Duncan, a golden retriever, leads the way for Steamboat Springs resident Linda Casner near the end of Sunday's 10-kilometer race at the Mountain Madness Steamboat Springs Running Series event.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Duncan, a golden retriever, leads the way for Steamboat Springs resident Linda Casner near the end of Sunday's 10-kilometer race at the Mountain Madness Steamboat Springs Running Series event.

Annual Steamboat Springs Running Series event attracts best numbers

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Race results

Men's 10K

1. Harry Niedle, 38:37

2. Myles Murphy, 38:52

3. Michael Cullyer, 41:04

Women's 10K

1. Jennifer Haver, 46:06

2. Hanna Schaefer, 48:09

3. Holly Osborn, 48:22

Men's half-marathon

1. Jim Rebenack, 1:21:17

2. Eric Bergman, 1:24:00

2. Brad Bergman, 1:24:00

Women's half-marathon

1. Anna Bergman, 1:38:53

2. Meghann Loske, 1:43:30

3. Calina Snyder, 1:45:40

— It was almost a perfect plan, Linda Casner explained.

In the most Steamboat of traditions, she ran with her 5-year-old golden retriever Duncan, in Sunday's Mountain Madness Steamboat Springs Running Series race.

For much of the 10-kilometer event, Duncan set the pace, even when the relative ease of the rolling terrain on River Road turned into a short but challenging stint up into the Dakota Ridge development.

On the way back, however, Duncan's pace-setting took a few hits.

"It's a gorgeous day, and I was very happy to be out running, and my trusty hound here really made it better," Casner said afterward. "The only thing, for the last two miles along the river, (Duncan) kept wanting to jump in and cool off."

Duncan and Casner eventually made it to the finish line, joining a record turnout for the 31st annual Fourth of July weekend race.

More than 150 racers competed Sunday. The Mountain Madness featured a 1-kilometer children's run, a 10K race and a 13.1-mile half-marathon.

"We went through all the bib numbers. We ordered 150 and used them all," race director Scott Blair said. "We had to scramble a little."

The work paid off when the massive field, beginning from Howelsen Ice Arena, started down River Road.

Much of the course proved easier than the average Running Series event. River Road doesn't have any of the steep sections that mark most of the other series races. The trail led into the Dakota Ridge development, where the half-marathon course wound up through the subdivision while the 10K course turned around after about a half mile.

It was enough to make the difference for many racers.

Harry Niedle won the men's 10K event, surging past Myles Murphy after the pair had been neck and neck for the first three-quarters of the race.

"I didn't pass him until the halfway point," Niedle said. "I finally got him on that hill, then put a little gap between us right at the Tree Haus (subdivision) entrance. I pushed it just a little and got a little gap.

"I love the hills, but the guy that got second, he told me he wasn't ready for them."

Niedle finished in 38 minutes, 37 seconds.

Jennifer Haver won the women's 10K in 46:06, ahead of second-place finisher Hanna Schaefer at 48:09.

The course's inclines had a big effect in the half-marathon, as well.

Jim Rebenack won the race in 1:21:17. Brothers Eric Bergman and Brad Bergman finished second and third, respectively, with matching times of 1:24:00.

Brad Bergman, in town from Iowa visiting his brother, said that although the elevation made a bit of a difference, he had run enough Iowa hills to tackle Steamboat's without fear.

"The scenery's a lot better up here," he said about the difference between Iowa and Steamboat. "It's surprisingly hilly where we live, so that really helped."

That same training helped his wife, too. Anna Bergman won the women's half-marathon with a time of 1:38:53. Meghann Loske was second at 1:43:30, and Calina Snyder was third at 1:45:40.

"Apparently, I was second," Loske, a Colorado Springs resident, said with a laugh. "I was just out there having fun. I come up to visit some friends for the Fourth. I found out about the race on Thursday and said, 'Hey, I'll jump in this.'"

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