Howelsen Hill 8-miler trail run set for Saturday in Steamboat |

Howelsen Hill 8-miler trail run set for Saturday in Steamboat

— For so many, trail running and running in Routt County are synonymous ideas. That doesn't do anything to invalidate the road-bound races of the Steamboat Springs Running Series so far, but it does mean organizers are expecting an eager field of competitors early Saturday morning for the Howelsen Hill 8-miler, the first trail run of the summer's series.

The race begins at 8 a.m. at Olympian Hall, at the base of Howelsen Hill, and also will include a 4-mile race. It will be stocked with food from Winona's and will include prizes for winners and a raffle for all.

Both courses feature plenty of climbing, but neither are steep, organizer Walter Magill said. The climb goes through the moderate Bluffs Loop before hitting Lupine and the quarry. It's all downhill from there along Eye to Eye.

Registration remains open online for both races at for $25 each. Runners also can sign up from 7 to 7:30 a.m. at the starting line.

Nicholas Sunseri won last year's race en route to winning the season-long championship. He finished the Howelsen Hill course in 56 minutes and 37 seconds but won't be back to defend this year. This year's event could help define the season-long points races. Tom Nelson leads the men's side with 29 points, ahead of Max Scrimgeour with 35 and former champ Harry Niedl with 34. Mary O'Connell leads the women's standings with 27, ahead of Talaya Thomas with 36 and Gatlynn Hicks with 28.

The race will benefit Routt County Riders, which leads the way in maintaining the Howelsen and Emerald Mountain trail system.

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"It's a good race, and it's great to benefit the trails we all run and ride on," Magill said.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email

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