Steamboat Sprint is a 400-yard dash for the ages — all ages, that is

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— Before the fire engines, police cars, floats, horses and candy fill Lincoln Avenue for Steamboat’s annual Fourth of July parade Wednesday, runners can work off their hot dogs and hamburgers in advance during the Steamboat Springs Running Series’ shortest event of the season.

The Steamboat Sprint is a 400-yard race down the middle of Lincoln Avenue. Red, white and blue costumes are encouraged.

Registration is $4 and begins at 8:45 a.m. at the corner of Ninth Street and Lincoln Avenue. Racers of all ages are welcome to participate. The first heat goes off at 9:40 a.m. Different heats will be assigned to different age groups, depending on registration.

Regardless of participation, fun is the name of the game.

“It’s pretty low-key,” said Susan Peterson of the city’s Parks, Open Space and Recreational Services Department, which sponsors the Steamboat Sprint. “We don’t time it. We nab the first-, second- and third-place finishers after they cross the finish line to give them some Chamber gift certificates.”

The race will be followed by prize drawings for race participants on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

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