall, here's a list of events to check out:
Four Corners Tour de Cure
Saturday, Sept. 21
A fundraiser held by the American Diabetes Association, the Tour de Cure is an annual road bike ride held on the farm roads of the Navajo Agriculture Products Industry. Participants are asked to raise a minimum of $150, which goes to diabetes research. There are 100-, 75-, 50- and 25-mile rides, plus a family fun ride. Go to diabetes.org for more information, or email event manager Ron Guerrero at email@example.com.
Color Run for Life
Saturday, Sept. 21
It's coming up in just a couple days, but it's not too late to take part in this fun, scenic race. Sponsored by the St. Mary and St. Rose LifeTeen Groups, the options are a 5K fun run, 2-mile walk or kids' 100-yard fun run or walk. The event starts at 8 a.m. To register, email Kristi Lucero at firstname.lastname@example.org.
19th Annual Chuska Challenge
Saturday, Sept. 28
NavajoYES, a nonprofit youth program on the Navajo Nation, hosts a mountain bike ride through the Chuska Mountains. Varying lengths and difficulty levels are offered, and the ride is fully supported with meals before and after. Register on active.com, or call Tom at 928-429-0345 for more details.
Road Apple Rally
Saturday, Oct. 5
No other mountain bike race in the country has successfully run as many times as the Road Apple, which is in its 32nd year. Category 1 and 2 riders ride a 30-mile course in the Glade, while Category 3 riders ride 15 miles of the same course. Pre-register online until Wednesday, Oct. 2, at fmtn.org. Pre-register in person at 1101 Fairgrounds Road until Oct. 2. Late registration runs through Oct. 3 with a $15 late fee. There is no race day registration. Call 599-1184 for more information.
Second Annual Race 2 Educate
Saturday, Oct. 12
The Foundation for Educational Excellence sponsors a 5K run/walk, 10K run and half-marathon starting at Farmington High School. It provides a great tour of Farmington and is the only half-marathon held in the city. Proceeds go directly to Farmington Municipal Schools to fund the Red Apple Teacher Awards and small grants for various projects. Register at Farmington Municipal Schools Main Office, 2001 N. Dustin Ave., or at race2educate2013.eventbrite.com. Volunteers accepted until a week before the event. Contact Ginger Rex at email@example.com
Third Annual Bloomfield Fire Department Get Pinked Run
Saturday, Oct. 12
Just about anyone to have fun and show their support of the Bloomfield Fire Department at this event. The main event is a 5K Mud Run with obstacles that can be done individually or as a team of four. Runners who prefer to stay clean can do so in the 5K No Mud Run/Walk, which is held on a different course. For those who just don't want to go as far, the 1-mile fun walk is also an option. Pre-register on active.com, or register from 1 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 11, or from 7 to 8:50 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, at the Bloomfield Fire Department or on-site at the Bloomfield Multicultural Center. Registrants before Oct. 1 are guaranteed a T-shirt.
Second Annual San Juan College Run... For Your Life! Zombie 5K Run and Fun Walk
Saturday, Oct. 26
Maneuver through obstacles while running from zombies on San Juan College's 5K trail. Race is at 4 p.m., and, after the run, watch zombies do their zombie thing on the fun walk at 5:30 p.m. Register on active.com or at the Health and Human Performance Center at San Juan College. For more information, go to sanjuancollege.edu/zombierun.
Molly Maxwell covers the outdoors for The Daily Times. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.