Rachael Green, center, and Rodney Green, right, run with Lark Skov on Saturday during the Steamboat Springs Running Series's Mountain Madness event. The race, which drew nearly 300 runners, was a fundraiser for the Rebecca Green Foundation. Green drowned two years ago in Fish Creek.

Photo by Joel Reichenberger

Rachael Green, center, and Rodney Green, right, run with Lark Skov on Saturday during the Steamboat Springs Running Series's Mountain Madness event. The race, which drew nearly 300 runners, was a fundraiser for the Rebecca Green Foundation. Green drowned two years ago in Fish Creek.

Runners flock to Mountain Madness in Steamboat

Race raises funds for Rebecca Green Foundation

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2011 Running Series schedule

Mountain Madness results

The course was tough, 13-year-old Steamboat resident Rachael Green explained, tough, but good.

Two years ago her mother, Rebecca Green, drowned near the upper falls on Fish Creek, and today’s Steamboat Springs Running Series event, the over-flowing Mountain Madness half-marathon and 10-kilometer race, was made a fundraiser for the Rebecca Adams Green Foundation.

Rachael, who ran on her school’s track team but spends more time biking than running, wasn’t about to miss it, and she fought up and down the rolling course to finish the 10K.

“It was long,” she said, “but I liked it.”

Vacationers who came to Steamboat Springs to soak up a holiday weekend swelled the ranks of the last road race of the season, nearly 270 runners flying from the starting line at the Howelsen Ice Arena, down River Road to Dakota Ridge and back.

For some, the race was an exercise in power.

“The hills up in Dakota Ridge weren’t too bad, so it was nice,” said Nick Sunseri, who won his third race this summer in the region.

Coming off dominating performances in the 10-kilometer race at the Steamboat Marathon and the 8-mile Hayden Cog Run, Sunseri dialed it up one distance further, earning a fat lead on the field and cruising to a victory in today’s half-marathon.

He finished in 1 hour, 16 minutes and 17 seconds, a record for the three-year old course. Daniel Goding was second at 1:18:59 and Nick Cady third in 1:20:28.

“It was my first half, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Sunseri said. “I had a couple guys from out of town with me for the first half of the race, but dropped them in the hills because they’re from out of town.”

Utah runner Heather Penrod won the women’s race in 1:44:05, ahead of Denver’s Krisyn Mendel, second in 1:46:20, and Kellie Metcalf, third at 1:46:23.

“I like running uphill, then downhill you just run faster,” Mendel said. “I started very last because I had to go to the bathroom, so I was constantly playing catch-up. We hit the turnaround point and, say, there was only four girls ahead of me, so I kept going.”

Greg Abrahamson won the men’s 10K in 37:46, ahead of Charles Rohde in second and Derek Leidigh in third. Alicia Nelson was the top woman, in 41:21, ahead of Lisa Adams and Kristina Wilson.

Many cared less about time and place and more about a healthy kickoff to the weekend, however.

The Cole and Inaba families didn’t run the 10K fast, hanging near the back of the field while Tom Cole, from Louisville, pushed 3-year-old Thomas Cole in a stroller.

Karrie and John Inaba, also originally from the Front Range but now living in Pittsburgh, tagged along.

“We come to Steamboat as a family tradition, and we thought it’d be fun to do a race,” Karrie Inaba said. “It was beautiful, just great.”

According to the Green family, it was the perfect kind of race for Rebecca Green’s foundation, which benefits two of her loves. The organization awarded a scholarship this year to a student aspiring to be a speech pathologist and then granted another allotment of money to allow a Nebraska family to spend a week in Steamboat Springs doing Yampatika activities.

“After everything that happened and the big ordeal we went through, this is something positive coming out of that tragic situation,” said Rodney Green, Rebecca’s husband. “It’s great, especially for the kids, so they can remember their mom in a real positive light. For the Running Series to dedicate the race to the foundation means so much.”

— To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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