Holt and George Vaughan were walking punchlines.
The two men from San An----tonio, Texas, got separated from the other runners in Saturday's Hounds & Hares Trail Run and ended up bypassing most of the course before making it to the bottom nearly 30 minutes ahead of the field.
Unaccustomed to the altitude, both men were breathing deeply when they were found near the Alpine Slide.
Holt Vaughan helped his fiancee, Tracey Tyson, Saturday's race director, lay the trail, but he still got turned around.
The two men joked that everyone in Steamboat would get a kick out of the two Texans lost on Howelsen Hill.
But not knowing where you are going is the point of the Hounds & Hares run.
Modeled after the popular hashes where a "hare" lays a trail for the "hounds" to follow, Saturday's course took runners from the base of Howelsen Hill, and up, around and back down to Olympian Hall.
Steamboat Springs Run--ning Series regular Tom Nel--son estimated the course was between six and seven miles. Last year, the course was slightly more than three miles.
"This was a better course," Nelson said.
Saturday's run was not timed, and it wasn't considered a race. Everyone who participated received five points toward their Steamboat Springs Running Series standings. Tyson had two aid stations set up where runners refueled with water and Honey Stinger but could not go on until completing required tasks.
The idea to include tasks also takes after hashes. On Saturday, runners had to do a ring toss and eat three saltines before chewing bubble gum and blowing a bubble.
Hig Roberts and Walter Magill broke away from the field to finish first, though final placements were not kept. Nelson wasn't far behind.
Magill helped Tyson set the course and decided to run with Roberts when he saw the 14-year-old keeping a good pace.
"I knew it would be a loop, so I went left a lot," Roberts, 14, said. "Some trails I had never been on. I thought it was fun. It was longer than I thought it would be."
The later start also meant the runners had to deal with 90-degree temperatures on Howelsen Hill.
"I like trail running, but it's harder than running on roads because you go up and down a lot," Roberts said.
It took Tyson, Magill and Holt Vaughan more than two hours to lay the trail Friday night, but Magill said Howelsen Hill is the perfect place to stage a race like the Hounds & Hares Trail Run because of the number of intersections and side trails.
"It was ideal," he said.
The only complaint was the lack of people who turned out to race. Usually, runners work together to find the correct trail and cross the line close to one another. On Saturday, the group still communicated, but it took longer to eliminate certain trails.
"It's disappointing not more people came," Nelson said.
The next race in the Steam--boat Springs Running Series is the Mount Werner Classic on Aug. 6. Registration is available online at www.active.com.