In an effort to protect the more than 1,400 runners expected to participate in the 24th annual Steamboat Marathon, Half Marathon and 10K, several road closures will be in effect today.
From 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., the westbound lane of Lincoln Avenue from Fifth Street to 11th Street will be closed for the finish of all races. Fifth through 11th streets also will be closed from Lincoln Avenue to Oak Street.
Parts of Routt County Road 129, the primary route for the marathon and half-marathon, will be closed, as well. Northbound traffic on C.R. 129 will be diverted into the opposite lane at the intersection of C.R. 129 and C.R. 44 and will proceed north. Southbound traffic on C.R. 129 will be diverted onto C.R. 44 at Cullen's Corner and then return to C.R. 129 near Steamboat Springs Airport.
Traffic will be one-way from Cullen's Corner to the half-marathon start. A pilot car will lead traffic on the west side of the road. People are asked to avoid the road today, if possible.
Transportation for race participants will be provided free of charge. Riley Polumbus, communications director for the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association, asks racers not to find their own way to the start.
"Runners risk missing the start of the race," Polumbus said. "If they take our transportation, they won't have that problem. We are trying to limit the people on the course to those who really need to be there. That area already is a popular place for recreational activity and for those who live up there."
Marathon buses load from 5:45 to 6 a.m. at the Gondola Transit Center on Mount Werner Circle and from 6 to 6:15 a.m. downtown at the parking lot at Eighth and Oak Streets.
Half-marathon buses load from 6 to 6:15 a.m. at the Gondola Transit Center and from 6:15 to 6:30 a.m. downtown. Buses will bring racers' personal items back to the finish area, but runners need to provide bags for their items and make sure the bags clearly identified their owners.
Spectators are discouraged from driving their cars along the course but are encouraged to gather along Lincoln Avenue to support the runners and watch the finishes.
This year's Steamboat Mara-thon, Half Marathon and 10K begins at 7:30 a.m., and all races end at the Routt County Courthouse.
Jason Saitta, a four-time men's marathon winner, is in the field again this year after missing last year's race and having to drop out in 2003 because of an injury.
Steve Krebs, last year's mens marathon champion, is registered to run this year, as well. Inge Schuurmans McClory, the women's half-marathon record-holder, is returning to run the half-marathon. She set the record of 1 hour, 18 minutes and 30 seconds in 1995.
The marathon, half-marathon and 10K records are at least 10 years old. Rose Mota's time of 34:04 in the 10K is the oldest standing record, set in 1988.
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