Runners in the Mountain Madness 10K were treated to sunrise views along the Yampa River Saturday morning for the sixth Steamboat Springs Running Series race of the season.

Photo by Ben Ingersoll

Runners in the Mountain Madness 10K were treated to sunrise views along the Yampa River Saturday morning for the sixth Steamboat Springs Running Series race of the season.

More than 150 runners take on Mountain Madness 10K, half marathon

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— For nearly four years, there hasn’t been a day that has gone by where Chris Schabron hasn’t laced up his sneakers and hit the road for a long run.

No matter where Schabron goes or who he is with, running has been his staple, for three years, six months and five days now — 1,282 days in all after Saturday morning’s Mountain Madness 10K and half marathon race along the banks of the Yampa River.

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View full results from the 2014 Mountain Madness race here.

Even on vacation — here like many others to enjoy Steamboat’s jam-packed schedule of Fourth of July activities — Schabron can be found on the road, this time as the Mountain Madness half marathon winner, crossing in 1:25:08, well ahead of Richard Backstrom (1:29:05) and Patrick Lynch (1:30:01) in third.

The 30-year-old University of Wyoming outdoor track, indoor track and cross-country alum said he ran his first full marathon recently, the Colorado Marathon in Fort Collins. Saturday’s 13.1-mile course even threw the avid runner off a bit, he admitted, forcing him to turn around about six miles in to backtrack and get back on course in a wire-to-wire victory.

The Mountain Madness course, which began at the Howelsen Ice Arena parking lot and twisted its way along the Yampa River on River Road eventually spit runners out onto a steep Dakota Ridge, a lengthy slope that is easily the race’s biggest hurdle.

“The long uphill after that 10K turnaround point was actually the most challenging,” Schabron said. “It just kept going up for a while.”

The women’s half marathon winner, Steamboat’s Heather Gollnick, echoed the same sentiment about the steep pitch about midway through her course-record time of 1:34:01, about two minutes ahead of the record she set this time last year in the very same race.

Andrea Wilhelm was second in 1:37:57 and Darcy Wade was third in 1:42:58.

University of Wisconsin student takes 10K win

Saturday’s Steamboat Springs Running Series Mountain Madness was just a spur-of-the-moment decision, 22-year-old Jessie Sykes said.

It was a cool-down run, really, for the University of Wisconsin student who's newly acquainted to the marathon club, having run her first 26.2-miler in Minnesota a few weeks back.

“My dad just signed me up on a whim,” Sykes said. “I was just kind of doing this as a training run, so I was just enjoying it.”

A training run for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in the fall, one of the country’s biggest and most famous, she said.

Sykes cruised to victory nearly one minute ahead of her competition, crossing 41 minutes, 11 seconds, 53 seconds ahead of Haley Stewart in second place (42 minutes, 4 seconds) and Penelope Freedman in third (42 minutes, 56 seconds).

On the men’s side, Steamboat’s Harry Niedl churned in the winning 10K time in 36 minutes, 15 seconds. David Stewart was second in 37 minutes, 8 seconds and Simon Zink was third in 37 minutes, 28 seconds.

In all, more than 100 men and women completed the Mountain Madness 10K course, and more than 50 took on the half-marathon option.

The next Steamboat Springs Running Series race will be next Saturday for the Spring Creek Memorial 9-miler and 5K trail. The Mount Werner Classic 50K run rounds out July’s group of Running Series races in two weeks.

To reach Ben Ingersoll, call 970-871-4204, email bingersoll@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @BenMIngersoll

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