Tom Nelson competes in the Emerald Mountain Trail Run on Saturday at Howelsen Hill. After finishing in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 23 seconds, Nelson placed second in the season points standings for men and first for the season in his age group.

Photo by Matt Stensland

Tom Nelson competes in the Emerald Mountain Trail Run on Saturday at Howelsen Hill. After finishing in 1 hour, 14 minutes and 23 seconds, Nelson placed second in the season points standings for men and first for the season in his age group.

Emerald Mountain course closes out Steamboat Springs Running Series

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Harry Niedl crosses the finish line of the Emerald Mountain Trail Run on Saturday at Howelsen Hill after 56 minutes and 33 seconds. Niedl won the Steamboat Springs Running Series overall points standings for men as well as topped his age group for the season.

Results

View the full results for the Emerald Mountain Trail Run and the overall season points standings here.

— The last Steamboat Springs Running Series race of the year was full of firsts for Nathan Allen.

It was his first Running Series event and his first trail race, and he was nervous about getting lost. As he navigated the roads and singletrack of Emerald Mountain, the recent Steamboat transplant said he didn’t realize how fast he was going.

“It was beautiful, and the trail was really well-marked,” he said after he finished the nearly 12-kilometer race in 50 minutes and 9 seconds. He was more than four minutes faster than the second-place runner, Connor Drumm. “It was tough. There was a lot of uphill,” Allen said.

The Emerald Mountain Trail Run closed out the 2012 Steamboat Springs Running Series on a hazy but sunny Saturday morning. About 75 racers started at 8 a.m. and crossed the finish line between 50 minutes and 2 1/2 hours later.

The times were fast this year on Emerald because the course was about 0.4 miles shorter than in past years.

The final race of the year made official the overall point standings, which for the men was no surprise.

Harry Niedl, who competed in all but three of the races, maintained his lead in the standings with a fourth-place finish Saturday. The second overall male was Tom Nelson, who won his age group.

“It’s just consistency. I only won one race,” Niedl said, referring to the Spring Creek Memorial. “I’m not so good I win all of the races.”

The women’s overall title was up in the air and came down to the Emerald Mountain finish. Lisa Adams, who finished second this week, rose to first place in the women’s standings, just outscoring Callie Bradley. Both women won their age groups for the season.

“I’m psyched. I’m surprised,” said Adams, a 12-year Steamboat resident who came in second overall in 2007 and 2009. She said she didn’t race in any of the May or June events but competed in four Running Series races.

“It's a beautiful day, and it's a great series,” she said. "It's the people, and it's just great to be out on the trails. We live in such a beautiful place to run."

Like Adams, Niedl said it’s a love of running and the camaraderie of the Running Series community that keep him coming back year after year.

“It’s my passion. It’s what I do,” Niedl said. “I don’t know what else I’d do on the weekends. It’s like a family.”

Emerald Mountain Trail Run race director Cara Marrs said the series has been growing during the past two years and is drawing runners from the Front Range and even other ski towns that have their own running series.

“They seem to like ours,” she said.

This year’s series drew 1,200 runners to 13 events. Some of the events, including the Run Rabbit Run ultramarathon and the Steamboat Stinger, were not directed by the Running Series but still scored points for participants.

Marrs said the event has "become nationally known" and has attracted runners from 43 states.

The Running Series is a nonprofit that uses registration fees to pay for expenses and then donates any proceeds to local nonprofits, including Partners in Routt County, Routt County Riders, the Steamboat Springs Nordic Council and victims of the High Park Fire.

On Saturday at the awards ceremony, organizers presented a check for $500 to the Yampa Valley Autism Program, the beneficiary of a seasonlong fundraiser.

“It’s a good group of people that help out and volunteer,” Marrs said. “Our goal is just to give back and give a good recreational opportunity.”

View the full results for the Emerald Mountain Trail Run and the overall season points standings here.

To reach Nicole Inglis, call 970-871-4204 or email ninglis@ExploreSteamboat.com

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