It could be one of Steamboat Springs' most difficult trivia questions.
What is the town’s second-largest race?
Nope, it's not the annual Steamboat Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10K. With more than 1,000 runners every year, that event is in a class of its own.
How about the Mountain Madness half-marathon, a popular option around the July 4 weekend?
How about the Howelsen Hill 8-miler, the Steamboat Pentathlon, or maybe the Steamboat Triathlon?
Nope, nope and nope.
The Girls on the Run event is set to return to Steamboat Springs on Saturday, and its massive waves of runners — mostly elementary school and middle school girls — easily dwarf any Routt County running race this side of the marathon.
With more than 900 runners expected, it’s a whale of an event.
“This is just a huge community event,” said Cheryl Krumrie, one of the local organizers.
Girls on the Run is a national after-school program targeted at girls between third and eighth grades. Its goal is to empower those children and, as Krumrie said, to “get those girls out of the girl box.”
“We talk a lot about things that have to do with young girls growing up, whether that is about body image, physical fitness, how to deal with bullies or gossip, or how to work with a team,” Krumrie said.
The 10-week program is capped by a 5-kilometer run, and this year's run takes place at 11 a.m. Saturday starting at Steamboat Springs Middle School. Overflow parking with courtesy shuttles will be available at Steamboat Springs High School.
About 150 local children took part in the program this year. Demand was so strong that some had to be turned away because the program sticks to a 15:1 student-to-coach ratio.
Those local kids only make up a fraction of the runners who will take to the roads this weekend, however. Hundreds more will come from a region that stretches east, south down to Durango and west into Utah. There will be hundreds more runners in the form of coaches, family members and other community members.
The event — a race, although participants are free to run, jog, walk, jump, hop, skip or cartwheel the entire way if they so chose — will raise funds for the program.
Online registration has closed, but in-person registration and packet pickup is from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at The Steamboat Grand, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the middle school. The cost is $30 for adults or $15 for kids 16 and younger. Call 970-257-9267 for more information.
Girls on the Run
About 500 girls participated in Saturday's season-ending 5-kilometer run that started and finished at the Steamboat Springs Middle School.