The Steamboat Springs Running Series will begin to heat up this week with the first of three-straight races.
"Things start getting pretty serious from here on out," running series coordinator Emily Conjura said. "After these races we will have races just about every other week."
The Hayden Cog run will kick off the busy schedule with its 22nd running on May 21.
The following week runners can compete in the Hot Springs Short Cut run on May 27. The flurry of races will come to an end on June 4 with the 19th annual Steamboat Marathon.
After that, the schedule will slow to a more moderate pace with one other event in June, three in July, two in August and three in September.
Conjura said runners will have a chance to enter the running series up until the Fish Creek Sneak on June 18. After that, registrations for the overall running series standings will be closed.
Runners must sign up to take part in the series. There is no cost and each runner's points will be totaled during the season. After the final event, the points will be added up and the top three men and top three women will be given prizes.
"We get a lot of people who don't realize they have to sign up," Conjura said. "We have a booth at most of the races and all they have to do is stop by.
Conjura said that runners can also register online at www.runningseries.com.
The Hayden Cog run is one of the older races on the series calendar. It offers three different events for runners including the Cog, a 10-kilometer race and a 5-kilometer run and race walk.
The Cog is a brutal run challenging runners on an 8.4-mile course out the Cog Road and back. There are about three miles of intense uphill. The race then turns around and leads the runners back the same way they came.
The 10-kilometer race is held around the town of Hayden and takes runners on a rolling, mostly-paved course. The 5K race is held on a fairly flat course.
The top two male and female winners in each race will receive awards. Youth prizes will also be awarded this year and a drawing will be held for additional prizes.
Runners can preregister at the Hayden Town Hall or Christy Sports in Steamboat. Race-day registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Hayden Town Park. The races will begin promptly at 10 a.m. at the same location.
The following week on May 27 runners will be invited to pick and choose their route from the downtown hot springs to those in Strawberry Park in the Hot Springs Short Cut race. It is a 7-mile uphill point-to-point race for runners, walkers and mountain bikers.
On June 4, the series will host the biggest running event of the summer when thousands of athletes compete in the Steamboat Marathon, half-marathon and 10-kilometer race.
The event draws runners from around the state and the nation.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.