Runner looking for the chance to race up the trails of Storm Peak will get their shot on Aug. 6 during the sixth annual Mount Werner Classic trail run.
Race director Emily Conjura said the race is one of the most challenging of the entire series as runners take to the dirt paths and service roads that wind to the top of the mountain. This year, Conjura and fellow race director Sabrina Archuleta decided to limit the race field to 100 participants for the entire event. That includes the grueling 12-mile run, a shorter 5-mile run and a less intimidating 5 mile hike.
The Classic has seen three sets of directors in the past six years. Last year, Conjura and Archuleta took over the series after the previous director decided to drop out. The two added the 5-mile hike to the list of events, hoping to draw runners of all abilities. In addition to directing this race, Conjura and Archuleta act as directors of the Steamboat Springs Running Series as well.
"We didn't realize how much work goes into directing a race," Conjura said. "But after doing this one last year, I think its starting to get clearer. There are facets to the race, like lining up insurance, sponsors, volunteers, that you have no conceptualization of as a race runner, until you try to direct your own race."
The directors said they have received lots of support from the local community members and businesses and that has helped to make this a successful event. Once again this year, the directors have continued a tradition of offering a cheaper entry for runners who enter before July 30. The cost before that early bird deadline is $12.
"We feel that more races should be priced so everyone can take part," Conjura said. "So we wanted to make our race as affordable as possible to local runners who run quite a few races in the Steamboat Springs Running Series."
After the early bird deadline, the cost goes up to $18 and then up to $20 on race day.
The directors have also decided to get away from the traditional T-shirt as a race gift to runners. Conjura said mainly because the directors, who are both runners, each have tons of T-shirts in their our own closets and imagine the same is true for many other runners who will take part in the race.
"This year we have decided to give away stainless steel coffee tumblers with the race name and date on the mug," Conjura said. "That way, runners will have a different way to remember the fun they had at the race."
Conjura also wanted local runners to know about the July 30 deadline and is hoping it will help make the race more affordable.
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