Photo by Matt Stensland
Snow was falling throughout last year’s Spirit Challenge race. The forecast appears to be better for this year’s race, which will kick off the Steamboat Springs Running Series on Saturday with 5K and 10K races.
2011 Steamboat Springs Running Series schedule
Spirit Challenge (5K and 10K)
Steamboat Marathon (full, half and 10K)
Hayden Cog Run (8M, 10K and 5K)
Craig Duathlon (5K run, 30K bike, 5K run)
Mountain Madness (13.1M and 10K)
Steamboat Sprint (400-yard dash)
Howelsen Hill 8-Miler (8M and 4M trail)
Spring Creek Memorial (9M and 5K trail)
Mount Werner Classic (5M and 12M trail)
Continental Divide Trail Run (16M trail)
10K at 10,000 Feet (10K and 5K trail)
Emerald Mountain Trail Run (7M trail)
Run Rabbit Run (50M ultramarathon)
Steamboat Springs The Steamboat Springs Running Series is set to kick off Saturday, and after the 2010 season, this year’s slate has a lot to live up to.
The 2010 Running Series was a hit, to say the least. More than 1,500 runners from 45 states competed in races. Of those runners, 60 percent were from outside Steamboat.
“We had just a record year with tourists and numbers,” race director Cara Marrs said.
Marrs said she expects this year to be the same, and the early numbers speak to that. The series usually opens registration in April, but because of the 2010 success opened in February. More than 170 people have registered, which Marrs said “is really unheard of.”
The series begins with the Spirit Challenge, a perfect distance and race for those training for the Steamboat Marathon or half-marathon, Marrs said.
The 13-race schedule includes about half road races and half trail races. Marrs said she expects another influx of runners this year, thanks in large part to the attention the series has garnered.
Runners in Colorado Runner Magazine voted two races as the best in their divisions. The 10K at 10,000 Feet was voted the best 10-kilometer race, and the Run Rabbit Run was voted the best ultramarathon.
Marrs encouraged people to register for races online at www.runningseries.com. People also can register at Ski Haus until noon on the Friday before the race. She particularly encouraged people to register early for the Howelsen Hill 8-Miler, the Spring Creek Memorial and the Continental Divide Trail Run. Those three races are capped and are part of the national Trail Runner Magazine Trophy Series.
Cost for the races is $25 beforehand and $30 the day of. Marrs again encouraged people to register early so race organizers could better determine the amount of food and shirts needed.
Marrs said the series also is looking for more volunteers. Anyone with questions about the Running Series or who is interested in volunteering can contact Marrs at ccat@spring
“We’re hoping for a successful year again,” she said. “Last year was just really amazing.”
— To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com