Steamboat Springs Despite yesterday's spring snowstorm, many local runners were out training, eagerly anticipating the return of this year's Steamboat Springs Running Series.
The 13-race series, which includes an event for just about every runner's taste, will open with the 15th annual Spirit Challenge on May 6. Registration forms are available at Christy Sports and F.M. Light & Sons.
"I'm very excited about the return of the running series," co-director Sabrina Archuleta said. "It marks the start of spring for me."
Archuleta and fellow director Emily Conjura have been busy this winter making sure the local running series keeps building momentum for the future.
Conjura said the series will offer a large variety of races this summer, including traditional 5K and 10K events, a couple of half-marathons and a marathon. There will also be fun runs, sprints and several off-road trail runs.
All of last year's favorites will return and all but one of the events have a race director signed up at this time.
The only exception is the Hot Springs Short Cut race. Conjura said last year's director has several personal obligations which will not allow him to continue to run the race. So, she is currently seeking a new director for the annual event.
The only other uncertainty on the schedule is the August 20 Mystery Trail Run. This date was previously filled by the Continental Divide Challenge, but part of that course will be closed by the Forest Service this year, forcing organizers to search for another venue.
"The race will happen for sure and it will be a trail run," Conjura said. "We just are not sure where it will happen. It might possibly take place at Howelsen or on another trail on Mount Werner. We should know more as the race draws closer."
Conjura said several familiar favorites will return to the series once again this year including the 22nd annual Hayden Cog Run on May 21 and the 22nd annual Mountain Madness Half-Marathon on July 16.
The calendar will also include the Steamboat Marathon, which is in its 19th year, and the Fish Creek Sneak, which has been held for the last 16 years.
"It's nice to have some of these older events on the schedule and we are always working to make sure they stay with the running series," Conjura said.
The series is looking for a new title sponsor this season, so the directors are currently hitting the pavement in search of a solid backer.
Conjura said that schedules, results and applications will continue to be posted on the running series Web site at www.runningseries.com. That site is updated throughout the year and will post all of the results for every race once they become available.
Runners can also download and print out applications for upcoming races. Conjura said the athletes will still need to mail the applications and a check to race directors. She is, however, working on a way for runners to submit their applications on-line.
"I think by next year runners will be able to register on-line," Conjura said. "That will help out-of town (and international) runners register for our local running events."
Find out more about the Steamboat Springs Running Series events listed below at www.runningseries.com:
May 6 -- 15th Annual Spirit Challenge -- 5k run/walk and 10k run
May 21 -- 22nd Annual Hayden Cog Run -- 8.2m, 10k, 3m Fun run/walk
May 27 -- Hot Springs Short Cut Run -- 7m uphill, rolling point to point
June 4 -- 19th Annual Steamboat Marathon -- Marathon, Half Marathon, 10k, 1/2 mile fun run.
June 18 -- 16th Annual Fish Creek Sneak -- 5k run/walk, 10k run, Jog with your Dog
July 1 -- Ninth Annual Spring Creek Memorial -- 5k run/walk, 10m run, 1k kids run
July 4 -- Steamboat Sprint -- 400 yd sprint on Main Street
July 16 -- 22nd Annual Mountain Madness Half Marathon, 10k, 2m Fun Run
Aug. 6 -- Sixth Annual Mt. Werner Classic -- 5m and 12m
Aug. 20 -- Mystery Trail Run
Sept. 3 -- 16th Annual 10k at 10,000 ft
Sept. 4 -- Oak Creek Labor Day Run -- 5m run and 2 mile walk
Sept. 24 -- 14th Annual Pilot/BPW Run -- 7 mile run, 5k run and race walk, 4/10 mile kid's run
--To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com