Literacy run marks series end

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— The Steamboat Springs Running Series comes to an end Sunday with the 19th annual Steamboat Pilot & Today Run for Literacy.

"We look forward to the Run for Literacy every year," said Bryna Larsen, one of the organizers of the race. "We expect a beautiful fall morning, lots of great prizes and delicious food. I think it is a really fun race and race course."

The race includes a 7.25-mile course that begins and ends at the Pilot & Today office off U.S. Highway 40 on the west end of Steamboat Springs. In between, racers will mix between paved roads and trails as they work their way to the Lithia Spring, through the Fairview subdivision, up Emerald Mountain to the quarry and back to the finish line on the Yampa River Core Trail.

Those stopping at the quarry aid station may want to take a moment to check out the views before descending on singletrack trails.

There also is a 5K course for runners and walkers. The 5K runners and walkers will follow the same path as the 7-milers but will not run on Emerald Mountain.

The 5K participants will go down the Core Trail toward 13th Street before ascending a short dirt trail into the Fairview subdivision. Those with strollers or in wheelchairs can take an alternate paved route on Gilpin Street. Everyone will rejoin on Saratoga Avenue. The 5K runners will return to the finish area on 13th Street. Dogs on leashes are welcome on both courses.

"The new course layout provides runners with a different challenge from other races in the series and because it's the last race of the season, I think local runners who have participated in the entire running series really enjoy crossing the finish line," Larsen said.

The 7-mile run begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The 5K race begins at 9:40 a.m.

Pre-registration is available through www.active.com or at Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza through noon Friday. Race-day registration begins at 8:30 at the Steamboat Pilot & Today office. Early registration is $20, which includes a visor. Race-day registration is $25. A no-frills option is available for $15. Food will be served after the race.

All proceeds from the race support the Newspapers in Education program, which provides newspapers and learning materials to school-age children in Routt County.

In addition, the First Impressions Tot Trot is at 10:45 a.m. with registration beginning at 8:45 a.m. Sunday. Children ages 8 and younger are encouraged to bring their pennies, which will go toward the "I cent a student to college" scholarship program offered through First Impressions of Routt County. All the children will receive a bib, a ribbon and other post-race goodies.

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