Updated September 15, 2012 at 11:59 a.m.
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The sixth annual Run Rabbit Run ultramarathon starts Friday morning with the tortoise class of the inaugural 100-mile course. The tortoises leave from the base of Steamboat Ski Area at 8 a.m. They will be followed by the elite hare class of runners at 1 p.m. The runners in the 50-mile race will start from the base of the ski area at 6 a.m. Saturday. More coverage of the race is available at ultralive.net and irunfar.com. This page will be updated periodically during the weekend.
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8 a.m. Friday: 100-mile tortoise division starts
And they're off! The runners in the tortoise division have left the base area for the first 100-mile race for Run Rabbit Run. Ultralive.net is running a webcast.
9:46 Friday: Bears get into Summit Lake drop bags
Race organizer Fred Abramowitz said some racers on the 100-mile course will be without drop bags at the Summit Lake aid station. Bears dragged the bags into the woods and got into some of them.
Summit Lake aid station
View Summit Lake in a larger map
1 p.m. Friday: The hares start and the tortoises pass through town
Before lining up for the start, race organizers Fred Abramowitz and Paul Sachs went over the course with the runners to make sure any tricky spots were addressed. Abramowitz said a few of the tortoise runners who left earlier in the day had trouble seeing the yellow flagging in the sun. The team with Jonathan Miller had their own customized map, complete with colorful drawings. The runners took off with pace up the ski area hill toward the gondola. Dave James lead as the group pulled away from the base area with the rest of the field close behind. At about the time the hares were starting, the main field of the tortoises were heading through town. The town stretch goes from Steamboat High School to Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill before the runners do a loop on Emerald Mountain.
2:30 p.m. Friday: Get ready if you want to see the hares
The hares should be coming through downtown before 4:30 p.m. Their first stop is an aid station at Steamboat Springs High School. From the high school, they go through downtown on their way to Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill. The time estimate of 4:30 p.m. is for an 18-hour pace. Some runners could be at the high school as soon at 3:30 p.m. depending on the pace of the race. Visit the Run Rabbit Run website for a full breakdown of aid stations and time estimates. The hares will pass through downtown again at about 7:30 p.m. or sooner.
UPDATE: The hares seem to be on pace for an 18-hour race, making the posted split schedule pretty accurate.
5:00 Friday: Problems with the course
Nick Pedatella went off course somewhere between Long Lake and Steamboat Springs High School. The Tarahumara runner Miguel Lara was seen running down Fish Creek Falls Road but seemed to miss the right turn on Amethyst Drive that would have brought him back toward the high school and the aid station he's required to check in at. Arnolfo Quimare, the other Tarahumara runner in the race, made the turn and checked in at the high school. There were complaints about the course marking from the tortoise class of runners earlier in the day, and race organizers attempted to fix troubled spots. Pedatella is out of the race, but no other information is yet known about Lara.
UPDATE: Lara was able to get back on course and was told at the Olympian Hall aid station to keep running.
9:00 p.m. Friday: Running through the dark
As night fell on Steamboat, teams were waiting with drop bags at Olympian Hall in front of Howelsen Hill. Dave James was the first one down the face of the hill at about 8 p.m. and had no one in sight behind him. James has at least a 10 minute lead on the pack as the runners now have to see Dry Lake, Summit Lake and Long Lake twice each before heading to Mount Werner and the finish at the base. Tarahumara runner Quimare dropped at the Cow Creek aid station because of knee pain and was resting at Olympian Hall as the lead runners came through. At Olympian Hall while waiting for Lara, a member of the Tarahumara runners' support team, Gustavo Lozano, said Lara lost time for a wrong turn much before the first high school aid station stop, as well.
UPDATE: Lara eventually dropped from the race.
7:30 a.m. Saturday: Karl Meltzer closes in on the finish
According to Ultralive.net, Karl Meltzer has opened up a substantial lead on the rest of the field headed into the finish at the base area. For the women, Lizzy Hawker has an even larger lead. Meltzer might make it to the finish line by 8 a.m.
10 a.m. Saturday: Karl Meltzer wins the first 100-mile Run Rabbit Run
Karl Meltzer placed his odds at seven, but on Saturday morning he was the first to the line and $10,000. He said it best, "We don’t need to run fast, we only need to run all night." Meltzer finished in 19 hours and 16 minutes. Dylan Bowman placed second in 19:56, and Timothy Olson was third in 20:28.
UPDATE: Because Meltzer qualified for the masters category his total take from the race is $11,000. Lizzy Hawker won the womens race in 22 hours and 7 minutes. Find the breakdown of prize money here.