Mountain Madness next stop

Steamboat series heats up with long foot race on River Road

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— For more than two decades, local runners have looked forward to the running of the Mountain Madness Half Marathon on Rainbow weekend.

This Sunday, as hot air balloons glide effortlessly above the Yampa Valley, runners from Steamboat, and around the state, will be pounding the pavement along River Road in the 22nd running of the 13.1-mile race. There also will be a 10-kilometer run and a fun run held on Sunday as part of the annual event.

"We've always held it on Rainbow weekend," organizer Susie Pace said. "It's just a nice backdrop for the races."

Pace expects about 200 runners to show up for the three races. The half marathon and the 10K will start at 8 a.m. The fun run is scheduled to begin at 8:15 a.m.

"It's the longest continuously held running event in Steamboat Springs," Pace said of the half marathon.

The race takes runners a little more than 13 miles out River Road and back. The course features a steep climb at the four-mile mark, and several rolling hills along the route.

Last year, Tom Kloss won the men's race in a time of 1 hour, 14 minutes and 20 seconds. Sara Benies topped the women's field with a time of 1:36.00.

Jason Saretsky topped the men's 10K run with a time of 36:36 and Barbara Orms won the women's run with a time of 44:34.

The race is the eighth race in the 13-event Steamboat Springs running series. It is the final half marathon on the running schedule.

The races begin and end on Howelsen Hill Parkway in front of the tennis courts. There will be several aid stations along the route to refresh the runners.

Athletes interested in entering the race can do so at Christy Sports prior to July 15 for $15. The cost will be $17 the day of the race on July 16.

"This race always seems to draw a lot of runners from out of town," Pace said. "It's always very competitive.

To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail jrussell@amigo.net

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