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Weather a Major Challenge For This Year's PV Stampede

The City of Roswell held their annual Pecos Valley Stampede today consisting of a 5K, 10K and 1/2 marathon race. Members of the Pecos Valley Amateur Radio Club/Chaves County ARES and Chaves County Off Road Search and Rescue provided monitoring service for the event to help assure the safety and welfare of the runners. The New Mexico State Police Mounted Patrol had two roving members assisting as well.

Though scheduled for an eight o'clock start, the 1/2 marathon race saw a delayed start beginning at 9:00. The wind had already started by 7:00 as SAR and PVARC team members coordinated and assigned members to their various posts. By 10:00 AM race officials had decided to terminate the 1/2 marathon and vehicles were deployed to offer rides for the runners back to the start/finish area. PVARC, SAR and MP units also assisted in getting runners off the course as visibility had diminished to hazardous levels. The National Weather Service station in Roswell reported sustained winds of 31 mph with gusts to 45 mph at 9:51. At 12:51 a 51 mph gust was reported. Several runners refused warnings from officials to terminate and completed the course under the escort of Mounted Patrol units.

During Saturday's Yucca Two Meter Net, PVARC President Garry Blosser reported that today's race saw the most adverse weather conditions on record since the club has been providing monitoring service. Net Control Operator Jim Tucker officially closed the net at 10:45 AM and returned to club HQ for an after action.

Prospective Amateur Radio Operator James Tucker Jr. assists water station attendee with a jacket after high winds had demolished her table used to hold water jugs. Those jugs were also blown over emptying their contents. PVARC unit also provided station with replacement water.

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