Steamboat Springs Last weekend, Jim Harkness of Steamboat Springs covered 8.2 brutal miles faster than any of his fellow competitors to win the annual Cog Run.
Harkness beat other local hard-core runners Paul Sachs and Rich Hager to the finish line in a time of 49 minutes, 32 seconds. The mostly uphill race makes athletes overcome the steep climbs of the Cog Road as it leads out of Hayden.
Things will not get any easier for local runners this week as they shift gears to the Hot Springs Short Cut run. The race is slightly shorter than the Cog, covering seven miles, but the terrain is an unforgiving uphill and rolling dirt road.
"There is not a set course for the runners," race director Pat West said. "But it's about seven miles any way you go."
Last year, Steamboat's Paul Sachs won the race in a time of 48:17. He was followed by Damian Wells at 49:20.
Deb Rose won the women's race with a time of 57:39. Lisa Powers was second at 59:48 and Chantal Kane was third at 1:10.25.
West said while there is no set course, most of the runners will head up Butcherknife Canyon, cut across the middle school track and then follow County Road 36 to Strawberry Park.
West said there will be classes for walkers leaving at 8 a.m. The runners will hit the course at 8:30 a.m. and a special class for mountain bikers will take off at 9:30 a.m.
While the walkers and runners are free to pick a course, the mountain bikers must stick to a pre-approved route.
The cost to compete in the race is $20 and includes admission to both hot springs, lunch at the finish line and a T-shirt.
West said there also will be a drawing for prizes.
The field is limited to the first 200 participants, but West doubts the races will reach that number. He said normally about 100 people compete in the events. That includes 70-80 runners and walkers and about 30 mountain bikers.
In addition to Harkness, other winners in last weekend's Cog run were Christen Recknagel in the women's division with a time of 1:06:51; Davis Miller in the 10-kilometer run with a time of 44:08 and Kelly Boniface in the women's 10-kilometer division with a time of 43:45. Krista Check-Hill won the 5-kilometer women's race with a time of 28:08 and Kevin Anderson topped the men's class at 20:04.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org