Steamboat Springs Running Series set for finale
12-kilometer run/hike up Emerald Mountain awaits participants Saturday
September 8, 2011
Steamboat Springs — In large part, it's been the attraction of out-of-town runners that's defined the past several years for the Steamboat Springs Running Series. Athletes from out-of-county, out-of-state and even out-of-continent swelled the ranks and pushed several races to their caps.
And anyone is welcome Saturday at the Running Series finale, of course — runners already are registered from New Mexico and Kansas. But this one's for the locals, who've always represented the backbone of the annual series.
"This is our third year doing this race," series coordinator Cara Marrs said about Saturday's Emerald Mountain Trail Run. "We wanted to have a nice race that would be an opportunity for a lot of locals."
The day's activities are headlined by a 9 a.m. 12-kilometer race and a post-event season-ending party in which series champions will be crowned, but there should be plenty on hand for athletes of all ages and ability levels.
A hike on the Emerald Mountain course will start an hour before the race, at 8 a.m., and a 1/2-mile fun run for children will begin at 9:20 a.m.
Proceeds from the event will go to a donation made to the Yampa Valley Autism Program in the name of Jenna Gruben Morrill, who won the race in its first year and died in a 2010 car accident.
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Saturday's main race should offer plenty of challenge as the 7.8-mile course climbs about 1,500 feet. It won't, however, have much say in the overall series standings.
Nicholas Sunseri is set to cap off a brilliant season, having won seven of the eight Running Series events he entered this year, his first year of serious local competition.
Charles Rohde is in line for second place and Todd Trapp for third, though previous champs Harry Hiedl and Derek Leidigh are close enough to catch either if they don't compete.
Deb Freeman has locked down her second series championship in the past four years. She enters with a big lead against second-place Hannah Williams and third-place Mary Schuette.
Runners still can register for Saturday's race for $25 at http://www.runningseries.com or at Ski Haus until noon Friday. Registration also will be available for $30 from 7:30 to 8:15 a.m. at the starting line.
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com
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