Steamboat Springs Six days after sweeping through the streets of Steamboat Springs, the Steamboat Running Series packed up and headed west Saturday for the third event of the season.
The location changed, but Craig resident Todd Trapp didn't. After fighting his way onto the Steamboat Marathon podium with a second-place finish last weekend, he again surged to the front of the field, this time winning the 29th annual Hayden Cog Run.
"It's a really tough course. That climb is just constant vertical," Trapp said.
The day's events, which included the 8.4-mile Cog Run and 5- and 10-kilometer runs, attracted 33 competitors, 16 opting to run in the grueling signature event.
The Cog Run course wound from the Hayden Town Park, through town and up Routt County Road 76, known as Cog Road. Navigating a series of switchbacks and an unrelenting climb, Trapp never wavered, sprinting to the front from the start and opening a wide lead in the early part of the race.
The gap only grew as he powered up the inclines.
"I felt pretty good," said Trapp, who coaches girls track and cross country at Moffat County High School. "Still, for 3 miles, it's a long, grueling climb until the turnaround. I was looking at my watch and kept thinking, 'It's got to be here soon.'"
As treacherous as the climb was, the long descent back into town offered challenges of its own, Trapp said.
Recovering from the marathon, he couldn't walk without pain until Tuesday, and he didn't resume training until Thursday. It wasn't until Friday night that he made up his mind about running in Hayden.
The decision proved a good one, and he finished the race in 54 minutes, 8 seconds, more than eight minutes faster than the second-place finisher.
"After you get to the top, you still have to come downhill, and that's really tough on the quads," Trapp said. "That's one of the things that was really sore from the marathon, so I had to be really careful coming down."
Second place overall went to Steamboat's Jenna Gruben, who biked the 25 miles to Hayden on Saturday morning before the run.
The added exercise didn't seem to overwhelm her legs. A distant third as she climbed toward the turnaround point, she flew down the road on the way back to town, overcoming eventual third-place finisher Walter Magill at the base, then holding him off as they ran toward the park.
"That climb was hard," Gruben said. "Then, coming down it's hard on your legs, but I still felt pretty good coming into town."
Joel Rae of Steamboat won the 10K run in 44:28, while Derek Leidigh won the 5K in 17:06.
The Cog Run events combined with Hayden's Huck Finn Day. More than 50 kids fished in Shelton Ditch in the park, with awards going Tate Montieth and Isabella Osbourne for the first fish caught, Mikey Grubb and Annie Grubb for the smallest fish caught and Bryan Pederson, Tyler Hockaday and Paige Barnes for the largest fish caught.
With cooler weather than what greeted Steamboat marathoners and a post-race barbecue awaiting finishers, it made for a successful day, veteran Don Platt said.
"It's a great, well-organized day," said Platt, a Steamboat resident who ventured to Hayden for the Cog Run for the 21st consecutive year. "It's just a nice run. It's a perfect cruise both up and down."