Races keep athletes on the run in July


— The Steamboat Springs Running Series will offer local runners unusual opportunities over the long holiday week by featuring two annual events.

The first comes on Saturday with the Spring Creek Memorial, in which runners are treated to some of the most scenic courses of the year in a rare trail run.

The event, which features three separate races, has been held each year for the past nine years. It features a three-mile trail run and walk, a one-kilometer run and a nine-mile trail run.

The nine-mile run is one of the most challenging of the running season. The course takes runners up the old stage route to Buffalo Pass Road, then up to Dry Lake Campground and back down the new Spring Creek Trail to Spring Creek Reservoir. It is an all-dirt trail with numerous stream crossings and a brutal hill climb.

The shorter three-mile run is less grueling than its longer partner. It is an out-and-back course that leads racers past the reservoir and along maintained trails. The fun run, designed for kids, is a loop around the reservoir.

Runners can register for the event prior to the race by picking up an application at Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza or by calling 879-6342. The cost to enter the race is $20 and includes a long-sleeved T-shirt, drawing for prizes and a post-race brunch.

The second opportunity for local runners will come on July 4 just prior to the annual holiday parade.

Runners will dash 400 yards along Lincoln Avenue in this one-of-a-kind race. Runners can register for the race outside of Lyon's Corner Drug & Soda Fountain at 840 Lincoln Ave. the day of the race from 9 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. The races will start promptly at 9:40 a.m. and will be witnessed by the thousands of people who normally show up to watch the Fourth of July parade.

"It's been a tradition for at least the last seven years," Parks and Recreational Services coordinator Christina Freeman said. "It's a warm-up for the parade."

Last year, the run enjoyed some of its biggest numbers ever. More than 70 people took part in the six-division race. Finishes in the race count toward the Steamboat Springs Running Series points and winners will receive a $10 Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association gift certificate. The cost to enter the race is $3.

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


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