Runners prepare for scenic trek through Steamboat Springs

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If you go

What: Ninth Annual Ski Haus Continental Divide Trail Run

When: 8 a.m. Sunday

Where: Begins at the Fish Creek Falls parking area and ends at the top of the gondola

Cost: $20 in advance; $25 on race day

Other: To pre-register, go to Ski Haus, Christy Sports, or visit www.active.com>

— If it's possible to encompass Steamboat's beauty into a 16-mile run, Sunday's ninth annual Ski Haus Continental Divide Trail Run might do it.

"In the Running Series, it's probably the best," race director Greg Danziger said about the run's eye-catching scenery. "If you're a fit runner and like that initial challenge of running uphill, it's a gorgeous run."

As the 12th run in the Steamboat Springs Running Series, the Continental Divide Trail Run begins at the Fish Creek Falls parking lot at the top of Fish Creek Falls Road. From there, runners follow the Fish Creek trail, turning right onto the Mountain View trail before reaching Long Lake.

Runners then cross the Mountain View trail, ending up at the summit of Mount Werner before following trails down the mountain to the top of the gondola. After a post-race prize drawing, runners can take a free ride down the gondola.

"I think the course is probably the most unique thing about it," Danziger said. "It's not only the course difficulty but the scenery."

Danziger said since they changed the course layout several years ago, the run has attracted about 60 competitors.

This year, Danziger said he's had more than 30 people from outside the area register for the race, including two from Canada.

"It's usually about 50 percent local and 50 percent out of town," Danziger said.

The race is scheduled to begin promptly at 8 a.m., but participants are encouraged to meet at 7 a.m. at the Knoll parking lot on Mount Werner Circle. A shuttle will bus racers to the start.

Danziger said all racers should take the shuttle from the Knoll parking lot or have someone drop them off at the race start. People can park at the Fish Creek Falls parking lot, but they must pay the $5 fee.

To pre-register ($20) for the race, go to Ski Haus or Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza. People also can register at www.active.com. Day-of registration is available for $25.

For more information or a detailed course description, visit www.runningseries.com.

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