It may be winter, but Jody Anagnos is already in summer mode.
As director of special events and sponsorship sales for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Assocation, one of her primary duties is planning the 24th annual Steamboat Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K. It's a year-round, tireless task but one she finds extremely rewarding, considering the event's popularity among locals.
"I've been working on it for months," Anagnos said. "It might be December, but as soon as I get to the office, it's summer. I have a June 2005 calendar right next to my December 2004 one. I have to."
Registration for the marathon, half-marathon and 10K opens today with discounted rates that will be offered until May 15. Local residents with valid identification can receive an additional discount on their registration fee. Anagnos isn't sure why registration for the June 5 races opens so early, but at this point, it is tradition.
"It does fill up early," she said. "We are considered a smaller marathon, but we have to cap our race because we drive the marathoners and half-marathoners out to the start. It's nice to be in demand, but having to turn people away isn't any fun."
With that in mind, Anagnos encourages people to register as soon as they can, but people are reminded that the registration fee is nonrefundable. This year, however, runners will be allowed to "transfer" bib numbers to another person. There is a $15 fee to transfer bib numbers, and a completed form must be sent to the chamber.
Early registration for the marathon is $55. The half-marathon fee is $45, and the 10K walk and run fee is $25. Those prices go up after May 15.
Those wanting to put off registration are advised against putting off training. Prospective marathoners should begin 2005 with a goal to train, considering most people need 16 to 20 weeks to prepare correctly, marathoner and coach Lisa Rainsberger said.
Based out of Colorado Springs, Rainsberger, founder of www. TrainingGoals.com has won the Boston Marathon, the Chicago Marathon and Twin Cities marathon, to name a few. She recently competed in a marathon in Honolulu and plans to compete in the half-marathon in Steamboat.
She also is the guest speaker at the annual carbohydrate-loading fest the night before the race. She has plenty of advice for those training in Steamboat.
"You pick your days," she said. "When you have a clear day, and there's a place to run, you have to take advantage of that. If all else fails, you train indoors, snowshoe or cross-country ski, but it's not a replacement for running."
The key to training, in addition to the motivation, is buying a good pair of running shoes, Rainsberger said. All injuries start with the impact on the foot, and preventing injuries is another reason to extend training out to six months as opposed to a couple months.
Rainsberger also had advice for race day.
"The No. 1 thing is to pace yourselves," Rainsberger said. "Find the pace your body has trained for. You can never really make up time."
For more information about training tips, visit Rainsberger's Web site. And for more registration information about the 24th annual Steamboat Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K, visit www. steamboatmarathon.com.