Upcoming Running Series events
What: Wild West Relay, a 195-mile team relay race
When: Friday and Saturday
Where: Starting in Fort Collins and finishing in Steamboat Springs
To run: Registration for the event is closed
What: 14th annual Mount Werner Classic
Where: All races begin at the base of the Steamboat Ski Area gondola and end at Thunderhead Peak
To run: Race-day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday
12-mile run begins at 8 a.m., 5-mile run and 5-mile hike begin at 8:30 a.m.
Contact: Runners are encouraged to register early at Christy Sports in Central Park Plaza. For more information, visit www.runningseries...>
Steamboat Springs The Spring Creek Memorial isn't a race you run for time, "it's one you run to finish," runner Chris Trujillo said after finishing the 9-mile event Saturday.
The tough uphill portion of the course was the topic of conversation after the race for Saturday's competitors, who tested out a new course that kept runners out of overgrown vegetation that caused more than a few spills in years past.
"It's a little disheartening - you're on this steep trail going up, and everyone coming down is just sprinting past you," Trujillo said. "But it's a good race - if you're into challenges."
Todd Trapp garnered another win in the 9-mile, finishing first with a time of 1:05.28. He was leading the Steamboat Springs Running Series by 21 points before Saturday's points were tallied, having won four of the past five races. Despite dominating the field, Trapp called Saturday's race - his first on the Spring Creek Trail - "brutal."
"Doing a gradual climb on it starts to kill you after awhile. On a training run, you're not going as fast, so you don't hurt so much," Trapp said.
Jenna Gruben, the first female to finish the 9-mile, crossed the finish line at 1:22.47.
The Spring Creek Memorial started in 1992, after Patty Brenner Hagberg was fatally hit by a truck on the trail a year earlier. The race is now one of the mainstays of the running series, popular for its off-road aspects, though Saturday's 3- and 9-mile racers charted a new course.
The new trail brought both sets of racers out along Spring Creek before climbing to the top of Buffalo Pass and toward Dry Lake, in what Steamboat Springs Running Series director Shannon Carlin deemed a "lollipop loop."
Runners started and finished their races at the Spring Creek Reservoir, most of them eagerly checking their watches as they crossed the finish line for a quick glimpse at their time on the trying course. Ninety runners - 60 in the 9-mile, 30 in the 3-mile - hit the dirt, Carlin said.
Jake Miller led the field in the 3-mile race, completing the course in 17:21. Tabor Scholl, 11, was the first female finisher in the 3-mile, with a time of 22:07. While proud of her finish overall, she was most proud of coming out ahead of her brother Saturday in their Running Series rivalry.
"Me and my brother, we battle each other a lot," Tabor said.
Saturday's race was the halfway point for the 15-event running series. Events next weekend include the 195-mile Wild West Relay on Friday and Saturday, and the 14th annual Mount Werner Classic on Saturday. Mount Werner Classic racers in the 12-mile run, 5-mile run and 5-mile hike can register early at Christy Sports; registration for the Wild West Relay is closed.
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