Running relay set to swing through Steamboat

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— There certainly isn’t anything that prevents runners from utilizing U.S. Highway 40. Well, there isn’t anything preventing runners from using the main Northwest Colorado thoroughfare besides its traffic and the hundreds of miles of off-road terrain and paved paths it flows by in the region.

Still, local running aficionado Greg Long said the highway presents an interesting challenge, and it's one he’s planning on tackling this week as part of the Million Dollar Marathon coast-to-coast run to support cancer research.

Long is looking for a few friends to help with the miles, too. He signed up for a 75-mile stretch Saturday between Steamboat Springs and Granby.

“No one runs Highway 40, so it will be new for everybody,” Long said. “To me, it’s fun to run in different places than you have before.”

Steamboat adventurer Doug Tumminello is in to pick up one marathon-distance segment of the route, leaving about 50 miles. Long has his eye on the ascent up Rabbit Ears Pass, a regular target for Routt County cyclists but a rare journey for area runners. He said he has several other runners who have volunteered, but is looking for a few more, as well, citing two teams of three as the ideal way to knock off the distance.

The event is a relay stretching from the Pacific Ocean coast in Washington to the Atlantic, in Delaware, right through Colorado along the way. Participants in the run spent Sunday hoofing it through Idaho.

Participation is open to anyone and more information is available at http://coasttocoastforcancer.org/. Those interested in lending a hand for the local leg can contact Long at 970-846-3344.

Event director Steve Cannon said the course through the state should have adequate runners except for 80 miles of a 100-mile stretch from Dinosaur to Hayden. Contact information is available at the organization's website, or Cannon can be contacted at 515-707-0170.

He said the event already has raised about $400,000 this summer, and he hopes it's on the way to $1 million.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253 or email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com

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