Madness to enter 26th year

Mountain Madness Half Marathon, 10K on Sunday

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The combination of the race's longevity, the Rainbow Weekend festivities and the course helps make the Mountain Madness Half Marathon and 10K one of the oldest and most popular races in the Steamboat Springs Running Series.

The Mountain Madness Half Marathon is in his 26th year, and traditionally the event is held in conjunction with Rainbow Weekend. With a start time of 8 a.m. Sunday, runners in the half marathon and 10K race likely will be greeted by a sky full of hot air balloons.

"As long as I've known about it, it has always been on Rainbow Weekend," said Dave Krats, manager for the Christy Sports Central Park Plaza store. "I think it has always been set that way."

The course has changed through the years, but organizers have found a route that enables runners to take advantage of an area of town visited only once during the running series.

The half marathon and 10K begin at 8 a.m. Sunday near the base of Howelsen Hill.

Runners will follow River Road to the first entrance of Dakota Ridge and then climb through the neighborhood before returning to the start/finish area at Howelsen.

The half-marathon course is mostly paved and generally rolling except for the steep hill climb at mile four.

The 10K course generally is flat and follows a county road that is partially dirt. Both races will have aid stations.

Christy Sports, the organizer for Sunday's race, also is offering a two-mile fun run on paved roads. The free race won't officially be timed.

People can pre-register for the Mountain Madness races at the Christy Sports store in Central Park Plaza. People can go online as well at www.runningseries

.com to find the link to Sunday's race.

Cost to pre-register is $20. The fee on race day is $25. The price includes a race T-shirt.

Last year, in the 25th anniversary of the Mountain Madness, Christy Sports decided it was going to donate all proceeds from the race to Humble Ranch, a ranch that assists people with special physical, mental or emotional needs by using horses or other activities.

"We're planning on doing that this year, as well," Krats said. "The race doesn't make a lot of money. The main thing we want is exposure for the ranch."

The Mountain Madness Half Marathon and 10K is the seventh race in the Steamboat Springs Running Series.

-- To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com

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